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Email List: FAQ

Email List Administrator FAQ

Responsibilities of a list administrator/owner

Sending address for mailing lists

List passwords

Subscribing an address or a list of addresses

Inviting potential subscribers to join the list


Unsubscribe an address or a list of addresses

Restricting sending privilege to specific subscribers

Changing your list from an 'open sending' to a 'restricted sending' list

Setting up your list so that all future subscribers will not be allowed to post messages

Bounced messages

Managing addresses that continually bounce

Admin e-mail messages that are sent to you about pending messages

Viewing the entire list of subscribers

Allowable message and attachment size

Hiding the sender of the list

Disabled and unsubscribed addresses

Making your list "anonymous"

Responsibilities of a list administrator/owner You should have been provided with an administrator password. Using the administration web site at: http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/mailman/admin/<yourlistname> (substituting your actual list name for 'yourlistname'), you can perform various list maintenance functions. These include subscribing and unsubscribing addresses, changing sending permissions, changing list information, etc.

As the list administrator, you will receive automated messages when there is a task that you need to take care of. These may include someone trying to subscribe to the list or a subscriber who doesn't have sending privilege, or a non-subscriber trying to post a message to the list. In these cases, you will receive an e-mail alerting you that you must do something. Log on to the Adm. page and follow the instructions. Usually, this will require you to either 'reject' or 'discard' a message or request. If you 'reject' it, you can type an explanation in the box below. If you 'discard' it, the message will not be posted to the list. If you 'approve' it, the message will be forwarded on to the list. As the list administrator, you can decide what will happen to this pending message. If you don't act, you will continue to receive alerts.

Sending address for your mailing list
The address to send your messages to is <yourlistname>@listsmart.osl.state.or.us, substituting your actual list name for 'yourlistname'.

Passwords for mailing lists
As a administrator/owner, you should have received an e-mail with an administrator password and some information about maintaining your list. Use this password for all administrative tasks, like unsubscribing addresses, changing sending privilege, changing list information, etc. Even though you are the list administrator, you must also be subscribed to the list if you want to post messages. You will also receive a subscriber e-mail with your user password and information about the list. All your subscribers will receive this message as well. Use this password for maintaining your own user account. This password will not work for administrative tasks.

Subscribing an address or a list of addresses
Log on to the administrative web page as described above. Select 'Configuration Categories', 'Membership Management', 'Mass Subscription'. Scroll down to the large box that says 'Enter one address per line below'. Type or paste an address or addresses in the box. You should include only the e-mail address, no names or other information. The format should be something like name@wherever.com. You can also go to the box labeled '...or specify a file to upload' and browse to a text file with your addresses. Again, the addresses must be in the format described above, one per line, in text format. If you have your addresses in a word processing format, be sure to save the list as "text only" before you import it.

If you need to add other identifying information, like agency or division, you need to use a slightly different format. Here is an example: John Smith - District #25 <john.l.smith@wherever.com>.

Inviting potential subscribers to join the list
An individual can subscribe either by email or via the list web page. To subscribe by email, they should send a message to 'yourlistname-request@listsmart.osl.state.or.us', substituting the actual list name for 'yourlistname'. The message should be 'subscribe'.

To subscribe via the list web page, they should go to http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/mailman/listinfo/<yourlistname>, substituting the actual listname for 'yourlistname'. From there, they can subscribe and unsubscribe, as well as take other action on their account. For some of these actions, their list password is required, which they are sent when subscribed. They can receive a password reminder from this page.

Unsubscribing an address or a list of addresses
Log on to the administrative web page as described above. To unsubscribe an individual address, under 'Configuration Categories', select 'Membership Management', 'Membership List'. Scroll to the address that you want to unsubscribe To the left of the address is a box in a column labeled 'unsub'. Check the box and click 'Submit Your Changes'. To unsubscribe a group of addresses, Select 'Configuration Categories', 'Membership Management', 'Mass Removal'. Scroll down to the large box that says 'Enter one address per line below'. Type or paste an address or addresses into the box. Be sure the address or addresses exactly match the addresses in the address list. You can also go to the box labeled '...or specify a file to upload' and browse to a text file with your addresses. Again, the addresses must be in the format described above, one per line, in text format. If you have your addresses in a word processing format, be sure to save the list as "text only" before you import it.

Restricting sending privileges to specific subscribers
Sending privilege are set in the list administration page http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/mailman/admin/<yourlistname>. Log on to that page, utilizing your list administration password. Under 'Configuration Categories', select 'Membership Management'. Scroll down to the list of subscribers. To the right of each address is a box under a column labelled 'mod' (moderation). If there is a check in the box next to a subscriber's address, that subscriber is not permitted to send messages. If you want that subscriber to be able to send messages to the list, remove the check and click 'Submit Your Changes'.

Changing your list from an 'open sending' list to a 'restricted sending' list
Log on to the administration page as described above. Under 'Configuration Categories', select 'Membership Management'. Scroll down to the list of subscribers. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. If the item that says 'Set everyone's moderation bit, including those members not currently visible' is checked 'No', change it to 'Yes' and click 'Submit Your Changes'. You will then have to reset the sending privileges as described in the previous item.

