Keiko Frank <kfrank @
# I am in the process of setting up a listserv for staff use at the Seattle
# Public Library, and I would like to hear about the experiences of others
# in setting up listservs. As I have just signed up for List-Managers, I don't
# know if this topic has already been thoroughly discussed. I have thus far
# been unable to access the archive to read past messages.
# Specifically, any information on topics such as the following would be
# 1) Pros and cons of moderated vs. unmoderated listservs.
The pros of moderation is that it offers readers lower-volume,
higher-quality postings, by weeding out all the "junk". The cons are
that it requires someone's time to be the moderator, and that person's
views of what's important and what's not are unavoidably reflected (to
some extent, at least) in what gets forwarded and what gets ignored.
# 2) Tips for naming a listserv:
# - What does the "-L" often found at the end of listserv names
# mean? Is it preferable to include this in a name?
It's an old BITNET convention for distinguishing mailing lists from
"users". I wouldn't bother with it.
# - Can hyphens go anywhere in the name?
Anywhere but the first character.
# - Does it matter if the letters of the name are in upper or
# lower case?
No. Internet email addresses are generally considered to be
Actually, the truth is more complicated. The domain part of an
address (the part after the "@" sign) is, by definition,
case-insensitive. The local part of an address (the part before the
"@" sign) is left up to the local mailer (Sendmail, for instance, on
UNIX machines); most local mailers are by default case-insensitive.
# 3) Are there any good books or articles on setting up listservs?
# The literature searches I've done have turned up nothing.
Not that I know of, not yet. O'Reilly's got one (called "Managing
Internet Services") in the works, but it probably won't be out for
another few months.
There's a file available for anonymous FTP from FTP.GreatCircle.COM
called pub/list-managers/software.review that compares the three most
common UNIX mailing list management packages (ListProc, Procmail, and
Brent Chapman Great Circle Associates
COM 1057 West Dana Street
+1 415 962 0841 Mountain View, CA 94041