Open Source Comes to Campus/Logistics/Mailing Lists

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We like to create staff lists for planning events. We think this is helpful for a number of reasons (having an easily accessible archive, not worrying who you're cc'ing, etc) but requires a tiny bit of work on the part of the moderator.

Logging In[edit]

To log in, go to the listinfo page. At the bottom of the page is a link that says "[Email list name] administrative interface (requires authorization)" - click that. That should bring you to a login page. An OpenHatch organizer should have given you the password via email.

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Settings[edit]

There are a few settings we recommend you change:

1) Change "Where are replies to list messages directed?" from "Poster" to "This list". This means that when someone replies to a list message, it will automatically reply to the whole list - annoying on large, busy lists but useful when coordinating a large event. List members can still respond to individuals only, but they will have to actively change their email headers to do so.

This setting is on the main page:

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2) Change "Maximum length in kilobytes (KB) of a message body. Use 0 for no limit." from "40" to "0". Occasionally on long threads when people aren't deleting the replied to messages this can get over 40kb. While it's nice to encourage people to trim those long reply-to-chains off their emails, in practice this setting just means the moderator has to manually let those emails through. Annoying! So switch it off.

This setting is on the main page:

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3) Change "Action to take for postings from non-members for which no explicit action is defined." from "Hold" to "Accept". Generally there is little to no spam on these lists, so it's okay to automatically allow people mailing to the list to have their emails posted. If this turns into a problem for you, you can change this setting back. (It's still useful for staffers/planners to join the list, though, as they won't see replies to their emails unless responders actively cc them, which people may forget to do. And they won't have access to the archives.)

This setting is on the page "Privacy Options", sub-page "Sender Filters":

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Adding & removing people[edit]

You can add/subscribe new people to the list! To do this, go to page "Membership Management", sub-page "Mass Subscription" and add the emails of people you want to add to the list in the box (one on each line) and submit your changes. It's that easy.

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To remove people, just go to the page "Membership Management", sub-page "Mass Removal". The interface is very similar - just add the email address you want to remove into the box and click submit changes.

You can also go to the page "Membership Management", sub-page "Membership List" and click "Unsub" (all the way on the left).

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Making admins[edit]

To make someone an admin or mod, go back to the "General Options"/main page. The second line prompts "The list administrator email addresses. Multiple administrator addresses, each on separate line is okay." and the third prompts "The list moderator email addresses. Multiple moderator addresses, each on separate line is okay."

Moderators can process held messages, and subscribe and un-subscribe people, but they cannot alter configuration settings. Admins can do anything! We recommend you have at least one additional moderator.

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Processing hold requests[edit]

Despite our best efforts, you may still have to deal with held messages. You will get an email letting you know a message is being held in moderation. Clicking the link on the email will bring you to a screen that looks like this:

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You can then choose to "Defer", "Accept", "Reject" or "Discard" the message. You probably want to accept it. You can also add the sender to a filter so their messages are automatically accepted (if for some reason you expect them to send more, but don't want to add them to the list) or reject/discard (if they're spamming or trolling).