Mailing lists are a less visible, and often less costly, alternative to USENET newsgroups. Mailing lists are also distributed across the Internet, but via email rather than through a mechanism such as USENET. This access method is less costly in that only basic email service is required to join a mailing list, so users of information services such as CompuServe may join any Internet mailing list. Having access to USENET is not required.
A mailing list is similar to a newsgroup in that it is a discussion composed of contributions made by the mailing list members. Members of the list receive other members' contributions to the list as email and may contribute their own. You can save the email listings you receive and review them later. Most mailing list sites also archive their users' contributions, so you can join a list, request (or FTP) the last few weeks' worth of listings, and catch up on what you've missed.
To subscribe to a mailing list, you normally append "-request" to the name of the list in the Internet address name. For example, to subscribe to the mailing list [email protected], send an email message to [email protected] In the body of the message put the word "subscribe" followed by the name of the list, such as "subscribe cogneuro" (or "unsubscribe cogneuro" to remove yourself from the mailing list). You may contribute to the list by sending email to the [email protected] address. Whenever any other subscriber contributes to the list, you will receive email of that subscriber's listing.
For a list of the mailing lists of most interest to graphics programmers and others interested in graphics files, see "Internet Graphics Resources" later in this appendix.