In July 2002 the first issue of the Web Design Update Newsletter was published. This plain text email digest is dedicated to disseminating news and information about web design. It is typically published once a week as an adjunct to the Web Design Reference site which started in 1995. The purpose of the newsletter is to announce new web site content. Whenever new articles are linked to the Web Design Reference site, a Web Design Update newsletter message is sent to the mailing list. Newsletter topics range from accessibility to XML. Links include recent articles by knowledgeable authors, as well as expected pertinent links to updates from major organizations.
The idea for the newsletter was sparked by UMD's Information Technology Systems and Services, Web Team's revival of its webdev listserv. Previously Laura Carlson had shared her web design research and web site updates solely with the ITSS web team via private email. With the revival of the webdev listserv, the team asked her to send updates to the mailing list.
The number of subscribers has grown from six people in 2002 to over 2,500 subscribers today. They hail from the University of Minnesota, universities throughout the US, plus people from approximately 40 other countries.
In 2005 we converted our mailing lists from a ListProc server to a Mailman server. Advantages of this change included automatic archiving of posts.