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Domain Manager

The Crusaders... John Reilly, Saul Klein, Mike Barnett
How to Distribute Information on the Internet.


Index

Congratulations on becoming the List Manager for your new Listserv. We know you are anxious to get things rolling. To make your job a bit easier, we have assembled some useful information in this List Manager Manual.

Our unique software allows you to use your Listserv as a traditional two-way Discussion Forum or as a one-way Electronic Newsletter set up under your direction. All controls are provided in a user-friendly Web-based control panel you access through your unique Username and Password.

You will find detailed operating instructions in the Help area of the Web interface. We have reduced those instructions down to the more relevant portions that you will find at the end of this Manual.

You will be subscribed to our List Managers List. Yes, even List Managers need their own list, where they can share ideas, content, and clear up questions they may have as they explore this new form of online community. ListManagers@InternetCrusade.com


QUICK START TIPS

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1. go to http://Mail.InternetCrusade.com:801 .

2. Enter YourListName@InternetCrusade.com where it says "your eMail address"…ex., JohnReilly@InternetCrusade.com

3. Enter password

4. Press Authenticate

5. Press Mailing List Button

6. Press Manage owned Mailing List

7. The only one that should show up is YourList-Talk....

8. You can modify the list from there... including adding and deleting names...

9. Don’t subscribe anyone to the list before you post the welcome and deletion letters and have tried them yourself to make sure they 'look' right (formatting). To try them yourself, first un-subscribe yourself and then re-subscribe yourself.
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INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING YOUR MAIL LIST


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1. Turn your browser to http://Mail.InternetCrusade.com:801/

2. Enter your User Name and Password

3. Click ‘Authenticate’ to open Account Management screen

4. Click on ‘Mailing Lists’ in the left frame to open the ‘Mailing Lists Management’ screen

5. Click on ‘Manage Owned Mailing Lists’ to open the ‘Owned Mailing Lists’ screen. Note that there is a Help button for more detailed explanations

6. Click on the name of your Mailing List to open the ‘Mailing List Info Form’ – some of the more important sections are:

The List Limits…. Contact the InternetCrusade if you need to increase the maximum number of subscribers….

The Description Information contains the Welcome Message, which you can change as frequently as you wish – this is the message each new subscriber receives before they receive the next scheduled List Posting….

The Farewell Message tells people that they have been unsubscribed – in some cases, the computer will automatically unsubscribe someone who has bounced back 3 consecutive messages.

When you have completed writing your Welcome or Farewell Messages, be sure to hit the Submit button.

7. Go back to the Owned Mailing List screen and click on the Edit Subscriber List button in order to add and delete subscribers on the List of Subscribers screen. (NOTE: if there will more than 50 subscribers, consider using the Digest rather than the ‘immediate’ mode of delivery). You can subscribe one person at a time or numerous addresses in a string – be sure to hit the Submit button at the bottom. Here you can click the View Current Subscribers command to verify the addresses of those already subscribed. If you accidentally try to subscribe someone who was previously subscribed, you will be notified because the software will not duplicate the subscription.

8. Go back to the Owned Mailing List screen and click on the Moderate Messages button if there is a number in the (x). Click on the button and it will open a screen containing any messages that are waiting. NOTE: When you approve any of these messages, they will be posted to everyone on your subscriber list.
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APPROVING MESSAGES FOR POSTING

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The easiest way to approve messages is via the Web interface at http://mail.internetcrusade.com:801 just like we do for subscribe/unsubscribe. The Web interface is much easier to work with than using the eMail commands.

1. Turn your browser to http://mail.internetcrusade.com:801/

2. Enter your eMail address terrypen@internetcrusade.com

3. Enter your Password for example realtown

4. Click 'Authenticate'

5. Click 'Mailing Lists'

6. Click 'Manage Owned Mailing Lists'

7. Click on 'Moderate Messages'

8. If you don't want to screen the message, select 'approve' and hit 'submit'

9. To screen and possibly edit the message, click on the Subject and it will open the message in an Edit box. Highlight and delete unwanted text (excess quoting, for example), then click Submit; then Approve and Submit.


