This discussion took place on the Wise-Women mailing list in late March 2001.
I'm new to all this and wondering where to start. I have a site that I would like to add a list feature for. You know, one of those auto subscribe/unsubscribe things like this list :) I would like to be able to send out updates to people who sign up through the site. Is this software that is installed and customized on your individual servers? Or is it a service that you use through another web site? Recommendations??
Any information or guidance on where to start is greatly appreciated!!
And some of the answers and discussions:
I've got one on http://www.yahoogroups.com Works great!
There's also one you can have on your own computer, I forget the name, but I'll look in the morning for it. Only thing is, I think you have to have your computer running all the time to use it.
If it's an announce-only type of list, then there are several free CGI scripts that you can install on your server. For example, the Wise-Women website's update newsletter is using a slightly modified version of the Nomodomo script from Big Nose Bird, http://www.bignosebird.com . It works great and is easy to use. There are others like Robmail, Powerlist, etc. Take a look around http://www.cgi-resources.com or http://www.perlarchive.com where they have tons.
If you want an interactive mailing list, the software is a bit more complicated. The WW discussion lists are run from a Mac in Dori's dungeon :) using a commercial software program called LetterRip Pro. This is very easy to set up, but it costs about $400. There are free packages too (that run on Unix), like Majordomo, but configuring Majordomo takes some effort. Unless you have either time or money, it's much easier to set up a list like this with a hosted service, like http://www.yahoogroups.com or http://www.topica.com . (You can also set up announce-only lists with these free services too.) You do get advertising on the messages but people are kind of used to that. You can also pay a small fee to have the advertising removed (in which case you could add/sell your own advertising on the lists.)