The list, NativePlantseast@yahoogroups.com, is intended for chat between all folks interested in the native flora of the MD, DC,and VA areas. This list is set up in conjunction with the Virginia Native Plant Society. It is open to members of both organizations as well as others interested in the topics being discussed. The discussion covers many of the interesting questions and issues concerning native plants. The list is unmoderated.
You can join this list by linking to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NativePlantseast. You can also post messages and unsubscribe from the list at this same location.
Once you are a member, messages can also be posted directly to the list by e-mailing them to: NativePlantseast@yahoogroups.com.
You can also unsubscribe from the list by sending an e-mail, with nothing written in the body of the message, to NativePlantseastfirstname.lastname@example.org.
"What is a mailing list?", you wonder. Well, they were invented way back in the good old days when the Internet was basically UNIX and basically free. They are also called re-mailing lists, re-distribution lists, or bounce lists, which is exactly what they do. An e-mail list is run by a program - the original one was named ListServ - that sits behind an e-mail address. When the program receives a message which has been sent to that address, it re-transmits the message to all the e-mail addresses on a list it is holding. In this way, a single message sent to the program is propagated to ten, one hundred, or even one thousand other people throughout the Internet. Sending a message to the program's e-mail address is called "posting to the list".
One thing that makes these lists secure is that the program won't re-transmit just any message. It will only propagate a message that it receives from an address that is also on its distribution list. When you join the list, you are simply adding your address to the program's re-transmission list. Unsubscribing is the equivalent of removing your address from the same list. In an unmoderated list, like NativePlantseast@yahoogroups.com, no one reads the e-mail before it is rebroadcast. There is no human involvement. You send a message to the program and it re-sends the message to everyone on the list.
Yahoo has created a Web interface to the re-distribution program but you can also communicate with it directly via e-mail. If it gets a message at the address NativePlantseastemail@example.com it adds the e-mail address of the location that sent the message to its list. If it gets one at NativePlantseastfirstname.lastname@example.org it subtracts the sender from the list. No one reads these messages so they should not have anything in the message body.
When you are subscribed to an active list, it is like being in a slow-motion group conversation.