TIPS FOR MANAGING A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE MAILLIST

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1. When you subscribe someone to your mailing list (also called 'listservs'), they are sent an Introductory Welcome message. Be sure this message sets the tone for how the list will meet its stated mission.

2. If your mailing list is expected to grow past 25 members, consider adding a Digest form. Some subscribers do not care to receive individual pieces of mail as they are posted; rather, they want to have messages accumulate and then be sent in a Digest. This helps to lessen eMail clutter but it does make it more difficult to reply to individual postings within a Digest.

3. With a fully moderated mailing list, you will have to approve each message before posting. Some mailing lists are semi-moderated, meaning that the messages are sent direct to the list by the subscribers without any pre-screening. But the alert List Manager will monitor each posting and send private messages to anyone not following the accepted rules (like posting personal or commercial messages with no significant content for the group). This is why it is so important to announce all rules in advance with your comprehensive Introductory Message.

4. Part of the List Manager's job is to subscribe and unsubscribe.

5. Handling 'bounces' sometimes causes problems. A bounce may occur because the subscriber tries to post a message using a different eMail address than the one subscribed to the list. The software only accepts messages posted to the list from subscribed addresses – this helps reduce the posting of improper messages received from non-subscribers (sometimes called "spam"). Bounces also occur when the message sent exceeds the pre-configured maximum number of characters – frequently caused when a subscriber mistakenly sends a short message but quotes the entire Digest in their reply.

6. You can set the Digest to automatically be sent at a certain time of day; or, you can send a message to create a Digest whenever you want – this could be used when someone posts a very important message and you decide not to wait for enough messages to trigger a regular Digest. One nice feature of the Digest form is that it is easy to store these batched messages. The Digest is set up with a Table of Content outlining the Subjects posted. Certain subscribers prefer the Immediate mail format so they can file messages in particular folders. As List Manager, you should subscribe yourself to both formats.

7. Lists can be created on both a permanent and a temporary basis. A good use for a temporary list is in connection with a Conference – using the discussion list to encourage conversation in advance of the Convention, especially dialogue with proposed speakers, and then as follow-up to issues raised during the conference.

8. A good List Manager will use his or her skills to keep the conversation flowing. This sometimes requires posting questions to generate a topic discussion; monitoring the conversation to make sure everyone is staying on topic; and sometimes privately contacting an expert in the group and encouraging them to join in the discussion. Try to operate as the conductor of an orchestra rather than the lead singer. Your job is to facilitate good online conversation, not to dominate the discussions
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SAMPLE WELCOME LETTER

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The InternetCrusade(tm) Proudly Presents NCARBODTalk@InternetCrusade.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ -

--Welcome to NCARBODTalk,

My Name is Saul Klein (http://www.SaulKlein.com) and I manage some of the most successful real estate "List Servs" (also known as Mail Lists) on the Internet today. President Tommy Lawing asked my company, the InternetCrusade, to set up a number of Mail Lists for the North Carolina Association of REALTORS and NCARBODTalk is the one of those Lists. Your association is one of the first in the country to bring this cost effective and convenient communication vehicle to its leadership (and later to the entire membership).

A Mail List such as NCARBODTalk can be a great digital resource, providing valuable information to you in a convenient and timely manner. It is a great way to start discussions on upcoming Board of Director's Agenda items and to disseminate information in general (change in meeting times, locations, agendas, etc). Usage will increase over time as the Directors become accustomed to communicating in this manner. Give it time to grow...use it when you can...grow into it.

When you send an eMail to the Mail List (NCARBODTalk@InternetCrusade.com), it goes to all the members of the List (all the other Directors and designated Staff).

To respond to an eMail you receive from the List (an eMail from the List is referred to as a "Post"), simply reply as you reply to any eMail message (this varies based on the Browser Software you are using). If any of you have any questions about “Posting”, feel free to eMail me directly at Saul@SaulKlein.com

Mail Lists are a great place to learn about technology and how to use technology in your business and your personal life, as well as help your Association conduct the business of the Association.

I will be "posting" a few more items and then fade away as this is YOUR List. I am here to help if you need me. Below are the guidelines for creating and maintaining a dynamic and vibrant Mail List Community.

