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Mailing lists - General introduction

What is a mailing list?

A mailing list is a distribution list allowing a group of subscribers to automatically receive by email all messages sent to the list: every message sent to the list by a subscriber is received by all the other subscribers. When subscribed to a mailing list, it is possible to send messages, to reply to them or to read them without contributing (i.e. to "lurk").

Special cases:

Interest of mailing lists

People subscribe to a mailing list (sometimes abbreviated in ML) to be informed about a particular topic and to take part in exchanges about it. Examples are:

Types of mailing lists

There are thousands of mailing lists of all kinds on the Internet: public or private, free or not, with subscription subject to conditions or not, etc. Those lists may have from a dozen up to several thousand members.

According to the way they work, we can distinguish between two types of lists:


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