> From: David Massey [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Saturday, March 04, 2000 6:10 PM
> For the benifit of those of us who barely know what HTML stands for and
> still trying to figure out TCP/IP, explain the difference between a
> majordomo list and a usenet, please.
A "majordomo" list is just a mail forwarding system. Messages that are sent
the list address are automatically forwarded to all list subscribers, either
realtime or in a daily "digest" form.
(What follows is my understanding of how Usenet works, please correct me if
I have mis-stated anything).
Usenet is a distributed database of discussion groups that are hosted on
various "news servers" on the Internet. If a particular discussion group
is intended to be public, then other news servers can subscribe to it.
Typically, your Internet service provider (AOL, MSN, Earthlink, etc.)
will offer a news server through which you can access the various Usenet
discussion lists. There are tens of thousands of discussion groups on the
Internet, and your ISP is unlikely to subscribe to all of them.
When you access your ISP's news server, you will see a list of discussion
groups to which your news server subscribes. If you post to one of these
groups, your message is ultimately forwarded to the news server that
"owns" the group. From there, your message is sent out to all the other
news servers that subscribe to the group.
The problem with public discussion groups is that anyone on the Internet
can read them, and post to them. This leads to two problems (at least):
1. Spammers scan the groups and "harvest" e-mail addresses of people who
post to them. They then send spam to these addresses.
2. Spammers post spam to the groups themselves.
Clearly, we do not want a public discussion group. However, I believe it
would be possible to set up a private group, if Mark were willing to host
it on a Team.Net news server. Privacy requirements would necessitate
setting up password access for list subscribers, who would need to access
the newsgroup directly from the Team.Net server.
Or maybe I will just subscribe to the "realtime" list and let Outlook
organize the topics in categories for me. :-)