Mailing Lists often called LISTSERV Lists, are topic centered discussion groups conducted via e-mail which allow you to correspond with other users who have subscribed to a given discussion group or list. A vast number of topics are open for discussion.
LISTSERV is the name of the original software program that managed the discussion groups.
Messages which subscribers send to the mailing list server are are distributed through E-mail. You will receive your messages in your own E-mail account.
There are 2 main types of mailing lists...
Announcement lists are mailing lists where only the owner of the list can post to all the subscribers. They are usually used for newsletters, online magazines and the like.
Discussion lists allow interaction between all the subscribers. You might want to start a discussion list, if, for example, you are part of a team of software developers and need to discuss development issues with the other members of the team. Some discussion lists are moderated, which means that posts to the list are vetted by someone (such as you or some moderator that you appoint) before they are disseminated to the other members.
You can read messages, send messages, reply to a message individually, or respond to every member of the list. You are part of an online community where discussions take place, ideas are shared, and announcements are made.
Most lists have guidelines and netiquette which are described in a welcome message after you have joined.