How to start your own list?

Many women write and ask the question: "How do I start my own list? Where can I find the resources?

A mailing list is an automated distribution of e-mail to a list of addresses. A typical lesbian mailing list can have anywhere between tens or hundreds of subscribers. 100-300 women on a list is fairly typical.

Please note that sending mail messages (sometimes tens of messages per day, if your list is busy) to hundreds of women generates load. Thus the question of "where can I start a mailing list" becomes a question of finding a provider who is willing to take on that load free of charge, or at least cheaply.

If you work or study in an academic setting, you could ask your university computer people first. Many universities offer mailing list services and are willing to let you start a list, if there are enough resources and if the atmosphere is helpful.

There is one big provider for queer mailing lists - Queernet. You could ask there, but do not expect that your suggestion for a list will be automatically accepted, as their resources could be scarce at the moment. Also check with your friendly net.activists and other knowledgeable people for suggestions, ideas, and resources. You can, for example, browse listings like the list of lesbian lists to see for yourself on how very many different systems mailing lists are actually run. Maybe one of those providers can take on your list, too?

As to further resources, there are now spaces like, that offer free list hosting via www. Also, check a listing of for additional services.

It helps if you are or have been subscribed to mailing lists yourself, and have become familiar with how they are run. If you are a fairly new net user, and full of enthusiasm to start creating spaces of your own, please try to get a feel of how things work before rushing forward! It is quite helpful to watch other listowners "in action", tackling technical and other problems - you will get a sense of what you are really getting into! You should also be familiar with netiquette, and read whatever helpful guides that others who own lists My own personal contribution (written already a few years ago) is called "living with lesbian lists" and it's far from comprehensive.

Good luck with getting started! And don't forget to send in information about your new mailing list.