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Listserv is the correct spelling for an internet service which emails messages to subscribers in a mailing list database. The first listserv was initiated on IBM mainframes for use on the academic network, BITNET, in 1986. Eric Thomas created the first listserv program, LISTSERV, which allowed users to email a message to a database of recipients, all at the same time. Prior to LISTSERV, emails had to be sent individually. The name of the original program, LISTSERV, has evolved into the word listserv, which describes any internet service which emails messages to subscribers in a mailing list database. Answers and comments from listserv members may be emailed back and forth on threads in a forum-type fashion, or the listerv may be set up to only allow certain people to email messages on the system. The plural form of listserv is listservs.


The listserv calls itself “THE source for current wildfire information” since 1996, beckoning members to “make yourself at home and tell us what you think!” (The Los Angeles Times)

“Typically not all districts respond to a listserv question,” Palacios said, adding, “It would be fair to say that Providence is among large school districts having trouble filling teacher vacancies.” (The Brown Daily Herald)

The library promotes the workshop schedule on the graduate college’s weekly Listserv and sometimes takes out ads in the campus newspaper. (The Library Journal)

Just a year earlier, the organizer who calls himself the Deacon on a private email listserv of allies literally helped write the book, for a group called the New Organizing Institute, on how campaign managers should run 21st century “engagement” campaigns that focus on motivating voters to see elections as movement-building moments. (TIME)

She posts my request on the listserv she runs, and that’s how I meet Brown and others who want to share their stories. (The Atlantic)