Good luck…

Saul

Saul Klein CFP/GRI

President, InternetCrusade http://InternetCrusade.com

Mail List Manager: RealTalk, AETalk, MLSTalk and others

5 Steps To a Winning Web Presence mailto:5Steps@InternetCrusade.com ------------

SAMPLE START CONVERSATION POSTING

The InternetCrusade(tm),

a Network Solutions Premier Partner, proudly presents NSBAR-MemberTalk -----------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for the post Terri.

One of the benefits of a Mail List (List Serv), is the ability to share information, at the push of a button, at the speed of light, for the price of a local phone call.

Anyone else out there?

Saul

Saul Klein

President, InternetCrusade

http://InternetCrusade.com/MediaKit

Terri Murphy posted:

>>One of the best things about a mail list is the great opportunity to exchange great info on How to List and sell in everyday real estate. Some of us need a little direction on how to begin using the new medium and to get our clients and customers to use digital communication, as well as traditional means of communication.
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INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING YOUR PERSONAL E-NEWSLETTER

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1. Turn your browser to http://mail.InternetCrusade.com:801/

2. Enter your User Name and Password

3. Click ‘Authenticate’ to open Account Management screen

4. Click on ‘Mailing Lists’ in the left frame to open the ‘Mailing Lists Management’ screen

5. Click on ‘Manage Owned Mailing Lists’ to open the ‘Owned Mailing Lists’ screen. Note that there is a Help button for more detailed explanations

6. Click on the name of your Mailing List E-Newsletter to open the ‘Mailing List Info Form’ – some of the more important sections are:

--The List Limits…. Contact the InternetCrusade if you need to increase the maximum number of subscribers….

--The Description Information contains the Welcome Message, which you can change as frequently as you wish – this is the message each new subscriber receives before they receive the next scheduled E-Newsletter….

--The Farewell Message tells people that they have been unsubscribed – in some cases, the computer will automatically unsubscribe someone who has bounced back 3 consecutive messages.

--When you have completed writing your Welcome or Farewell Messages, be sure to hit the Submit button.

7. Go back to the Owned Mailing List screen and click on the Edit Subscriber List button in order to add and delete subscribers on the List of Subscribers screen. (NOTE: use the ‘immediate’ mode of delivery). You can subscribe one person at a time or numerous addresses in a string – be sure to hit the Submit button at the bottom. Here you can click the View Current Subscribers command to verify the addresses of those already subscribed. If you accidentally try to subscribe someone who was previously subscribed, you will be notified because the software will not duplicate the subscription.

8. Go back to the Owned Mailing List screen and click on the Moderate Messages button if there is a number in the (x). Click on the button and it will open a screen containing any messages that are waiting. NOTE: Do not approve any of these messages, otherwise they will be posted to everyone on your subscriber list. Copy any information you may want, and then click ‘reject.’

9. Then you are ready to publish your E-Newsletter, send your Newsletter as an eMail message to NameOfYourAccount@InternetCrusade.com

10. Your new letter will then appear as a message to be approved under your Moderate Messages button. Click it open, read it carefully, use the Edit Message Text function if needed, then click Approve and Submit. Within seconds every subscriber on your list will receive your E-Newsletter.

11. It is a good idea to keep an archive file of past issues of your E-Newsletter in case new subscribers want to review past issues.

12. A good way to archive your E-Newsletters is with an AutoResponder.

For information on AutoResponders click here ARInfo@InternetCrusade.com
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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Q: What’s the best way to start off with our group of 100 subscribers?

A:: We suggest you test the system with a beta group of 10. Once you and the group is comfortable, then subscribe the rest.

Q:Do I have to subscribe one at a time?

A: No, the software will take a list of eMail addresses (no names) , commonly one that is copied from an Excel spreadsheet

Q: Doesn’t the Edit function raise questions of censorship?

A: It could. Most times the Moderator will only edit to clean up long messages containing over-quoting of prior messages. Sometimes the edit function is used to block spam or over-commercialized messages not appropriate to the List and in violation of the rules. Naturally, great care must be exercised not to modify someone’s message

Q:Which is better, the Immediate format or the Digest format?

