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Office of the CIO ‣ OSU OCIO Mailman Listserv Services

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Welcome to OSU Mailman Listserv Services

OSU Mailman Listserv services provide an effective method for communicating to many people via email. Faculty, students, staff and other OSU affiliates can request a listserv for University business, research, or academic purposes.

If you are new to OCIO list management or Mailman, this page is for you. It outlines those things you should know in order to get started.

Requesting a new Mailman List:

To request a new Mailman List - go here -> http://8help.osu.edu/forms/listserv.html

Review a List's Configuration:

Once your list has been created, you can see exactly how it's configured, that is, see just how it is set up, and what options are avialable to you. To review your list's configuration settings, go to

https://lists.service.ohio-state.edu/mailman/admin/[listname]

where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list. For example, if the name of your list is it_staff_krc, you would go to

http://lists.service.ohio-state.edu/mailman/admin/it_staff_krc

Log in with your list password, given to you at time of creation. Your account information was sent to you via email when your list was created. If you are not certain what your account information is or have any questions you can contact the OCIO Help Desk at 688-HELP or send email to 8help@osu.edu. Once you are logged on to the administration site for your list, you should see the following configuration categories:

  • General Options
  • Passwords
  • Membership Management
  • Non-Digest Options
  • Digest Options
  • Privacy Options
  • Bounce Processing
  • Archiving Options
  • Mail to News Gateways
  • Auto-Responder
  • Content Filtering
  • Topics

In addition, there are also some sub-categories for Membership Management and Privacy Options that can be accessed when you enter each of those categories. Browse through each of the available configuration screens to become familiar with the configuration options.

Click on each option in the Mailman Management tool for more information. You will need to be logged in as a list owner to see this information.

Prepare the List for Use

Once you have familiarized yourself with your list's configuration and options, you will want to set up an info file, welcome message, and goodbye message. All of these options can be found in the General Options section of the administration pages.

Info file
The info file should be a brief introductory description about the list. It will be included at the top of your list's listinfo page at https://lists.service.ohio-state.edu/mailman/listinfo/listname ( where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list).
Welcome message
The welcome message will be added to the generic welcome message from Mailman and will be sent to all new subscribers if you choose that option. See the welcome_msg and send_welcome_msg settings.
Goodbye message
The goodbye message is similar to the welcome message except that, as its name implies, it is sent to subscribers who are leaving the list. See the goodbye_msg and send_goodbye_msg settings.

Subscribe Yourself

When you establish a Mailman list, you are not automatically added as a subscriber. This means that you must subscribe yourself if you want to receive messages that are posted to the list. To add yourself to your list, go to the Membership Management section of your list's administration pages and choose the Mass Subscription category. Now is a good time to test your welcome message so make sure that the "Send welcome messages to new subscribers" option is marked "Yes" and put your address in the box. If you are just subscribing yourself, you probably don't need to send a notification of the new subscription to the list owner so you can mark that option "No". When finished, don't forget to click on the "Submit Your Changes" button at the bottom.

Of course, you do not need to subscribe yourself to your list if you do not want to. Keep in mind, however, that some lists are configured to only allow subscribers to post messages. If you are an owner of such a list and do not subscribe yourself, your posts will not be accepted by the list.

Adding and Deleting Subscribers

Adding subscribers

  1. Log in to the list's adminstration page at https://lists.service.ohio-state.edu/mailman/listinfo/listname (where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list).
  2. Go to the Membership Management section.
  3. Go to Mass Subscriptions.
  4. Select the option of subscribing addresses or inviting them to subscribe.
  5. Choose whether or not to send notifications of new subscriptions to the list owner.
  6. After choosing your preferred options, enter the email addresses (one per line) in the box provided. If you want to include a name with each address, make sure each line is in the following format:
  7. name "<"email_address">"

    Note: Don't forget to include the brackets around the email addresses. For example:

    Jane User "<"janeuser"@"osu.edu">"

    You can also choose to upload a file that contains your subscribers. The file must be plain text. The names and email addresses should be in the same format specified above.

  8. If you want to include additional text to be added to the top of your invitation or the subscription notification (welcome message), include it in the box provided. The text will be added above any custom text specified in the welcome_msg setting under General Options.
  9. When finished, click the "Submit Your Changes" button.

Deleting subscribers

To remove one or more addresses from your list:

  1. Log in to the list's adminstration page at https://lists.service.ohio-state.edu/mailman/listinfo/listname (where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list).
  2. Go to the Membership Management section.
  3. Click in the box in the first column (the "unsub" column) next to the address of each subscriber you want to delete.
  4. When finished, click the "Submit Your Changes" button.

OR

  1. Log in to the list's adminstration page at https://lists.service.ohio-state.edu/mailman/listinfo/listname (where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list)
  2. Go to the Membership Management section and then to the sub-category Mass Removal.
  3. Choose whether or not to send acknowledgement of the removal to the user being removed.
  4. Choose whether or not to send a notification of the removal to the list owner.
  5. Enter the email addresses you want to remove (one per line) in the box.
  6. When finished, click the "Submit Your Changes" button.

Dealing with Problem Subscribers

It is possible that someday a person will use your list inappropriately by sending irrelevant messages, large numbers of messages, or demeaning messages. Often the problem will solve itself if you can wait long enough. However, if the problem is serious enough or continues long enough, you might have to take action.

You have several options:

  • Post a statement of appropriate use and conduct to the list.
  • Unsubscribe the offending user (see the Deleting subscribers section above). If your list is set up so that only people who are subscribed to the list can post messages to it, this method will effectively exclude them from the list. [Note: If your list is set up to allow open subscriptions, the person could simply resubscribe.]
  • Add the person's email address to the list of addresses which are banned from membership on your list.

To ban someone from your list:

  1. Log in to the list's adminstration page at https://lists.service.ohio-state.edu/mailman/listinfo/listname (where listname is replaced with the actual name of your list).
  2. From the list of configuration categories, select privacy Options.
  3. Add the offending user's email address to the ban_list setting.
  4. When finished, click the "Submit Your Changes" button.

Deleting Your List

If you decide that you no longer need your Mailman list call 8help, at 688-help, or send email to 8help@osu.edu.

You're Set!

Once you've done the above, you're set! The only times you'll really need to be active as a list owner are:

  • If your list is a private or moderated list.
  • If and when you receive error messages.
  • If you have a problem subscriber or spammer.
  • Adding and deleting subscribers.

Enjoy your list!