What the !^&* is a discussion list?

What is a discussion list   

Types of Discussion Lists   

Benefits of Joining a Discussion List

  What is a discussion list

A discussion list is just what the name suggests - a place to discuss things. You subscribe to a list by submitting your E-mail address at a site. For example to subscribe to ours you would have to enter your email below and click the subscribe button while the list was operational. Now it doesn't work. It's just a sample to show how it could look.

Subscribe to I-Laugh

Secondly you can subscribe by sending a subscribe message by E-mail, for I-Laugh you would have to send an email to 64841-subscribe@zinester.com with the word 'subscribe' in the body of the message, or a friend could send a subscription request or your behalf. [However, any good list, like I-Laugh, will have an unsubscribe address in every message sent to you so its easy to unsubscribe if you are dissatisfied for any reason.]

Then, you'll start receiving mail from the list. However, unlike newsletters where one person or a small group of people keep pushing information at you, discussion lists are two way. They run and thrive on your participation. Not only do you receive information, but you get to see your own name  in 'print.' Your questions, views, comments, answers to others questions are featured prominently, so you generally have much more fun. :-) To be safe, though, before you start posting, spend a little time as a silent observer. Lurk for a few days to get a feel of the discussion list. Better yet,  please go through the submission guidelines before you post.

 Types of Discussion Lists - "Open", "Moderated", "Endless"

There are few different kinds of lists. One is the unmoderated or open list, in which whatever you send (known as posting) is directly sent out to everyone on the list. The disadvantage of this kind of list is that one (or a few) rotten apple can ruin these lists in too many ways.
(You don't even want to know, so we won't give you any ideas.)

To ensure that you get only the top quality posts, the Internet gods created another kind of list called a moderated discussion list. Frankly, this is a censored list, where a real, live person checks every post before passing it on. For I-Laugh, these people are our beloved moderators - otherwise known as Your Comic Guides,  Eva Rosenberg and Gunjan Saraf.

You may have found your self on some lists, like e-groups, where you get a copy of each and every post as a separate e-mail, thus testing out the capacity of your mailbox. :-)  
I-Laugh doesn't. It takes the form of a digest containing everyone's worthy gems of wisdom all in one digest. You should get one digest a week as we get started. This will increase as participation grows and advertisers beg to give us their money. Our goal is to be able to provide you daily guidance - and alert you in advance of events and holidays you can incorporate into your pitches or apologies.

 Benefits of Participation in a Discussion List!

1. Getting Reliable Information :
The first time I received spam which had been addressed to me  from my own mailbox I panicked. I thought my password had been compromised and somebody else was logging in to my Yahoo mailbox. I sent a mail to Yahoo about it and got a response after 2 days. A standard response on what to do when you receive spam. I sent them a detailed reply that it wasn't spam I was concerned about but about somebody being able to send mail from by mail address. This time their reply took almost a week. This long wait would have caused me to tear my hair out in frustration if I didn't have the benefit on another wonderful discussion list called I-Helpdesk. I posted my problem there and got a reply in 24 hours on how this had been done, what to do about it, etc from 3 experts in the field.

2. Learning :
Quite often, you don't even know where to begin asking questions about some subjects. Seeing other people's questions and comments stimulates your own creative juices. Not only do you get their ideas to help you, you come up with your own...which you might even be nice enough to share with  us. What's even more valuable, you find out from people what actually did and
didn't work for them in the field. Saves you a lot of embarrassment.

3. Advertisement/Publicity :
With every post you make, you sign your name, including a 3 line (60 characters per line) signature (Called a sig file). So each post is a free ad to  promote your company, your website or yourself, your clients, and your expertise in a field. You are free to use that space as you see fit - although, if your sig file is really noxious, some moderators WILL cut it. And if you use all
caps....your sig file will be too long - and, again, it will be censored. So YOU make sure you control how it looks.
(Do NOT include fancy formatting of characters that create clever pictures. You have no idea how badly messed up they can get after being re-transmitted three times. Moderators WILL cut them.)

4. Quality of ad :
Here is a vital point I realized when checking out The Hungersite. This is a site where sponsors donate a sum of money for every visitor coming and seeing their banners. While the industry average for people clicking on advertisement banners is around 1%, the sponsors on The Hungersite receive over 4%.  Why? Simple. An ad on a Search Engine or commercial site was seen negatively by viewers or as an irritant. On The Hungersite, the ads were viewed favorably because they were sponsoring an important cause. In the same way, when you are a member of a discussion list, you generate credibility and foster relationships. Participants realize the importance of your contribution to the list. They see your sig file and view it positively.  Naturally, you can lose credibility if you frequently send angry or poorly thought-out posts - and the moderator isn't kind and doesn't filter you out...

5. Chance to show your expertise :
Unlike banners or any other ads where you can just make claims about your expertise in a field, discussion lists are the ideal place to showcase your expertise and help someone at the same time. What more can a person want? :-)


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