A: It depends on the user, each has their own pros and cons. On a very active listserv, one might receive over 15 messages a day in which case the Digest format might be preferred. We recommend that the List Manager who expects a lot of postings would register new subscribers in the Digest format by default. This selection can easily be switched at a later time.


Mailing Lists – What are They Anyway?

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A mailing list is a group of users who share information on a common topic. Mailing lists allow messages to be distributed to all of the list’s subscribers by submitting a message to a single address. When a message is sent to the list address, it is forwarded to all subscribers of the list, who each receive a copy of the original message.

Mailing lists are similar to bulletin board services (BBS) and the Internet’s USENET newsgroups, except that they use the medium of eMail. A mailing list can be used for something as important as company-wide information distribution, or as trivial as a television sitcom fan club.

A typical application for a mailing list is the creation of an employee list. For example, the MegaHuge, Inc. company might have a mailing list that includes all employees of the company, and which has the address MegaHuge@InternetCrusade.com. All employees of MegaHuge receive messages that are sent to this address.

Mailing lists are administered by one or more list owners, who are responsible for the operation of the list. List owners can set a wide range of subscription and posting policies, and also have the option of moderating all messages submitted to the list.

Privileges and Responsibilities of Ownership

List ownership is an enormous responsibility (as far as eMail mailing list matters are concerned, at least). The Post.Office User’s Guide hinted at the powers wielded over a mailing list by its owner, which include:

· Deciding who can and can’t subscribe to the list

· Adding or removing subscribers

· Approving or rejecting subscription and unsubscription requests

· Deciding who can and can’t post messages to the list

· Approving or rejecting posted messages

· Editing submitted messages before they are posted

· Creating welcome and farewell messages

· Setting the available delivery options

· Setting a schedule for digest deliveries

The List Management Menus

To get to the mailing list manager interface, log in to Post.Office using your special User ID and password at http://Mail.InternetCrusade.com:801/ Initially, you will see the Account Management menu. Click on the menu button at the left labeled Mailing Lists to display the Mailing List Management menu.

Mailing List Management menu

The menu contains four links, as well as a text field and execution button. These links and the forms that they invoke are described in the Post.Office User’s Guide. The menu option that is now important to us is the Manage Owned Mailing Lists link, which displays the Owned Mailing Lists menu.

All of the tasks associated with managing an owned mailing list are accessed through the Owned Mailing Lists menu. Whenever you want to add a subscriber, change a list policy, moderate submitted messages, or do anything else regarding your mailing list, this is where you start.

Owned Mailing Lists menu

The menu displays the addresses of all mailing lists that you own, as well as a short description of each. The list address is a link to a form for setting attributes and policies of the mailing list. Three additional links for each mailing list allow you to access forms for performing other list-related operations: editing the subscriber list, moderating subscription and unsubscription requests, and moderating messages

The Mailing List Information Form

Mailing list attributes are set in the Mailing List Information Form, which is displayed by clicking a list address in the Owned Mailing List menu (described in Chapter 1). Although we’ve tried to keep all of the Post.Office web forms reasonably simple and brief, this particular form is extremely long and is loaded with dozens of fields that can get pretty complicated

eMail Addresses

This section contains a series of eMail addresses associated with the mailing list. These addresses are defined by the Postmaster(InternetCrusade) and cannot be modified by the list owner(you), and are shown on this form just for informational purposes.

List Addresses. These are the addresses to which users will send messages that are posted to the list. Most mailing lists have only one address, but they can have any number of additional addresses, with each address being equally valid for the list.

List Request Addresses. This field contains the address(es) for the administrative eMail account (also known as the request handler) that corresponds to the mailing list. The request account is responsible for sending welcome and farewell messages, sending and receiving verification tokens, and receiving eMail forms and commands for the mailing list.

List Owner Alias Addresses. This field contains addresses that provide aliases for the mailing list owner(s). Any mail sent to an address specified here will be forwarded to all owners of the list, including you. This provides a method for users to contact you as the list owner without knowing your personal eMail address.

List Owners’ Primary eMail Address. This field displays the address of each user who has been given ownership privileges for the mailing list (naturally, this should include you). All list owners have equal authority over the mailing list.

