[Air-l] Listserv Research

Jonathan Marshall Jonathan.Marshall at uts.edu.au
Fri Sep 15 23:59:15 PDT 2006

for what its worth. I've been researching and writing about an internet Mailing List and its social dynamics for the last 11 years.

My thesis (an updated and greatly improved version of which is forthcoming from Peter Lang) and various other papers, published and otherwise, can be be found off:


But yes there is not that much actually written about email Lists


>   I'm fairly new to the list and I'm trying to place the recent
> metadiscussion about the listserv itself and participation in context
> with what I know about typical and historical behavior on and
> characteristics of listservs and listserv participants.
>   I am not interested in (publicly) discussing this listserv and its
> recent and ongoing events.  What I am interesting in is expanding my
> own knowledge of relevant research which may inform the discussion and
> aid me in placing this into context.  I am aware of some resources
> specifically related to this topic, particularly Brian Butler's 1999
> dissertation "The Dynamics of Cyberspace: Examining and Modelling
> Online Social Structure" and the works referenced therein.  
> However, I
> am having some difficulty locating additional and more recent relevant
> research as much of what I am finding is research performed *using*
> listservs but not *about* listservs.  I suspect that I may not be
> using the correct terminology or jargon to perform a sufficiently
> narrow search.  I also suspect that my topic may simply be too broad
> or undefined.  Can some kind soul please point me in the right
> direction or towards specific resources that may be useful?
>   I also have to wonder if my difficulty in finding more recent
> resources may be attributed to a dying off of listservs as they are
> replaced by wikis, blogs, bulletin boards, and other resources.  But
> that does not match my experience at all.  It may indeed happen over
> time but it seems that although younger persons are often dismissive
> of e-mail it many older persons, particularly in the professional
> worlds in which I have worked, still hold onto e-mail and thus
> perpetuate listservs as a viable, useful medium.
> Kevin Guidry
> Information Technology Fellow
> Sewanee: The University of the South
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