Notes & Comments About Mailing Lists
A group of subscribers who post and read messages from one another on a
specific topic. These messages are sent to every subscriber on the list, and any other subscriber can
reply in the same way.
Many of these mailing lists are hosted by 'RootsWeb'
Mailing lists are not the same as Newsgroups or Message Boards.
Also - all these lists are free.
Mail mode means that you'll receive each message individually. If there are 20 messages, you'll receive 20 emails. This mode is great if you like to stay on top of things, or if the list isn't very busy.
This means that you'll receive each message, but in a cluster, or
digest. The number of digests per day will depend on how busy the list is.
This mode is ideal for someone who likes to read messages at leisure, or if
the list is very busy, or if you like to keep all of the messages for one
(Some servers, AOL and Earthlink recently, have some problems with digest mails)
When you subscribe to a mailing list at RootsWeb, make sure that the 'subscribe' command (without the quotes) is the only text in the subject and body of the message. Other mailing list providers will have different methods - read the instructions carefully.
Delete any taglines you normally use.
In general, you must be a subscriber to post to these mailing lists and posting instructions will be contained in the welcome message you receive when you subscribe.
RootsWeb hosts over 31,000 genealogically related mailing lists!
To unsubscribe from a list make sure that the 'unsubscribe' command (without the quotes) is the only text in the subject line and the body of the message. Delete any taglines you normally use.
Sometimes it's useful to change your options (from List to Digest mode), then you'll need to unsubscribe from one and subscribe to the other.
Or if you're going away for a while, unsubscribe and then subscribe again when you're back. You can always catch up on discussions you've missed by reading the archives.
Types of Mailing Lists
There are different types of lists which cover different interests such as surnames, counties, towns, geographic areas, ethnic interests, software, and general interest to name a few. There are structured research lists, and chatty fun lists, and everything in between. [Banbury-Area is a chatty semi-fun list :-) ] Lists come in Digest and Mail form. In most cases, the -L signifies List mode (you will receive a copy of every message posted to the list as a single email) and the -D signifies Digest mode (you receive groups of messages every day or so, depending on how busy the list is).
RootsWeb hosts over 31,000 genealogically related mailing lists!
It also hosts the Banbury-Area Mailing List and provides the webspace for this site.
Most Rootsweb Mailing Lists are achived.
This means that you can search for past messages, or look for surnames or other key words at your leisure. Any message sent to a list is kept for a long, long, time by computers. So don't post anything you do not want your descendants to read!
Archives - Browse
Browse the List Archives going from one message to another in the order they were posted.
Archives - Search
Search the List Archives for a specific message, name, place or word.
The person who monitors the email posts on a mailing list to ensure conformity with the topic and list etiquette. He or she is often known as the "List Admin" and is also often affectionally known as a "List Mom".
She is also the contact point for the list if you need help; want to complain about something; want to obtain information about list, or want to ask about the relevance of a post you may want to send to all.
You can contact the list admin for Banbury at ENG-BANBURY-AREAfirstname.lastname@example.org
In online discussions: it's a series of messages that have been posted as replies to each other - a conversation with a common topic. If you do change the topic, please change the subject line as well.
Conventions in Genealogy
- Surnames being research are written in capitals - eg. OWEN & PRITCHARD
- Forenames are not written in capitals - eg. Edward & Mary
- Places are not written in capitals - eg. Banbury & Chacombe
- And please don't write your whole message in CAPITALS: it sounds like SHOUTING!
NetiQuette = Etiquette on the Net :-)
Lurker or Lurking
Someone who reads messages and follows the discussions on a mailing list, but does not post. When joining a mailing list, it's helpful to get familiar with the discussions and personalities of the list before posting - therefore to lurk.
Someone new to Genealogy and the Internet
Some good starting points are:
- Getting Started in Genealogy and Family History at GENUKI
- Newbies Guide to Genealogy and Family History by Roy Stockdill
- RootsWeb Guide for Newbies
You may also find the resource list on this site useful for research in the Banbury area
Flaming can be abusive, aggressive, insulting and unpleasant exchanges on mailing lists, newsgroups and in emails. They are a serious reminder that it is vital to think before pressing the send button; an insult cannot be withdrawn.
- Don't try to cool the debate on a mailing list: it's doomed to failure.
- Leave it to the list administrator: they will invariably step in
- Do ask if you don't know something, even if you think you ought to know the answer.
- There's only one daft question - the one you don't ask :-)
- Do be courteous and polite to others - they might have a photograph of your great-grandfather!
- Do write a personal thank you to anyone who tries to help you. Even if it's just to thank them for the time they've taken to write.
- Do please use meaningful subject lines: 'Help needed', 'Lost ancestor' or 'Hello' isn't going to encourage anyone to open and read your message.
- Do read the notes you are sent when you subscribe and keep them in a safe place - even print them off.
- After you've joined a mailing list, lurk for a while to get the feel of the list: they are all different!
- No rudeness, flaming or any comments about them. Just ignore them. The list administrator will deal with it.
- No virus warnings.
- Don't repeat the whole digest or message when replying - delete the repetitive parts.
Remember some subscribers are on dial up
and the whole --repeated-- message is archived -- again!
- No chain letters
- No advertising
- Please do not add surnames in signature lines other than your own name as
your signature. These are picked up by others searching the archives for
particular surnames and swamp the results.
There are ways round this eg. Researching S M I T H or B-R-O-W-N
- Don't try and impose your rules on a list you do not run.
Welcome messages are generally sent to you automatically when you subscribe. Some List Administrators also send personal messages with specific details about the list you have joined. Please keep these on file since they contain important information about posting, unsubscribing, and other aspects of list membership.
- Main Page: How to subscribe, un-subscribe or contact the List Administrators - Angela and Rosemary
- Browse the List Archives going from one message to another.
- Search the List Archives for a specific message.
- Contact the list aministrators, Angela and Rosemary, for Banbury : ENG-BANBURY-AREAemail@example.com
You may also find it useful to read Getting the best out of your Queries: Creating Golden Queries - Advice on how to ask online questions that get results.