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Mailing List Management

Regardless of how you create a mailing list, there are a large number of options that you can configure by using the website. These options are broken up into 13 configuration categories as well as 4 nonconfiguration administrative tasks. For the most part, Mailman’s developers did an excellent job of making each of the configuration options very easy to use. Each option is listed as a question in plain language, and there are detail links for each that explain features further. Following is an overview of each of the configuration categories with notes about some specific features:

  • General Options: This page enables you to set a variety of options, including setting the public name and description of a list; adjusting the administrator and moderator email addresses; setting a subject prefix that will be added to any messages sent through the list; determining how to handle recipients and reply to headers; creating a welcome email; and setting options for how subscriptions and list moderation are handled.
  • Passwords: This page enables you to change the administrative password of a list as well as to the moderator password (if a list is being moderated by users other than the list administrator).
  • Language Options: This page enables you to change the default language and supported languages of the list.
  • Membership Management: This page enables you to see the current list subscribers and their subscription options. You can edit the options of any list member and also remove or add members from this page. This page also includes links to pages for adding or removing large numbers of users more easily. This page does give you more options than managing subscriptions using Server Admin.
  • Non-Digest Option: This page enables you to designate whether a digest version of the list is available to subscribers. It also enables you to add header and footer text that is placed in the body of the email above and/or below each message.
  • Digest Options: This page enables you to set the options for a digest version of the list. A digest is an email containing all the messages sent to the list within a set time period or whenever the messages reach a certain file size. You can set the file size threshold or the digest interval from this page as well as determine whether the digest version is the default subscription type. You can also specify header and footer text for the body of the digest emails.
  • Privacy Options: This page serves a few different functions. First, it enables you to designate whether the list is a public list that will be shown on the Mailman website. It offers you the options of requiring administrator approval when users subscribe or unsubscribe. You can set the list to send a confirmation email to users when they subscribe. There is also the option to add email addresses to a ban list (users cannot subscribe with those addresses). Finally, you can set whether the list’s member names and/or email addresses can be viewed and who can view them (anyone, list members, or administrators only). There are also links to pages to set up filters to screen content sent to the list as well as to set up spam filters for the list.
  • Bounce Processing: This page enables you to configure how the list will respond when an email sent to one or more addresses is returned as undeliverable.
  • Archiving Options: This page enables you to configure web-based archives of the discussions that take part on the list.
  • Mail-News Gateways: This page enables you to configure integration of the list with an Internet newsgroup.
  • Auto-responder: This page enables you to configure automatic replies when messages of specific types are sent to the list.
  • Content Filtering: This page’s name is a bit of a misnomer. Instead of filtering the text of a message, it enables you to determine how message with attachments are handled by the list. It also enables you to determine how HTML messages are handled.
  • Topics: This page offers you the ability to filter messages based on keywords. The intention is to offer a way other than full-blown list moderation to keep discussion on topic for the purpose of the list.

There are also links on the administration pages categorized as Other Administrative Activities. They include links to act as a moderator of the list, to view the list’s public information page, to go to the list archives (if archiving is enabled), and to edit the HTML of the list’s public pages.

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