Re: How to set up a listserve?

Subject: Re: How to set up a listserve?
From: oudeis <oudeis -at- tampabay -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 12:19:42 -0400

At 01:40 AM 6/12/2004, Steven Oppenheimer wrote:

Can anyone suggest the benefits and/or disadvantages of setting up a Yahoo group, as opposed to a separate list like Techwr-L? (By the way, and FYI, my new list is not related to the topics of TECHWR-L, and will not compete with TECHWR-L.)

Yahoo! Groups' main disadvantage is that it goes down frequently and members often report weird glitches: posts are delayed; they're mysteriously unsubscribed; Yahoo! all of a sudden decides the e-mail address is offensive. There is also the problem of unwanted advertisements, spammers, and so forth. Most of the listowners seem very unhappy with Yahoo!'s tech support. Some people are annoyed with their privacy policy.

I just noticed that Google is sticking their toe in the discussion list waters with a beta site:

In the spirit of competition, I guess you could ass-ume that Google might provide better quality? :) We can probably also assume that Google is going to make sure its groups are prominently featured in search results! :)

I just went through the reg process and it's the same as Yahoo! thus far.

In addition, many web hosting services offer e-mail lists. Hostway offers one e-mail list for the $19.95 Gold Plus plan. However, I just bought a domain and hosting for a side business with my partner. For 9.95/month (Paid for a year in advance), A Plus Net offers two e-mail lists. More details at the site:

I went with Hostway for other sites I've managed because Scott's Newsletter recommended them. Hostway's been great, and compared to some other services, their uptime has been marvelous. I very rarely encounter downtime. Never more than 5 minutes. The support, though, leaves something to be desired but I have only needed tech support once in three yrs.

We also briefly played with some great folks at For 19.95/month, they provide three lists with EZMLM software. You administer them with a Web interface. Most of the hosting services provide a Web interface. (My preference is majordomo's remote e-mail based administration, personally.)

A Plus Net has been extraordinarily helpful, even when I was just registering the domain. If you go with them, ask for dennisn and give a poor tech support guy a thrill. :) Also, if I'm not mistaken, A Plus provides forum/chat space for people who like that type of forum. You can, in other words, run two different spaces to meet different types of needs.

I've run a Yahoo! group for work and run an academically-oriented listserve with some friends. From my perspective, Yahoo! is just not as flexible as running your own list. And, while you're completely right that you're going to attract many more members at Yahoo! because that's where people go to find e-mail discussion lists, it's more "professional" if you're running a list off your own domain, "book-talk-l -at- mydomain -dot- com" If you do have hosting problems--and thus far I've never, ever had a problem running a list with web hosting plans--you can tell you're members, "I'll contact tech support at our hosting service" as opposed to "I'll see if the wankers at Yahoo! even care that we exist and, if they do, maybe someone will actually attend to the problem." *grin*

And, you might let me know ahead of time, answers to a few questions:
(a) Is a listserve something I have to pay someone to help me set up, or to host, similar to the way in which I pay my ISP to host my domain?

You seem to be pretty tech-savvy. You will have no problem setting up a list from a web host like Hostway or A Plus Net.

(b) Is it something that, in fact, I set up through my ISP?

With some ( used to do this but it's expensive), but it is not worth the hassle for your needs. Just use a web hosting service that provides e-mail lists as part of the package.

(c) How does one advertise the existence of a Listserve? Is there some central Internet directory of Listserves?

I've noticed that some Yahoo! groups aren't actually hosted at Yahoo. I think the Freelancer's list has a notice on the Yahoo page that the list is now hosted elsewhere. So, I guess it's possible that you can set up a Yahoo Group and then, at the home page, tell them how to sub to your list, even though it's elsewhere. :)

Topica or eGroups (I've forgotten which) used to be a compendium of Topica lists AND a directory of other listservs. I think the point is to get people to see Yahoo! as the "go to" resource, even if they're only going to Yahoo to find groups hosted elsewhere. My guess is that they want site traffic for ad rates.

There are (or were) some places where you can make others aware of your e-mail list. They were mostly academic in nature, run by an organization for Librarians, as I recall.

There's also and

The rest is sweat equity. When you set up the site, manually enter your site to the search engines emphasizing the existence of the e-mail list, if that's what you want to emphasize. As you know, search engine submission services are usually a joke so I wouldn't pay for them. I'd just invest my own labor.

Find chat/BBS sites that discuss related topics, post your message/announcement to the BBS/Chat room.

Network, asking people who run blogs or other fora to give you a plug.

When I did the promotion work it for our academically-oriented listserv, it was _very_ time consuming and I was working off a 28.8k dial up--on good days! :)
I asked list owners if I could make an announcement. I contacted sites that listed resources on the topic, asking if they would include a link to our homepage and information for subscribing to the list. I made annoucements at sites where I was already subscribed. I dropped .sigs when I posted, helping others. etc. Like I said, it's labor intensive.

Good luck. If you need any assistance, just write! Happy to help.



SEE THE ALL NEW ROBOHELP X5 IN ACTION: RoboHelp X5 is a giant leap forward
in Help authoring technology, featuring Word 2003 support, Content Management, Multi-Author support, PDF and XML support and much more!
COMPONENTONE DOC-TO-HELP 7 PROFESSIONAL: From a single set of Word documents, create online Help and printed documentation. New version offers yearly subscription service, Natural Search, Modular TOC Utility, Image Map Editor, Theme Designer, Context String Editor, plus more. .

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

How to set up a listserve?: From: Steven Oppenheimer

Previous by Author: Re: Tina the Techwriter Reopens the Great Debate
Next by Author: Findability
Previous by Thread: How to set up a listserve?
Next by Thread: Re: How to set up a listserve?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads