STC Email List Training
How to request, set up and use a Mailman announcement or discussion list
Much of this document shows the defaults. Settings that need to be changed are shown in red. This setup procedure includes how to block untrimmed posts, attachments, messages with "Digest" in the subject, and Out of Office autoreplies.
Request a Mailman list
These steps apply to both discussion and announcement lists.
- Send an email to the Director of Information Systems in the STC Office to ask for the URL to the form to request a new email list.
- Click the link and complete the request form. Select a discussion list for use by all members, or an announcement list if only the leaders of the group will be posting news and announcements.
You will receive a message when the list has been created. It includes the URLs for both your list and its administrative interface, and the address for posting.
Establish the administrators of the Mailman list
- Click the link for the administrative interface.
- Enter the administrative password provided in the email notification that the list has been created.
- Click the Passwords link > In the spaces provided, enter the new administrative password.
- Exit and log in with the new password. Be sure you remember it; there are no reminders for administrative passwords. If you have trouble, contact the list provider.
- On the General Options page, enter the email addresses for the list administrators in the owner field, one address per line.
- Click the Submit button at the bottom of the page.
Select the settings for the Mailman list
In general, leave the settings as they were when the list was new. The settings to leave are recorded here for reference. Changes you should make are shown in red.
When a field requires entering email addresses, enter one email address per line.
If you see a prompt to reload, click the refresh button in your browser. It won't be necessary to reload pages with the value that you are changing if you have only one window open at a time.
Questions are highlighted. Research with the documentation and the list provider is in progress. Your answers are welcome: email@example.com.
owner: email addresses of administrators, one per line
moderator: email addresses of moderators if any; typically blank
description: Enter the description you want to see on http://mailman.stc.org/mailman/listinfo
info: Typically blank
anonymous_list: No (Yes hides the sender and substitutes the list address.)
reply_goes_to_list: Poster ("Reply all" typically goes to the poster and the list, but it depends on the email client.)
reply_to_address: Blank (would be an explicit Reply-to header)
umbrella_list: No (Yes directs password reminders from the user to umbrella_member_suffix.)
send_reminders: Yes (No suppresses the monthly password reminders.)
welcome_msg: Text to add at the beginning of the Welcome message if any. To edit the Welcome message, on the administrative interface click "Edit the public HTML pages and text files." Click "Welcome email text file." Make the changes and save.
Tests have shown that users believe they need to respond to the default Welcome message. You may want to rearrange some of the information and change some punctuation to try to make the message clearer. The Welcome message used by the Central New York chapter is on the Mailman messages page.
send_welcome_message: Yes (No suppresses the Welcome message for new subscribers for an ANNOUNCEMENT list.)
goodbye_msg: Text of the goodbye message. If you enter no text, the goodbye message is blank with the subject line "You have been unsubscribed from the Stc_yourlistname mailing list." You may want to write text to encourage people to stay on the list and select the digest, or to rejoin STC.
send_goodbye_msg: Yes (No suppresses sending a message to those who are unsubscribed or unsubscribe.)
admin_immed_notify: Yes (for administrators and moderators to receive notices of new requests to subscribe).
admin_notify_mchanges: No (for administrators to NOT receive notices of members who subscribe and unsubscribe).
respond_to_post_requests: Yes (to notify a poster when the post is held for approval).
emergency: No (Yes causes all posts to be moderated effective at once.)
new_member_options: NOT SELECTED: Conceal the new member's address; Acknowledge the member's posting; Do not send a copy of a member's own post (metoo). SELECTED: Filter out duplicate messages to list members (if possible).
The subscriber can override any of these on the membership options page. The administrators can override at Membership Management > Membership List.
administrivia: Yes (to filter out posts that seem to be administrative requests).
max_message_size: 15KB (to block untrimmed posts). 40KB is the default.
include_rfc2369_headers: Yes (to include standard headers that improve the user's experience when the headers are supported by the mail reader).
include_list_post_headers: Yes (No for an ANNOUNCEMENT list).
max_days_to_hold: 0 (for no automatic discarding of held messages; otherwise the number of days after which to discard held messages).
In the fields provided enter the new administrator or moderator password > Click Submit.
preferred_language: English (USA)
available_languages: Select the check box next to each language in which you want users to be able to display the list interface. Note: the effect on list performance, for example, speed is not known. We will know the effect when we use the languages.
encode_ascii_prefixes: Never (As needed if you have selected languages in addition to English (USA)).
MEMBERSHIP MANAGEMENT--MEMBERSHIP LIST
In the table listing all the subscribers, the administrators can change settings for each subscriber, unsubscribe one or any number of subscribers, and set all subscribers to be moderated. Refer to the Mailman list training page for instructions on using this table for an ANNOUNCEMENT list.
MEMBERSHIP MANAGEMENT--MASS SUBSCRIPTION
Subscribe these users now or invite them? Subscribe to add the users to the list of subscribers without confirmation. Invite to send an invitation to subscribe to each user, who must then confirm following the instructions in the invitation.
Send welcome messages to new subscribees? Yes (No to suppress the welcome message for an ANNOUNCEMENT list).
Send notifications of new subscriptions to the list owner? No
In the first text box, enter the email address (Firstname Lastname) of each new subscriber, one per line, or Browse to the text file to use. You can also enter the email addresses only.
In the second text box, enter any text to add at the top of the invitation. A default invitation is presented on the Mailman messages page.
MEMBERSHIP MANAGEMENT--MASS REMOVAL
Send unsubscription acknowledgement to the user? No
Send notifications to the list owner? No
In the text box, enter the addresses to unsubscribe or Browse to the text file to use.
Note: To obtain a list of all the subscribers, send a message to the request address for your list with "who password" in the subject, without the quotes. Password is your administrative or moderators' password.
nondigestable: Yes (to allow subscribers to receive mail immediately; No for digest delivery only).
msg_header: Typically blank
msg_footer: The following text:
%(real_name)s mailing list
Which is rendered as:
Stc_yourlistname mailing list
You can add any text you wish; for example, put your group's web address on the next line.
scrub_nondigest: No (to NOT scrub attachments; Yes removes attachments and makes them available via the web interface).
digestable: Yes (to allow subscribers to receive a digest; No for immediate delivery only).
digest_is_default: Regular (for immediate delivery as the default; Digest for digest delivery as the default).
mime_is_default_digest: Plain (for digest delivery in plain text; MIME for digest delivery with each message as an attachment).
digest_size_threshold: 30 KB (to send a digest each time that size is reached).
digest_send_periodic: Yes (to send a digest each day even if the size threshold is not reached).
digest_header: Before replying, please change the Subject to a meaningful one and delete the portions of the message you are not replying to.
digest_footer: The following text:
%(real_name)s mailing list
You can add any text you wish; for example, put your group's web address on the next line.
digest_volume_frequency: Typically Monthly
new_volume: No (Yes to start a new volume immediately).
send_digest_now: No (Yes to send the digest immediately if it is not empty).
PRIVACY OPTIONS--SUBSCRIPTION RULES
advertised: Yes (to include the list in those identified on http://mailman.stc.org/mailman/listinfo).
subscribe_policy: Confirm to send all new subscribers a confirmation; Require approval to send list administrators and moderators a request to approve each subscriber; Confirm and approve to send the confirmation and the request for approval after the subscriber has confirmed.
unsubscribe_policy: No (Yes would require the moderator's approval for unsubscription requests).
ban_list: Typically blank; email addresses banned from subscribing.
private_roster: Anyone to display the subscribers list publicly; List members to allow all members to see the subscribers list; List admin only to allow only administrators to see the list of subscribers.
obscure_addresses: Yes to display addresses of posters in the list archive so the addresses can not be harvested easily.
PRIVACY OPTIONS--SENDER FILTERS
default_member_moderation: No (Yes to have postings moderated by default).
member_moderation_action: Typically Hold to retain a message from a member whose posts are moderated, for approval by a moderator.
member_moderation_notice: Typically blank; would contain the message for member_moderation_action set to Reject.
accept_these_nonmembers: Typically blank
hold_these_nonmembers: Typically blank
reject_these_nonmembers: Typically blank
discard_these_nonmembers: Typically blank
generic_nonmember_action: Accept, Hold (setting for a new list), Reject, or Discard to handle posts from non members.
forward_auto_discards: Yes (No to avoid having the administrators and moderators review discarded messages from non members).
nonmember_rejection_notice: Typically blank; any text replaces the system-generated rejection message.
PRIVACY OPTIONS--RECIPIENT FILTERS
PRIVACY OPTIONS--SPAM FILTERS
header_filter_rules: To filter messages with the word "Digest" in the subject, add a rule with the text subject: .*Digest. To filter most out of office autoreplies, add a rule with the text subject: .*Out of Office. To filter an autoreply with some other text in the subect, add subject: .*string where "string" is the distinguishing text in the autoreply.
bounce_matching_headers: The following text:
# Lines that *start* with a '#' are comments.
The spam filter can be used to enforce the policy of posting in plain text only. The text to enter is posted in the FAQs on python.org.
bounce_unrecognized_ goes_to_list_owner: Yes
archive_private: Public (Private to make the archive available to subscribers only and invisible to search engines)
MAIL <-> NEWS GATEWAYS
nntp_host: Typically blank
linked_newsgroup: Typically blank
autoresponse_postings_text: Typically blank
autoresponse_admin_text: Typically blank
autoresponse_request_text: Typically blank
filter_content: No (Yes to filter according to the settings below. All attachments are blocked by the default pass_mime_types setting shown below. The file formats named refer to email messages that have attachments. This also filters formatting (HTML) out of mail messages to make a clean archive and digest.)
pass_mime_types: Text as follows:
filter_filename_extensions: Text as follows:
filter_action: Discard (other options are Reject, Forward to List Owner, Preserve)
topics: Blank (text boxes)
Convert the membership list, archives, or both from a Lyris list
Contact the STC list provider at the address provided in the email message notifying you of availability of your new list.
If you want to subscribe all the members of your group's Lyris list, you can obtain a list of those members by following the first step in the purge procedure. Paste the list into the text box for addresses (names) in Membership Management -- Mass Subscription.
If you want to subscribe all the members of your group:
- Open the text file of membership data sent by the Office in Excel, using File > Open.
- Follow the wizard to create a spreadsheet. The membership text file is comma-delimited.
- Copy the email list column.
- Paste the column into MS Word.
- On the Table menu, choose Select > Table. Then: Table > Convert > Table to Text. Click OK.
- Save the MS Word file.
- Copy the email addresses and paste them in the text box in Membership Management -- Mass Subscription.
Note: To subscribe members and enter the email address and the name, you must paste the addresses in the following form: address (Firstname Lastname). If you subscribe addresses only, members will be prompted for their names when they confirm.