H. Jurgen Combs

LISTSERVS serve interest groups on the net; for example, if you are interested in middle level education, you my join the middle level list server. Members send messages to other members of the list using e-mail; messages can include "help" questions, request for information, or just general sharing of information on the topic served by the listserv. There are rules of "netiquette" which should be followed, otherwise you my be "flamed". It is best to check the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) if in doubt or to watch the exchange for a while to observe the rules.

Subscribing to LISTSERVS is quite simple:

  1. Once you know the name of the listserv, send a message to the LISTSERV site (not the group itself) requesting your inclusion.
  2. On the "to" line put the name of the address; it will look something like his: - - this is the listserv serving middle level educators. Please note that the main address is always listserv followed by @.
  3. Leave the subject line blank.
  4. Be sure to turn off any signature inclusion in your e-mail message, otherwise the computer will try to interpret the lines of your signature as commands. You may need to check your e-mail documentation to figure out how to turn off the signature line.
  5. In the document, the message you type is generally something like this:

    SUBSCRIBE "LISTSERV YOUR FIRST NAME LAST NAME" (omitting the quotation marks); thus a person wishing to subscribe to the middle level listserv would type: SUBSCRIBE Middle-L John Smith; please note that the name is not your log-in name.

  6. There may be hundreds or thousands of subscribers to listservs so you should be prepared to receive numerous messages.
  7. If you find that you are receiving too many mail messages, you may

    - terminate your membership by sending a message to POST OFFICE and in the message area type "unsubscribe (or signoff) name of listserv". The person wishing to terminate membership on the middle level listserv would write "signoff middle-l" omitting the quotation marks. Some listservs require that you add your name on the same line.

    - get a digest of the messages by requesting "set (name of listserv) DIGEST"

    - turning it off temporarily with "set (name of listserv) Nomail"

    - get regular mailings with "set (name of listserv) Mail"

    - again, remember to "turn off" your signature when you send any messages to the post office of your listserv.


If you find interesting listserv addresses, please let me know and I will add them to the listserv page so that others may access the information without having to do the search. Please send me the information that is shown in the chart sample below:


Middle level education middle-l

You may access some of the listservs which might be of interest to educators on the following page.

Please send your suggestions.

last updated on 25 July 2008
H. Jurgen Combs