List Limits

Another group of read-only fields, the List Limits section of the Mailing List Information Form shows you the limits that the Postmaster has set on you and your list. These limits include the following:

Maximum Number of subscribers. This limit sets the total number of subscribers your mailing list can have. Once your list reaches this limit, any new subscription attempts – by individual users or by you – will be rejected.

Current Number of subscribers. This information offers a handy comparison between the number of subscribers your list currently has and the maximum number of subscribers allowed for your list, which is shown above.

List Policies

Subscription

These policies allow you to specify how requests for subscription to your list should be handled. You can choose to deny all requests, hold all requests for your approval or rejection, or just open it up and let folks subscribe themselves. We recommend you approve all requests for subscription.

You can set different policies for local users (those with eMail accounts on the Post.Office server at InternetCrusade) and remote users (the rest of the known world), which is useful when mailing lists deal with potentially sensitive information, as in the case of a company’s internal mailing list. For both local and remote users, a drop-down menu on the Mailing List Information Form specifies the policy for the appropriate class of users. The available subscription policies are:

· Open. This mode allows users to immediately subscribe themselves to the list upon request.

· Moderate. This mode accepts the user’s request for subscription, but holds it for the attention of the list owner (i.e., you). You can reject or approve subscription requests in the web interface (or the eMail interface , depending on your moderation policy.

· Closed with Notification. This mode rejects all subscription requests, and notifies you whenever a user unsuccessfully attempts to subscribe.

· Closed without Notification. Same as Closed with Notification, but does not send you a notification for each subscription request.

Posting

Posting is a term used to describe the distribution of a message to the subscribers of a mailing list. The posting of a message is different from the submission of a message, which is when a user sends a message to the mailing list. The posting policies section of the Mailing List Information Form allows you to set rules for how (or if) a submitted message becomes a posted message.

As with subscription policies, there are two different posting policies for two different classes of people. With posting policies, the distinction is made between subscribers (official list members) and non-subscribers (the rest of the known world). The options for these two classes of users are the same as those for subscription:

· Open. This mode immediately accepts submitted messages and posts them to the list.

· Moderate. This mode holds submitted messages for the attention of the list owner (i.e., you). You can view held messages, approve or reject them, and even modify the contents of the message before approving it for posting. Moderation can be done in the web interface or the eMail interface , depending on your moderation policy.

· Closed with Notification. This mode rejects all messages, and notifies you whenever a message is unsuccessfully submitted.

· Closed without Notification. Same as Closed with Notification, but does not send you a notification.

Unsubscription

Unsubscription policies are similar to subscription policies, and include the following options:

· Moderated. Like the options for moderated subscription, this option will refer all unsubscription requests to the list owner for approval or rejection. You can reject or approve unsubscription requests in the web interface or the eMail interface , depending on your moderation policy .

Owner Preferences

The fields in this section of the form allow you to determine how you want to interact with your mailing list. This is where you specify the types of notifications of mailing list activities that you want to receive, as well as the method you’ll be using to moderate the list.

Moderation Policy. If you decide that you want to moderate postings, subscription requests, or unsubscription requests, then this field specifies the method that you will use for that moderation. This one field sets your preference for dealing with all three types of moderation, so whatever you intend to moderate will be handled as you request here.

The available moderation methods are:

· Web and eMail. When this mode is selected, applicants and/or messages will be held for your attention in the Post.Office web interface, and you will be notified each time a new subscription request or message is submitted. You may handle the moderation via eMail commands when you receive the mail, or in the web interface. However, since subscription requests or messages will be held indefinitely for your approval, be aware that selecting this method requires action on your part – ignoring them won’t make them go away.

· Be aware that choosing this mode limits your ability to moderate messages via eMail. Although you will be able to approve or reject postings by submitting eMail commands, you’ll have to go to the web interface if you want to modify the contents of a message before approving it.

Note: Web and eMail is the recommended moderation mode. You should try using this one for awhile before choosing one of the other modes.

Send Daily Statistics. This field controls whether you receive a daily report on the activity of your mailing list. This statistical report is sent daily at around midnight. To receive the daily report, enable the check box for this field.

Delivery

The fields in this section of the form control options for the delivery of postings to your list’s subscribers.

