so i spent some time playing with phplist, an open source mailing list / newsletter management tool for websites.
we're thinking of using that here at dc instead of what i've currently been doing which is using the donators email list, or occassionally the mailing list automatically generated by the forum.
in one sense the forum list of emails might be the best way, since it should be a fairly complete list of both donators and people interested in the site that aren't ready to donate. there are people registered on the forum who don't really want to receive the weekly newsletter and would prefer not to receive such mailings, but then you can indicate that in your forum profile.
so maybe just using forum email system is the right way to send out mailings..
if anyone wants to see the phplist interface, i set it up here:https://www.donation...com/Features/phplist
(note im not asking people to sign up en masse, as we haven't even decided whether to use this yet or not).