You cannot locate reference materials. You experience problems with your software, knowing the answers exist somewhere, but you cannot find them. You want to make a career change but you do not know where to look for potential jobs. Try finding for these answers on one of the thousands of list serves (also known as mailing lists or discussion groups) on the Internet.
E-mail discussion groups or mailing lists that center on a particular topic are commonly known as list serves. As a subscriber you receive messages through your e-mail account. The messages posted come from other subscribers addressing new or existing topics. These may include technical questions, career opportunities, or helpful information. List contributors range from experienced professionals down to students and amateurs.
As a list serve subscriber, you can choose from several options. You can remain silent and read the postings/discussions, or you can join the discussions by seeking and offering information pertinent to the postings. Additionally, you can get a listing of the subscribers and their e-mail addresses and correspond privately with someone.
Two types of list serves exit: moderated and unmoderated. Moderated by an individual who reads every message, moderated list serves filter out inappropriate messages. Moderated lists usually provide guidelines on topics they find appropriate for specific list serves. Unmoderated list serves sends all messages to their subscribers. Most people prefer moderated lists.
Thousands of list serves with hundreds of different topics exist on the Internet. Some of the popular topics for technical communicators include copyediting, writing, graphics, and software. Check these web sites to find the right list serve for you. You may make the right connection to find the answers you seek.
•ListTool.com finds and subscribes to over 871 mailing and discussion lists in categories such as art, music, humor, business, law, computers, etc.
•Http:/www.prc.dk/user-friendly-manuals/ufm/maillist.htm contains an international list of list serves for technical communicators.
•Http://www/lsoft.com/lists/listref.html browses any of the 17, 781 public LISTSERV lists on the Internet.