Delivery Modes. This option determines the delivery types available to subscribers. The three choices are: Immediate only, Digest only, and Digest or Immediate.

The immediate mode of delivery is just that: immediate. When messages are posted to the mailing list, they are immediately sent out to all of the list’s subscribers who have selected this delivery mode. This is great for important mailing list postings, such as an announcement to all employees that your company is being sold. However, for more trivial mailing list postings – like the fourteenth message in a debate on whether ferrets or hedgehogs make the better house pet – the immediate mode of delivery is unnecessary, and you may find it annoying to have such messages trickling in one-at-a-time with the rest or your eMail.

Enter the digest mode of delivery. The idea behind the digest mode is that you receive all messages from the mailing list for a certain time period in one great big message. All mailing lists that support the digest mode of delivery have a corresponding digest schedule, which defines the days and times that the digest is sent out. When the appropriate hour comes, all subscribers using this mode of delivery are sent a digest message that includes the contents of all of the messages posted to the list since the previous digest was sent. The most common digest schedule is daily at a specific hour, but the list owner can specify any days of the week, and any hours in the day, for their list’s digest delivery.

Note: The digest mode of delivery does not support attachments, so subscribers who use this mode of delivery cannot receive files attached to messages posted to the mailing lists.

In most cases it is preferable to allow both delivery modes, but you should choose whatever makes the most sense for the type of mailing list you are trying to run.

Digest Delivery Schedule. If you support the digest mode of delivery, use this field to specify a schedule for the distribution of the list’s digest. By default, the digest will be distributed daily at midnight, but you can schedule any number of days and/or hours during the week when you want delivery to take place.

Days of the week are specified in this field by entering the first three letters of the day in all lower-case type (for example, "tue" for Tuesday). Hours are specified as single digits, can include "a.m./p.m." or "am/pm.", and can be given in 12-hour or 24-hour format. Minutes cannot be specified when setting a digest schedule, just days and hours.

For example, each of the following examples specifies a delivery time of Monday at 5:00 p.m.:

mon 5 pm

mon 5 p.m.

mon 17

In addition to specific days, the digest delivery schedule can also be given as daily or weekly. The daily option delivers the digest every day at the specified time, or at midnight if no time is specified. The weekly option delivers the digest each Sunday at midnight, or each Sunday at the specified time. If the delivery schedule is given as a time with no day, the delivery schedule is daily at the given time.

Viewing and Editing the Subscriber List

At some point, you will probably want to add some subscribers to your mailing list. You may also be curious about who is already subscribed to the list. You can carry out such subscriber-related activities via the List of Subscribers Form, which is displayed by clicking on the Edit Subscriber List link for the appropriate mailing list on the Owned Mailing Lists menu.

List of Subscribers Form

To add subscribers, enter an eMail address for each new subscriber in the Subscribers to Add field, and select a delivery method for these subscribers. To remove subscribers, enter the address of each soon-to-be non-subscriber in the Subscribers to Delete field. To commit the changes to your subscriber list, submit the form.

Subscribers added or removed in this manner are exempt from the intermediate steps endured by users who attempt to subscribe or unsubscribe themselves. This means that no verification or moderation will take place for these users, even if the policies for the list include those options. If a list has closed subscription policies, users can still be added to the subscriber list in this form.

Note: If you try to add users to the subscriber list, but doing so would push it over the limit for the maximum number of subscribers that the Postmaster has defined for your mailing list, the operation will fail. Users will still be added to the subscriber list until it is full, so if you attempt to add 50 users but have room for only 35 of them, the first 35 users specified in the Subscribers to Add field will make it.

Viewing Current Subscribers

If your mailing list’s subscribers number 50 or less, they will be displayed at the bottom of the List of Subscribers Form. However, since huge subscriber lists can take a long time to display, Post.Office won’t display them here if there are more than 50 subscribers. In this case, you can view the subscriber list by clicking on the View Current Subscribers link.

View List Subscribers Form The eMail address and delivery mode of each subscriber are given here. Use the A-Z links to search through subsets of subscribers, or click on the All link to view a list of all list subscribers.

