A haven for homeless lists

Washington, DC (December 1, 1995) – It's difficult to determine just what percentage of the Internet's mushrooming population is represented on the thousands of Internet mailing lists; but mailing lists have become an integral part of many Internauts' online experience.

It's ironic, then, that the enormous popularity of these lists has led some providers of mailing list services to abandon their list-hosting programs, leaving hundreds of lists – and their related cyber-communities – without a home.

Some providers did not assess their costs accurately, charging a flat fee (and in some cases, not charging at all) for lists of unlimited volume. Other providers, perhaps because of inexperience with the dynamics of list management, used inefficient tools that did not scale up gracefully as demand increased, needlessly overtaxing their systems.

As a result, many providers concluded that the service of hosting mailing lists isn't economically feasible, suspending or altogether eliminating a service that allowed Internauts to establish virtual communities based on common interests. As this policy becomes more widespread, hapless list owners scramble to find a new home for their lists, only to find themselves out on the street again within months.

In an effort to provide an affordable and stable haven for these non-commercial lists, L-Soft international Inc., purveyor of the LISTSERV® mailing list software and operator of the largest mailing list site in the world, is adding a new level to its EASESM list hosting service. Starting as low as $8.00 per month, the "EASE Home" service has been created to meet the needs of individuals who want to operate low-budget non-commercial lists: a fast, dependable, no-frills, low-cost mailing list service using the authentic LISTSERV® software.

With over 1,600,000 messages delivered every weekday, L-Soft has the lowest unit costs in the market – and the know-how to operate a large, scalable mailing list service. In contrast, most other mailing list providers deliver fewer than 50,000 messages per day.

"Many providers now realize that there are inevitable costs involved in hosting lists, but with the right software and the right equipment a service like this has enormous potential," says L-Soft's Susan Lowell. "Most of these homeless lists belong to hobbyists who just want to bring their communities together. We've reduced as much of our overhead as we reasonably could in order to provide an affordable option for continuing the lists. And, since we know exactly what it costs to run a large mailing list service, people don't have to worry about sudden price changes."

"This market is much too large to be mined by any single company. We're hoping that in the future more Internet service providers will give their customers the option of having their own LISTSERV lists," Lowell adds. "In fact, we're now implementing special licensing options to make it easy for ISPs to do that."

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