The MB 313 Listserv

What is a Listserv?

A listserv is basically an automatic email forwarding system. You send an email to the listserv, and it automatically forwards your message to everyone who is subscribed to the list.

It will allow us to keep class discussion going outside of class. This is a great way for people who are shy to contribute to the discussion. It also allows more reasoned responses than in class, since you can sit and ponder what you are going to say as long as you like.

I will also use the listserv to communicate changes in assignments or the schedule.


It's easy. First, log onto the computer account that you normally use for email. Make sure you are in your account rather than OCF USER or a friend's account. Second, send an email message to:

with no subject (just leave it blank) and the following line in the body of the message:

subscribe mb313

In a few minutes (sometimes hours), you should get an email message back from the listserver confirming your subscription and giving you some basic information about how to use the system. For more information about the BC listserv system, visit their web page.

How to Send a Message

To send a message to the class, compose a message with an appropriate subject line and address it to:

Then send it like any other email message.

What to Say and How Often to Say It

By the end of the 2nd week you should send a biography (minimum of 150 words) to the listserv. I will be using the biographies as data and analyzing it in class. 

Beyond that, the class requirement is to send one message a week. The basic topics are 'Why do things work the way they do?' and 'How do people think about X?'.  For example, you can contribute observations that you think are interesting and merit explanation. For example, students at this university seem to drink a lot. Why is that? The idea is to observe, to speculate, and to give evidence. In doing this, you can tell stories, comment on campus events, and generally reflect on life as it happens.

I  also don't mind if the topic strays a bit, or if people use the listserv to carry on other conversations in addition to the main topic. Just remember to send at least one relevant message a week.

Course Requirements

You are required to send at least one substantive message a week to the listserv. More messages is good. A substantive message is a thoughtful message about the subject matter of the course. The written style of the message is irrelevant: it could be terribly serious, or playful and amusing. What matters is ideas.

Listserv participation is part of your grade, so make sure you don't slip up on this.

In addition to your substantive contributions to the listserv, you can also send less serious messages, such as jokes, suggestions for having a class meeting outside, etc., etc.


At the end of the course, you should unsubscribe from the list. Send a message to with no subject (just leave it blank) and the following line in the body of the message:

unsubscribe mb313

Copyright 1996 Stephen P. Borgatti Revised: September 05, 2000 Go to Home page