Majordomo Mailing Lists

Introduction

Creating Mailing Lists 

Modifying your List Subscribers

Welcome Message / Information File 

Configuring your list setup

Understanding Bounced Messages

Approving Messages on a Moderated list

Sample Majordomo Commands

 

 

 

Introduction and General Information

 

The Majordomo mailing list program was designed to allow discussion between multiple email accounts. The general idea is that when one member of a mailing list sends mail to the mailing list, that email message gets distributed to all of the members of the mailing lists. Then, if another member replies to the message posted to the list, this reply would get emailed to all of the members of the list as well.

 

For Majordomo mailing lists, there are two addresses that list subscribers use to communicate with the list. The first, majordomo@datarealm.com, is used for all mailing lists. This is the address that is used when someone is trying to send commands, such as subscribe or unsubscribe, to the mailing list.

 

The second email address is the list address. By default, this address is listname@datarealm.com (where "listname" is the name of your mailing list). This is the address used to post messages to the mailing list. You can set up Email Aliases at your domain name to forward to the list address if you would like the list address to have your domain name on it.

 

 

 

Creating a Mailing List

 

To create a mailing list:

 

1) Connect to your account control panel at: http://www.example.com/admin

 

2) Click the Email tab at the top of the page

 

3) Click the Mailing List item from the Email submenu on the menu on the left side of the page.

 

4) Click the gray bar which reads Add Majordomo Mailing List to your account. If you are already using all of the lists allotted to you, you will be presented with a 'Your are currently using all of your mailing lists' message asking if you want to purchase an additional mailing list. If you don't want to purchase a mailing list at this time, click Cancel.

 

5) On the Add Mailing Lists page you will be presented with a basic form:

 

List Name - Choose the name of your email list. While you can choose any name you wish, we recommend that you give the list a name that describes it's us (eg: phila-architecture).

 

List Owner - The list owner address is an email address that will receive all confirmation messages from majordomo. The list owner address is also the address from which majordomo administrative requests need to be sent from.

 

6) Click the Create List(s) submit button at the bottom of the page, and your list will be created.

 

 

 

Modifying List Subscribers

 

To manage the email addresses in your list:

 

1) Connect to your account control panel at: http://www.example.com/admin

 

2) Click the Email tab at the top of the page

 

3) Click the Mailing List item from the Email submenu on the menu on the left side of the page.

 

4) Click the Edit Subscribers link under the listname that you wish to work with.

 

5) On the following page, add or remove email addresses (one per line) as you need. For instance:

 

one@example.com

two@example.com

three@example.com

 

6) Click the Update Subscriber List submit button at the bottom of the page, and your list will be updated. Confirmation of this procedure will be emailed to address specified in the text box to the right of the submit button.

 

 

 

Welcome Message and Information File

 

You have the option with a mailing list to create a "welcome message" (also known as the Info File) that will be sent to people when they sign up for the list. To manage this message:

 

1) Connect to your account control panel at: http://www.example.com/admin

 

2) Click the Email tab at the top of the page

 

3) Click the Mailing List item from the Email submenu on the menu on the left side of the page.

 

4) Click the Edit Welcome Message / Info File link under the listname that you wish to work with.

 

5) On the following page, set up the message. Typically the message contains a brief description of the list discussion as well as any list specific information and etiquette.

 

6) Click the Update Info File submit button at the bottom of the page, and your list will be updated. Confirmation of this procedure will be emailed to address specified in the text box to the right of the submit button.

 

 

 

Modifying the List Configuration

 

The list configuration interface lets you manage the plethora of list configuration options. To access your list configuration:

 

1) Connect to your account control panel at: http://www.example.com/admin

 

2) Click the Email tab at the top of the page

 

3) Click the Mailing List item from the Email submenu on the menu on the left side of the page.

 

4) Click the Edit List Configuration File link under the listname that you wish to work with. This will bring up a form with the following items:

 

List Description - If someone requests information about your list from our majordomo server, this is what the server will use to reply. By default it is blank.

 

Admin Password - This password is used to confirm administrative tasks on the list. We suggest changing this from the default setting, and making the password as complex as possible.

 

Restrict Post - Control who can post to your mailing list by specifying a file with a list of email addresses. If you want to restrict posting to list members only, just put your listname in this field. If you want to specify a custom list of allowed email addresses, upload that file to your account and enter the path to it in the following manner:

 

/nfs/new/your_user/path/to/file

 

In that file the email addresses must be listed one per line:

 

one@example.com

two@example.com

three@example.com

 

Please do not enter email addresses into this field.

 

Subscribe Policy - This setting gives you control over how people can join your list. The 'Open' allows anybody to subscribe themselves. The 'Closed' setting put the list moderator in charge of subscriptions. The 'Auto' setting allows anyone to subscribe any email address (this setting is not suggested). Alternately each of the three options can be set to 'confirm' the subscription before list membership is granted. We fully support using confirmation with list subscriptions. 

