NMFRC List Serve
The National Metal Finishing Resource Center is resuming operation
of the list serve (NMFRC-L) after technical issues caused a temporary
suspension. NMFRC-L is free and open for use by anyone interested
in metal finishing. Many individuals currently subscribed to the
NMFRC-L are experts in metal finishing and environmental
for List Serve Archives.
Note: If you were previously a member of NMFRC-L, you have
to sign up again.
What is a List Serve?
A list serve (Figure 1) is basically an e-mail message management
system. It functions by receiving and distributing e-mail messages
to a list of user names. A list serve is managed by a list owner,
who is the person or organization with formal responsibility
for the operation of the list -- a kind of referee, if you want.
The list owner defines the list's charter and policy, i.e. what
the list is about and what are the general rules all subscribers
must accept in order to be allowed to join the list. The list
owner is also responsible for all administrative matters and
for answering questions from the list subscribers.
People join a list serve by sending
an e-mail message to the list owner. Once they are a part of
the list, they receive e-mail
messages that are sent to the list serve by other users. Users
can respond to each other's messages, and the messages are "threaded" to
organize interactive discussions. A user can start a new thread
at any time by sending a message to the list serve. Depending
on the speed of the processor and number of subscribers, messages
are usually delivered to the entire mailing list within 1 to
20 minutes. The types of messages that are commonly posted include
questions or requests for assistance, breaking news, comments,
announcements of upcoming events, etc.
There exist more than 40,000 list serves on the Internet. Most
list serves are made up of 10 to 2,000 people. The number of
messages exchanged in a list serve depends entirely on its users.
Some are very active and a user may receive 20 or more messages
per day. Others may be limited to only a few messages a day.
There are subtle differences between how list serves are operated.
Some, like the NMFRC list serve, are open so that anyone is free
to join and leave at anytime. Other list serves are operated
by a closed subscription and users are selectively added by the
list serve administrator. Also, list serves may be operated on
a moderated or unmoderated basis. With a moderated list serve,
messages submitted to the list serve are filtered by the administrator
who decides to broadcast the message to the list or reject it.
With unmoderated lists, like the NMFRC's, all messages are unfiltered
and automatically broadcast.
Why are List Serves Popular?
List serves are a very time efficient
means of monitoring and engaging in discussions with a group
of people that have shared
interests. Unlike conventional on-line conferencing and chatting,
list serves make use of e-mail, which is automatically distributed
to each user. Participants do not have to log onto a web site
to partake in the action -- they simply have to check their e-mail.
Then they can examine their mail by subject and sender and decide
exactly which messages to read. To reply to a message, the user
simply clicks on the "reply" button of their browser,
types in a message and sends it to the list serve. That message
is distributed to everyone on the mailing list.
List serves are especially helpful for exchanging information
among users that have varied types of expertise and interests
in a similar subject area. For example, a large number of people
are interested in metal finishing, although their specific field
of expertise may be electroplating, painting, waste treatment,
laboratory analytical techniques, or regulations. By working
together through list serve discussion threads, a diverse group
can tackle most questions that users may submit.
Most list serves have the capability of saving posted messages
into archives that can be searched by the users. Over time, the
archives become a valuable resource.
NMFRC-List is an unmoderated list serve
that is open to anyone interested in participating in metal
finishing discussions. There
is no long-term commitment; you are free to subscribe or unsubscribe
at any time. Postings in this list serve shall be limited to
metal finishing topics. Postings of a pure commercial advertising
nature (referred to as SPAM on the Internet) are not permitted.
However, companies are welcome to offer names of commercial products
and services when they are relevant to the discussions. The NMFRC
reserves the right to remove any names from NMFRC-List that do
not follow the "No SPAM" rule.
Subscribing to NMFRC-LIST
To subscribe to the list, send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org
with one line in the body of the letter:
Unsubscribing to NMFRC-LIST
To unsubscribe to the list, send an e-mail message to email@example.com
with one line in the body of the letter:
When unsubscribing, be certain to enter your name exactly as
you entered it when you subscribed, otherwise, you remain on
the mailing list. For example, if you use Jim when unsubscribing
after subscribing with James, it doesn't work.
Posting to NMFRC-LIST
If you have a message (comments, questions, etc.) that you
wish to distribute to all members of the list, send it as e-mail
to NMFRC-L@nmfrc.org (see example, Figure 3).
When you do post a message, keep several principles in mind
if you want the best return on your effort.
- Keep your posts brief and to-the-point. Put considerable
thought into your message; if you send an articulate and well-thought
out query, it's far more likely that you will receive articulate,
well-thought out replies.
- Write a clear subject line in as few words as possible.
- It is good etiquette to identify yourself and company or
List serves can be a valuable information resource. However,
as with any information you receive from various sources, you
need to be wary of any advice or facts you locate on a list serve.
Just because someone subscribes to a list about metal finishing
doesn't mean they're an expert in the subject.