What exactly is an e-mail list?

An e-mail list works a lot like regular e-mail except that when a member writes to another member via the list, a copy is sent to every single member. Every member then has an opportunity to reply. The messages contain subject titles pertaining to whatever topic is at hand, and strings of conversation based on that subject may then carry on. One can start a new topic simply by writing a new note using an appropriate subject heading.

Members have the option of receiving e-mail messages daily as they are sent or in one lump as daily digests. Or, to avoid being sent any e-mail at all, one can elect to view the messages on the webpage by choosing the "no mail/web only" option.

There is no charge for this service. Subscription is free, and it is easy to quit the list at any time. If it's free, what's the catch? you may well wonder. Yahoo!, which hosts the list, has to make money somehow. They achieve this by placing ads at the bottom of each message. Below is a typical example:

Get a DigThis Visa, in 30 seconds! Get rates as low as
2.9% Intro or 9.9% Fixed APR and no hidden fees.

To join, one must register with Yahoo! (this involves giving an e-mail address and choosing a password), after which one may sign up for any list on Yahoo! without registering again. Those who are already registered with Yahoo! may simply subscribe to XPArchaeology. No spam or anything like that results from signing up (beyond those little ads in the actual messages). There is also a group website


where members can share files and photographs. The number of e-mail messages members receive each day varies, but it is typically get four or five, sometimes more, other times less. File attachmemnts and other graphics are not permitted, minimizing the time needed to download messages.