Setting up your list so that all future subscribers will not be allowed to post
Log on to the administration page as described above. Under 'Configuration Categories', select 'Privacy Options/Sender Filters'. Scroll down to 'By default, should new list member postings be moderated?'. Check 'Yes'. If you would like subscribers who are not permitted to post to get an explanation when their posting is rejected, go to 'Action to take when a moderated member posts to the list' and select 'Reject'. In the box below, type a generic explanation why the posting is being rejected, such as 'This list is for announcements only from approved senders'. Then click 'Submit Your Changes'.

A valid subscriber has sent a message to the list and it has been 'bounced' to me, the list adminstrator, for approval. Why?
It is possible the person is not subscribed. Check the subscriber list. If you are the sender, be sure that your name is in the subscriber list. Sometimes owners think that they have sending priviliges simply because they are the owner. Not true.

Another reason for a message being held for approval is that the actual sending address and the subscribed address are not exactly the same. Either your email address changed since you subscribed or your address was not set up correctly in the beginning. An example is if your mail program sees you as joe.q.public@das.state.or.us and you are subscribed as joe.q.public@state.or.us. If this is the case, you can go in and modify your or another subscriber's address. Sometimes, you must contact the ListSmart support team to troubleshoot this problem.

Managing addresses that continually bounce
The mailing list system is your friend. It uses a bounces scoring system to manage subscriber addresses. If a message is sent to the list and an address is bad, or their local mail server is misbehaving, or the state mail system is misbehaving, it will bounce and give the address a bounce score of 1. Each time a list message fails to reach that address, the bounce score will increase to a maximum of 5. Eventually, the address will be disabled and that will be obvious in the subscriber list on the administration interface. After a specific number of days of being disabled, the address will be unsubscribed. If the list owner has the list set up to receive notices of unsubscriptions, those addresses unsubscribed because of too many bounces will generate a message to the list owner. If the list owner gets a batch of disabled addresses or unsubscribed addresses at one time, it means that all those addresses reached the bounce quotas.

You can modify the bounce settings on the administration page to better accomodate your list. It is not recommended that you turn off bounce processing. You can read more about bounce processing settings

Admin e-mail messages that are sent to you about pending requests
There are various reasons why you receive these messages. In all cases, they are meant to alert you that you need to take action. One scenario is that the list is restricted for sending. A restricted subscriber attempt to send a message to the list. To take care of this, click on the administrative link in the e-mail alert and log on with your password. The resulting web page will show the message that was sent. Click on the number link of the message to show all the options. You have several choices: Approve, Reject, Discard. If you want the message to be sent to the list, check 'Approve' and click on 'Submit Your Changes'. If you don't want the message to go to the list, but want to send the person a note, check 'Reject' and type a message in the box and click on 'Submit Your Changes'. This is most useful when you think the person is a subscriber, but either they are approved to post and their e-mail address has changed or they are not approved to post. If you want to just Discard the message, check 'Discard' and click 'Submit Your Changes'. This is most useful when you receive a post from a non-subscriber and you don't want to send it to the list. This could be a 'spam' message that is being sent out to random lists and addresses.

Viewing the entire list of subscribers
There are several ways to do this on the web. You can contact the mailing list support team to request that the list admin page display more subscribers. You can go to the list information page at: http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/mailman/listinfo/<yourlistname>, scroll to the bottom and enter your admin email address and password. Submit the request and the list of subscribers will be displayed.

You can also get a text list of all subscribers by email. Send an email message to mylistname-request@listsmart.osl.state.or.us, where mylistname is the name of your mailing list. In the body of the message type:
who mylistpassword, where mylistpassword is the admin password for your list.

Disabled or unsubscribed addresses
Periodically, you will receive messages indicating that an address had a 'bounce' recorded and possibly, the account has been disabled. The system keeps a 'bounce' score for each address and after a specific number of 'bounces', the address will be disabled, and eventually unsubscribed. You may receive a message indicating that a batch of addresses have been disabled or unsubscribed. This is is normal behavior for the system, indicating that, for whatever reason, the address(es) is truly bad. You can try to figure out why the address is bouncing before it is disabled or unsubscribed, or you can just let the system do it's job.

Allowable size for messages and attachments
Mailing lists are not intended for the distribution of large files. Each list is allowed 200K by default for messages and attachments. It is possible to increase the allowable size, but we discourage you from setting it too high. The system must accommodate many hundreds of lists and over 250,000 subscribers. There is also a maximum limit of 1 MB by our mail server, which will prevent runaway processes or large files being sent through the system. The State mail server also has it's own limits on message size.

If you have large files to distribute, we suggest that you post them to a web site and then send a message to your list with a link to the document.

Hiding the sender of the message with the name of the list
In the General Options of the list administration page, you can change the appearance of the From: address in your outgoing list message. If you choose to use this, the sender's address will be replaced by the the text in General Options: 'A terse phrase identifying this list', followed by the list address. For example, if your list is named XList, and the 'Terse phrase' field is "This is the XList", the From field would look something like this:
From: "This is the XList" XList@listsmart.osl.state.or.us. If you don't want to include the 'Terse phrase' in the From: field, delete it in General Options. The Terse phrase is also used in the list description in the public list of all lists. If you don't care about publicizing this information or you have chosen not to advertise your list publicly, you can delete this information in good faith.

Note: If you are using Microsoft Outlook, the From: field may take this format:
test7-bounces@listsmart.osl.state.or.us on behalf of
Terse Phrase that you entered [XList@listsmart.osl.state.or.us]

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