Managing a List

To List or Not to List

If you need to send mail frequently to a number of people, probably the simplest solution is to set up an address book group in your email client. All of the ITS-supported email clients (Mozilla Thunderbird, Mulberry, Outlook, and Pine) make it very easy to construct such a group that you may create and modify at will. This will allow you to send information to a class of students or other groups of individuals easily; however, it will not allow them to send mail among themselves easily. For more information on setting up an address book in your preferred email program, refer to one of the following ITS documents:

How to Configure Mozilla Thunderbird

Outlook

Pine Pico: Introduction

If, however, your goal is to better facilitate communication back and forth among a group of people–e.g., a class, a committee, or a special interest group–you may wish to set up a list. A list is an email address that distributes mail to all members of a specified group. A list enables members to communicate with or reply to the whole group without typing a lengthy list of email addresses each time.

AUTOMATIC LIST DELETIONS

ITS deletes lists that remain dormant for a period of three (3) months or contain only a single member. In such cases, the list owner is notified and has thirty (30) days to respond to the UNC Listmaster at listmanager@listserv.unc.edu to request that the list be retained.

ITS deletes lists that remain dormant for a period of six (6) months, contain no members, or are being used to promote commercial organizations without any notification. In the last case, the list owner’s Onyen services may also be suspended.

PERFORMING LIST FUNCTIONS

There are several different types of software to manage lists. The software ITS uses to manage lists is called Lyris ListManager from Lyris Technologies, Inc. The facilities and commands described in this document are for managing lists using Lyris. Lyris has a very rich set of commands that allow you to configure your list in many different ways. This document only describes what we feel are the most common and useful commands for managing your lists. If you need additional help on options not mentioned here, you should visit the Lyris Online Documentation at http://www.lyris.com/support/listmanager/ . You can also contact the ITS Service Desk for assistance. We will be glad to discuss your special needs. All of the functions described here can be performed via the Lyris web interface. Some of these functions can also be executed via email, but the web interface offers a great deal of flexibility and power in managing your list. The Lyris web interface tool allows you to set up and administer your list via the Web.

A Word on Privacy

Email sent to a list on the list server is redistributed by the list server software to all of the subscribers on the specific list. Messages sent to a list are as secure as any other email. But unlike an email message that you send to an individual, email sent to a list is sent to many different people. You may not know all the people who are subscribed to the list, and if the list is a public or open list, anyone with email access anywhere in the world can subscribe to the list. It is possible to set up a list that is closed (meaning that the list manager(s) must approve all subscriptions and/or all postings sent to the list), but that does not prevent a member of the list from forwarding mail that they received from the list to whomever they chose. You might want to consider a list to be much like a bulletin board that everyone can see. Also, if your list is set up to archive mail, future subscribers would be able to read past postings. The point is, it is always wise to consider how what you put in an email message will be perceived by the person reading the message. The lack of body language and voice inflection sometimes makes it possible to interpret an email message in many different ways. This is particularly important in email sent to a list because of the large number of people who may read your message. As a list owner, you may want to remind your subscribers of these issues.

Create Your List

Once you decide that you do indeed need to set up a list, you will need to visit the UNC Selfservice website at https://selfservice.unc.edu/ListManager.  You will be prompted for your Onyen and password and click on choose the Admin Tools section, then clic on Create a List .  Note: you cannot create or administer a list without an Onyen. If you don’t have an Onyen and are affiliated with the University, you create one at http://onyen.unc.edu . Note that members of your list do not need to have an Onyen, only a valid internet email address. At the initial Create a List screen you will have to provide the following:

  • List Name: The name should have between three and fifteen characters, all of which should be alphanumeric, or characters that will not interfere with mail handling. See also the UNC List Server Policies for additional info on list names.
  • List Administrator: This will default to your Onyen email address (yourOnyen@email.unc.edu). All lists are required to have at least one administrator with an @email.unc.edu address.
  • Administrator Password: You will need a password to perform the maintenance functions of the list. For security reasons, this password cannot match your Onyen or Onyen password. Make sure it is something you can remember easily.
  • Description: This is how your list will be described on the UNC List Web page, much like a title.
  • Type of List: This is a key point in your list creation. The three options are quite distinct:
    • Open: This is a list where anyone may subscribe and/or post.
    • Closed: This is a list where all subscriptions will require the list administrator’s approval and only list members will be able to post to the list.
    • Course: This is a list an instructor would set up for their class. You must be the official instructor of the course in order to successfully create a course list.

Once you have everything filled out properly, click Next. The following set of instructions will cover the steps for creating a Course, Closed, and Open list respectively.

CREATING A COURSE LIST

After you have filled out the necessary information, selected “Course Mailing List,” and clicked Next, the following page will ask for the Department Name, Course Number, and Section Number of the class you are creating the list for. That’s it! Your list will be created with each enrolled student and instructor added automatically. Once Lyris has finished the creation, you will a receive an email confirmation at your specified admin email address with the name, web address and email address for the list. You will be automatically subscribed to the list and you will have administrative rights. Once your list is ready you can view your list options and make modifications, including adding or removing members. It is a good idea to check to make sure that your course roll was added to the list membership. If addresses from the roll do not appear in the members section, or if your course roll has changed since the list was created, you can submit a Course List Update from the Admin Tools section at https://listserv.unc.edu/lists/ . For more information on your “post-list-creation” options, see Managing Your List below.

