[Air-l] Query - How many mailing lists

Art McGee amcgee at virtualidentity.org
Mon Feb 2 18:32:45 PST 2004

> I wonder if anyone could help me uncover the number of
> mailing lists there might be in the world?

The trick to this question is that in addition to public
lists that are hosted on systems such as YahooGroups, or
legacy university Listserv lists held over from BITnet,
there are an ever increasing number of lists that are hosted
on organizational and personal servers, which fly underneath
the casual research radar, and there are an incredible
number of newsletters and notification systems, like
GetActive, that don't fit the classic list definition.

The other trick is being able to recognize and know
rebranded products. DGroups, which serves international
NGOs, is a customized version of Lyris. Lyris has a huge
customer base in the NGO sector, apart from their corporate

Also, there is still a HUGE installed base of majordomo 1.x
systems, even though the software is out of date and
inadequate for most modern mailing list needs. Inertia keeps
them going.

Mailman, a Free/Open Source mailing list manager, is
probably the most popular software program for those setting
up lists on their own servers. Also, most ISPs who give you
a selection of services for a flat monthly fee include the
ability to setup Mailman lists as one of the built-in
features of an account.

Finally, there are also a bunch of lists running on less
popular or more specialized software that are hard to find,
which used to be included in directories like Tile and Liszt
but aren't anymore (listproc, ezmlm, etc.).

Places where the majority of ad-supported lists are hosted:


Most popular commercial list software packages/providers:


Most popular non-commercial list software:


Most popular newsletter management system:



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