 

Unsubscribe Policy - Similar to the subscribe policies: 'Open' lets people unsubscribe themselves at any time, 'Auto' lets anyone unsubscribe any address on the list, and 'Closed' puts the moderator in charge.

 

Moderate - If you want all messages sent to your list to be approved by the list moderator, you need to select "yes" on the moderate option. This will cause a copy of any message sent to the list to be sent to the list moderator, who will need to approve the message before it will be sent to the entire list.

 

Moderator - The email address of the person who will be moderating the list.

 

Who access - This controls who is able to send the command "who" to the mailing list. We recommend that this is always set to 'Closed.'

 

Reply To - You can specify a reply-to address for the list. We recommend leaving this field blank, as making the reply-to address a fixed address (such as the list address) can cause problems with auto responders and the like.

 

Approve Password - This is the password used by the moderator to approve posts. It should be different from the list administrator password.

 

Manually manage list requests - Don't let subscribe/unsubscribe requests be processed by majordomo, but rather forward the requests to the list owner who can decide how to handle the request.

 

Notify List Owner of Announcement - This setting allows the list owner to be notified whenever an address is subscribed or unsubscribed to the mailing list. It is a good way to keep an eye on list comings and goings, but in some cases may generate quite a bit of mail.

 

Send Welcome Message - Configure whether new subscribers receive the Welcome Message / Info File when they subscribe to the list.

 

Message header - If you would like each message to the list to have a header attached to it, this is where you specify that message. We recommend putting your unsubscribe address here, so as to prevent spam complaints on your account.

 

Message footer - If you would like each message to the list to have a footer attached to it, this is where you specify that message. We recommend putting your unsubscribe address here, so as to prevent spam complaints on your account.

 

Subject prefix - If you would like the subject of list messages to have a certain prefix, enter that prefix here. The accepted tradition is to put the list name in brackets (eg: [your_list] ) so that it is easily identifiable.

 

 

5) Click the 'Update List Settings' and the list will be updated. Confirmation of this will be sent to the email address in the text box to the right of the submit button.

 

 

Bounced Messages

 

Just a quick note about bounced messages. If you get a bounced message from a mailing list, you should always look in the subject line of the message for the reason why the message was bounced.

 

 

 

Approving Messages

 

Perhaps the most complicated part about administering a list is dealing with approving messages. Majordomo is very particular about the format that the messages must be in when you try to approve them, so follow these directions very carefully.

 

On a closed list, when someone tries to post the list owner will get an email with a subject heading that looks like: BOUNCE learning@list.datarealm.com: Approval required:

 

This email will contain a forwarded copy of the email that was sent to the list, with all of the headers like normal forwarded messages. This message must be forwarded to the mailing list address (NOT to majordomo@datarealm.com).

 

When you go to forward the message, the body of the email will have these two sets of headers:

 

2 Sets of email headers

 

The first set has to be removed. Then, the Approved: line has to be added as the first line of the message. so the top of the message you will be sending should look like this:

 

Approved header

 

This will result in the message that was sent to be approved, with all the headers, to be sent to the list. Basically it will be the same message you forward, except the Approved: line won't be in the message. It will be from owner-list@mail.datarealm.com. The subject line will also be blank in this scenario.

 

If, when you forward the message, you remove the > characters (or whatever the mail reader puts before messages that you forward), so that the forwarded message begins this way:

 

Cleaned header

 

The mail will look like it is from whoever tried to email the list in the first place, not from the list owner, and the subject line will be whatever the email that was originally sent to the list had as the subject.

 

 

 

Commands You Can Send to Majordomo

 

You can actually send commands to the majordomo program to get information about a certain list or lists, as long as the configuration of the mailing list allows you to.

 

To send a command to Majordomo, you simply send mail from the email account that you want the action to be preformed on (if you are subscribing/unsubscribing majordomo will subscribe/unsubscribe the email address the mail was sent from; if you are requesting information from majordomo, it will send the information to the address your mail was sent from). To send a command to our Majordomo program, you would send the mail to majordomo@datarealm.com.

 

Then, in the body of your email, you simply write the command and the list name on the same line (the first line of the email) and sent it off without a signature. Below is a list of common majordomo commands. Please remember that this is a list of commands, and that you need to follow it with the name of the list you are performing the action on. So, for example, the email you would send to Majordomo should look something like this :

 

Sample subscribe email

 

 

Subscribe - Adds the sender's email address to the list.

 

Unsubscribe - Removes the senders email address from the list.

 

Suspend - Stops the list from sending mail to you until you give it the command to resume. This does not unsubscribe you from the list.

 

Resume - Resumes the list to sending mail to you if you have suspended yourself from the list.

 

Who - Sends you a list of subscribers for the mailing list.

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