CREATING A CLOSED LIST

After you have filled out the necessary information, selected “Closed Mailing List”, and clicked Next, the listserver will begin to create your list. Once Lyris has finished the creation, you will a receive an email confirmation at your specified admin email address with the name, web address and email address for the list. You will be automatically subscribed to the list and you will have administrative rights. Once your list is ready, you can view your list options and make modifications, including adding or removing members. For more information on your “post-list-creation” options see Managing Your List below.

CREATING AN OPEN LIST

After you have filled out the necessary information, selected “Open Mailing List,” and clicked Next on the Create List, Lyris will begin to create your list, unless there was a problem with the information you provided, in which case click the Back button on your browser and fix the incorrect information. Once Lyris has finished the creation, you will receive an email confirmation at your specified admin email address with the name, web address and email address for the list. You will be automatically subscribed to the list and you will have administrative rights. Once your list is ready, you can view your list options and make modifications, including adding or removing members. For more information on the “post-list-creation” options see Managing Your List below.

TO SUBSCRIBE

To subscribe to a list, either go to the UNC Lyris page, click the Visit button, select the list you want to join, and click Join. On the next screen you’ll be asked to provide some information. If this list is closed, or private, you will have to submit the request for subscription. You may also subscribe via email by sending a message to listmanager@listserv.unc.edu. Leave the Subject: line blank. In the Body: of the message, type subscribe listname your name. For example: subscribe mylist John Doe

Managing Your List

If your list is open and unmoderated, your duties as a list owner are minimal. You maintain a list by sending commands via the Lyris pages or via email commands to Lyris (listmanager@listserv.unc.edu). In this document we will focus on the Lyris web interface because it offers a much more flexible and powerful tool than does interacting with Lyris via email. However, you can execute some list administrator commands via email, though not all, and they are listed at the end of this document.

Accessing Your List

Go to the UNC Lyris website at https://listserv.unc.edu/lists/ and click the Manage button. You will be prompted to enter a username and password. Enter your admin email address and corresponding list password for the list that you want to manage, and click OK to enter the Lyris administrator interface. You will be automatically logged into one of the lists that you manage. To choose another list, click on the name of the current list in the Current List Field, and you will get a list of lists that you manage with the address and password that you logged in with. If you would like to get to other lists that you manage that you do not see in this list, click on your email address in the Logged In field and then choose to Login as a different user. You can then login with the appropriate email address and password for the list you want to access. You may want to consider using the same email address and password for all lists that you manage so that they all appear under one login.

LIST ADMINISTRATOR OPTIONS

The following screen has several options to choose from. To access the list administrator options click the Utilities tab and you will be presented with several options:

  • List Settings: Choose this option to view and/or modify the settings for your list. Major topic areas here include:
    • List Information and Documents: Here you can modify the values for List name, description, enable archives, set documents (hello, goodbye, confirm, and held), control subscription/delivery reports, and enable the child list feature
    • List Security and Membership Confirmations: This is where you can set subscription/unsubscription confirmations, change the security of the list (Open, Closed, Private, Password), and set a global list password.
    • Email Posting Settings and Moderation: Here you can set custom headers and footers for message bodies, set list mail submission security (admin send, reject email submissions, require password in message body), turn on/off and control moderation, set custom email header options (From:, To:, Reply To:)
    • Automatic Maintenance: This is where you can set the properties for error mail and the holding/purging of bad addresses. Archive purging settings are here as well.
    • Users Web Interface: Here you can set whether the list is hidden, if non-members can read messages through the web forum interface, make the list available as a newsgroup, set new subscriber requirements, and set a WWW URL and graphic for the list.
    • Message Rejection and Advanced Settings: This is where you can set digest headers and footers, control anonymous and non-member postings, control membership listing access, control actions for cross-posted and duplicate messages, and other posting rules.
    • For Programmers: Advanced programming options, for Pro Version users (which we do not have).
    • Map of all Settings: Having trouble finding a particular option? You may be able to find it easier here.

The constraints of this document are such that we don’t have time to go into each available option, but we do recommend that you consult the Lyris (http://www.lyris.com/help/lm_help/10.2/ ) helppages if you have a specific question. (For most options there is a “help” link specific to each, as in the example below.)

  • Members: This is where you can add, remove, and modify members of your list. Modifications you could make to members include granting or revoking administrative privileges, setting passwords, and switching to and from digest modes. For more information on adding members to your list, see Adding/Removing Addresses to/from Your List below.
  • List Documents: This is where you can create, edit, or delete documents unique to your list. Documents can include a “hello” document sent to new list members and a “goodbye” document sent to departing listmembers.
  • Mail Queues:
    • Incoming Messages: Here you can review all messages and email commands sent to the list.
    • Outgoing Messages: Here you can review all messages sent from the list address. You can filter, sort, and display the outgoing mail so that you can find the specific message(s) you’re looking for.
  • Autoresponders: Here you can set up autoresponder messages for your list.
  • Administration: This is another place where you can add and edit list admins. You can also do this through the Members section refereced above.
  • Other: Here you can define action phrases for message content filtering, create subscribe and unsubscribe forms, change your current login status, and some other features.
  • About: There is info here about the Lyris ListManager product.

