Mailing lists in form of discussion groups have been in existence since 1960's and were used as a way to share information. They were called (and are still called) "Usenet", "Newsgroups", "News" or sometimes "NetNews". In mid 80's Eric Thomas developed "ListServ's" for use with IBM computers. They usually offer most features to their subscribers. Majordomo was developed in 1992 by Brent Chapman and continues to be used by many Ezine publishers.
Know that you have many choices of hosting services and number companies offering services is growing. Use information in this article as a guide. Don't be afraid to try BCC or free elist hosting services to get a feel for what is involved in owning an ezine. Personally, I've learned so much by going this route. Then as your ezine and ezine knowledge grows, change over to a paid service.
__Use BCC (blind carbon copy) area of your current email program. Never used this feature? If this feature were part of your email program, directions would be in "help" feature of program. By using this feature people won't see who your subscribers are and therefore won't be able to spam your readers. You will know that someone has sent you a message, using BCC, when "to" reads "unlisted recipients.
__Purchase a software program and maintain list yourself. ~~Infacta http://www.infacta.com/gm.asp ~~List of software companies http://list-business.com/list-software/
__Use Majordomo. This is not easiest alternative. Many times subscriptions are rejected because subscriber is using an email program with "HTML" text in message. For more information on this service visit: www.conveyanced.com/MajorCool/ www.google.com/search?q=majordomo
__Download free Common Gateway Interface (CGI) Scripts and use to produce your ezine. These programs usually contain limited capabilities, which is just perfect for many ezine publishers. To find these scripts, go to your favorite search engine, and do a search for free CGI scripts, such as www.bignosebird.com and www.CGI-Resources.com
__Many advertising and marketing companies provide "in-house" ezine services to their clients.
__Use one of free services to keep your elist members confidential. "Free" meaning there is an ad either at top or bottom of each note you send out.
~~www.topica.com Topica - With exception of moderated lists, each list contains an ad. Automatically adds unsubscribe directins to each email. Very basic service. You cannot add new members; instead you must "invite" them. There is a cost involved in adding many members at one time. So before you move your elist to this service check with their customer support.