A mailing list is a distribution list allowing a group of subscribers to automatically receive by email all messages sent to the list: every message sent to the list by a subscriber is received by all the other subscribers. When subscribed to a mailing list, it is possible to send messages, to reply to them or to read them without contributing (i.e. to "lurk").
People subscribe to a mailing list (sometimes abbreviated in ML) to be informed about a particular topic and to take part in exchanges about it. Examples are:
There are thousands of mailing lists of all kinds on the Internet: public or private, free or not, with subscription subject to conditions or not, etc. Those lists may have from a dozen up to several thousand members.
According to the way they work, we can distinguish between two types of lists:
Once subscribed to a mailing list service, you can:
A mailing list service involves four types of roles:
It is possible to have several roles at once (for example, you can be an owner and a moderator of a list and be subscribed to several others).
Listmasters are in charge of the management of the mailing list service. Their duties:
List owners and moderators can turn to listmasters when they face a problem not dealt with by the documentation or for any comment. However, in order not to flood listmasters with messages, it is recommended that subscribers rather turn to list owners.
The list owner is generally its creator or, failing him/her, the person who requested the list creation or who became responsible for it. His/her role:
A list can have several owners. However, the 'Privileged' profile is reserved to the list's creator; other owners have a 'Normal' profile, which has fewer prerogatives.
Moderators are appointed by the list owner. They are in charge of controlling the relevancy of the messages sent to the list: after reading them, they choose to accept or to reject them . Moderation occurs before the message is actually sent to subscribers. Rejection of a message is possibly followed by a notice to the sender in order to explain the reason for that rejection.
A list can have one or several moderators; generally, the list owner is also a moderator.
This concerns only moderated lists.
The use of a mailing list service means respecting a number of rules:
If you're a list subscriber:
You can log in on this page (upper right corner). If you haven't logged in before or don't know your password, click New Login // Password Reset (upper left corner). Once logged in, you'll be able to access the email lists to which you're subscribed.
To communicate with the owner of a list, email firstname.lastname@example.org (substituting the name of the list for "listname", of course).
For detailed help in managing your subscriptions, see the Groups Subscribers Guide.
If you're a list administrator:
You can log in on this page (upper right corner). If you haven't logged in before or don't know your password, click New Login // Password Reset (upper left corner). Once logged in, you'll be able to access the email lists you manage.
For detailed help in managing your lists, see the Groups Administrators Guide.
For more background and technical info, the developers of Sympa (the software which powers this service) have provided:
If you want to create a new group:
Do you or your organzation have an Electric Embers Groups account? If so, and you've been designated a list requester, you'll see the Create Group tab in the top menu after logging in. If you're not a list requester, have our contact at your organization get in touch with us and we'll make you one. If you don't have an account, you won't be able to create groups - you'll need to Sign Up for an account.
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