LYRIS HELP

When you enter one of the above administrator options note that there is a help (?) link on the screen. If you click this link, it will take you to a page with some information specific to the page from which you clicked help.

Adding/Removing Addresses to/from Your List

The beauty of using the listserver is that it allows people to subscribe and unsubscribe to a list themselves. The list owner can be involved as much as they choose to be, but even if the list is open, people will sometimes ask the list owner to help them subscribe. We advise all list owners of open lists to encourage people to subscribe and unsubscribe themselves so they will learn how to use the list (refer them to the ITS document Subscribing to a List ). When the list owner needs to intervene they can subscribe the person to the list from the Lyris web interface or via email commands.

GETTING TO THE EDIT MEMBERS UTILITY

  1. Click the Manage button from the UNC Lyris homepage ( https://selfservice.unc.edu/ListManager ).
  2. When prompted, enter your list admin email address and password.
  3. See if the value is set to be the list you want to manage. If it is not, click that listname for a list of other lists that you administer, and choose the appropriate list.
  4. Click the Utilities tab, and choose Members.

REMOVING MEMBER ADDRESSES FROM THE LIST

To delete a member, find their address listing in the list, and click the delete option that corresponds to that address. If you want to delete multiple members at once, pull down the drop-down list at the top of the member listing and choose Delete Many Members and click the Go button. You can then enter in a large group of addresses to delete, each on a new line. You can also choose the Delete all in this View option from the drop-down menu to delete all members that are currently displayed on your screen. Always make sure to not delete your own address from the list!

ADDING ONE OR MORE MEMBER ADDRESSES TO THE LIST

To add a single list member click the Create New Member button and enter the necessary information. To add a group of members click the Create Many Members from the drop-down list and paste their addresses into the available window. Make sure that the list includes at least a valid email address for each entry, and if you’d like, the name of the member, separated by at least a space. Something like this, for instance:

  • Jeff Something jsomething@email.unc.edu
  • Bob Somewhere bsomewhere@email.unc.edu
  • Joe Somewhere jsomewhere@email.unc.edu
  • Remember to click Save at the bottom of the screen to finalize your changes.

Moderating a List

Moderating a list means that you oversee which messages actually get posted to the list. Every message sent to the list is first routed to your email address for your approval. Moderated mailing lists are set up using the Lyris web interface. Lists are typically set up this way to prevent unsolicited mail from being delivered to all subscribers. You will be acting as a email filter for the list members.

MAKING YOUR LIST A MODERATED ONE

First you need to enter the Edit Mailing List page:

  1. Click the Manage button from the UNC Lyris homepage ( https://selfservice.unc.edu/ListManager/Default.aspx ).
  2. When prompted, enter your list admin email address and password.
  3. See if the Current list value is set to be the list you want to manage. If it is not, click that listname for a list of other lists that you administer and choose the appropriate list.
  4. Click the Utilities tab, choose List Settings, then Email Submitted Content, and finally the Approval tab.

ACTIVATING MODERATION

Under Lyris you have three types of moderation:

  1. Not moderated no messages ever need approval
  2. Moderated all messages require approval
  3. Number Moderated members have a set number of postings moderated

APPROVAL NUMBERS (APPROVAL # FOR NUMBER MODERATED)

If you set your list as “Not Moderated” the approval numbers should be set at “0 No approvals needed.” If your list is set as “Moderated” your approval should be set at “Always Needs Approval.” If your list is set as “Number Moderated” you will need to specify the number of messages new members will need approved before they will no longer be moderated (options range from 1 message to 100). You can also set an approval number for a specific list member on the Members page.

YOU GO ON VACATION, BUT THE LIST STAYS AT WORK

If your list is moderated, you should make plans for when you’re not around to maintain the list. One option is to send a message to the list announcing that the list will “close up shop” until you return. But if you want the list to continue in your absence (and most people do), you have a few options. Let the mail pile up, or change the list to unmoderated, or find someone else to be the temporary moderator.

ASSIGNING A SUBSTITUTE MODERATOR

  1. Go to the Members page of your list (login in to your list, click Utilities, click Members).
  2. Once on the members page, locate the list member you want to be your temporary moderator and click on the address to get to the Edit Member section.
  3. Click the List Admin tab and set Receive moderation notifications to yes.
  4. Click Save at the bottom of the screen.

Further Resources for List Owners

Remember that this document does not cover all of the options available to List Owners in the Lyris system. The options are simply too extensive for this format. The Lyris help web pages at http://www.lyris.com/help/lm_help/10.2/ are a great resource for List Owners. There you’ll find a thousand pages of help information on list options. ITS has also provided a FAQ at https://listserv.unc.edu/lists/?reason=faq .