To return to the List of Subscribers Form, click on the Edit Current Subscribers link. If you want to go all the way back to the Owned Mailing Lists menu, click the Back link

Bounce Notifications

As with postal mail, a fair amount of electronic mail gets returned to sender because its recipient is no longer at the same address, or because some other delivery problem occurred. When this happens with eMail, the destination mail server will send a "bounce" message to the original sender explaining why delivery was unsuccessful.

Since mailing lists send eMail to large numbers of users, they also tend to generate lots of return bounces from other mail servers. When this happens to your mailing list, the list will forward bounced postings to you for your inspection

Moderating a Mailing List

List owners can moderate certain list-related requests. Moderation means that you get to look at the operation that someone is trying to perform on your list before the system allows it. With messages, for instance, moderation means that you can read the message before approving or rejecting it, and even modify the message before it is posted to the mailing list.

There are three types of moderation available:

· Subscription requests ·

Unsubscription requests ·

Messages

When you moderate these activities, they cannot be successfully completed until you give it your official stamp of approval. This certainly adds to the time required for you to maintain the mailing list, but it gives you complete control, which – depending on the type of mailing list you’re trying to run – can be extremely important.

There are two general moderation methods: through the web interface, or through the eMail interface. You can set a preference for which of these moderation methods that you want to use. Neither interface offers anything not found in the other, but both have their pros and cons, so the one you use is entirely up to you. Try experimenting with both interfaces to find the one suits your mailing list and your preference.

Moderation in the Web Interface

The advantage to using web-based moderation is that you can easily see all of the applicants or messages that are waiting for moderation in one convenient location. The disadvantage is that these requests or postings will remain in permanent limbo until you get around to approving or rejecting them; ignoring them won’t make them go away.

Also, if you set your moderation preference to Web only, you will receive no notification that new applicants or messages have arrived. On the other hand, this means your mailbox won’t be cluttered with list-related mail. Again, you should choose the method that works for you.

When using web forms for moderation, you always start at the Owned Mailing Lists menu, which is displayed when you select Manage Owned Mailing Lists from the Mailing lists Management menu

Owned Mailing Lists menu

Notice the numerals in (parentheses) next to the Applicants to Moderate and Messages to Moderate links. These values indicate the number of applicants and messages that are currently waiting for moderation. This allows you to tell, at a glance, which mailing lists require your administrative attention

Applicants to Moderate Form

This form includes the radio buttons Approve and Reject beneath each would-be subscriber or unsubscriber. Give each request your official thumbs up or thumbs down, and then submit the form to carry out your judgment. Approved users are immediately added to the subscriber list, and will receive your mailing list’s welcome message (if you have specified one). Meanwhile, rejected users are notified (politely) that their request was denied.

If you approve or reject only some of the applicants, the unmoderated leftovers will continue to be held for your future judgment.

Moderating Messages Submitted to the List

To moderate submitted messages in the web interface, click on the Moderate Messages link for the appropriate mailing list on the Owned Mailing Lists menu. This displays the Messages to Moderate Form.

Messages to Moderate Form

For each waiting message, the form displays the subject of the message, the sender, and the radio buttons Approve and Reject. You can give each message your blessing or denial by selecting the appropriate radio button and then submitting the form. As with subscription requests, approving/rejecting only some of the messages causes the remaining submissions to be held for subsequent moderation.

If you want to view the actual contents of a message before deciding on its fate, you can do so by clicking on the subject line of the message, which is a link to a Moderated Message Form. This form allows you to read the message and approve or reject it.

Moderated Message Form

As with the Messages to Moderate Form, you can approve or reject a message in the Moderated Message Form by selecting the appropriate radio button and submitting the form. You can also click on the Edit Message Text link, which invokes yet another form, the Sending the Digest (mkdigest)

The mkdigest command is used to force distribution of the digest of a mailing list. Note that this functionality is not available in the web interface.

To send out your list’s digest, create an eMail message addressed to the Request Address of the list, and in the body of the message, enter the following text:

mkdigest listname yourpassword

Send the request message to force a distribution of the digest, which will be immediately sent to all subscribers using the digest mode (assuming you include your correct password, of course).

Message Text Form. This final message form is used to modify the text of a message before it is posted to the mailing list.
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