A mailing list is like a message board in that any message sent can be seen by all the members of the group. However, only the people subscribed to the mailing list can view the messages sent. A mailing list can be run by a person or group of people. In this case, every address would be entered in the CC (carbon copy) or BCC (blind carbon copy) rows of a new message so that the person who runs the group wouldn't have to resend so many messages. By sending messages out BCC, everyone else's addresss is hidden from others on the list so that no one has to worry about their addresses being sold to SPAMers. To subscribe to a list like this, send a request to the person or people who run(s) the list.
Mailing lists can also be run through 3rd party systems, such as Yahoo. In this case, a person subscribes to the group by sending a message to an address, such as email@example.com, and that person's address is then added to the list. This service is almost always provided for free. To subscribe to a list, all you have to do is send a message to either the person who runs the group or to the subscription address of a group run by a 3rd party.
Most mailing lists have a few short rules that usually involve the maximum number of posts a person can send per day (if the list is run by someone who would have to deal with several messages), whether .jpgs or audio files can be sent, what kind of content is appropriate to the list, etc. Once you subscribe, you will probably be sent a list of the rules. How rigidly the group adheres to those rules is something that you'll be able to discern after a while.
Only one QOTSA mailing list exists at this point. It is run through Yahoo and gets about 10 posts every few weeks (usually these messages come once someone brings a topic up and people start talking about it). To subscribe, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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