The term LISTSERV has been used to refer to a few early electronic mailing list software applications, allowing a sender to send one email to the list, and then transparently sending it on to the addresses of the subscribers to the list. The original LISTSERV software, the BITNIC LISTSERV (1984_1986), allowed mailing lists to be implemented on IBM VM mainframes and was developed by Ira Fuchs, Daniel Oberst, and Ricky Hernandez in 1984. This mailing list service was known as LISTSERV@BITNIC and quickly became a key service on the BITNET network. It provided functionality similar to a UNIX Sendmail alias and, as with Sendmail, subscriptions were managed manually. In 1986, Eric Thomas developed an independent application, originally named "Revised LISTSERV", which was the first automated mailing list management application. Prior to Revised LISTSERV, email lists were managed manually.
Contributions by Markworthen, Outit, and 188.8.131.52.