The ISS Majordomo lists are 'Mail Explosion Lists. A Mail Explosion List is a way of sending a mail message to many people with the minimum of effort.
Personal Distribution Lists v Mail Explosion Lists
Personal Mail Distribution Lists
Personal Distribution Lists, as created in Outlook or 'offline', allow you send a message to the all addresses om the list. While useful for small lists, these Personal Distribution Lists are:
- always private to you - no-one else can use them.
- unsuitable for large mailing lists (for Security Reasons).
Mail Explosion Lists
Mail Explosion Lists, such as Majordomo lists, are more flexible. Majordomo lists are:
- suitable for sending email to large lists of recipients.
- can be configured to send email from one of a list of people, to everyone on the list.
- can be publicly available, so that anyone - whether at Lancaster or anywhere else in the world - can send messages to all the people who are on it.
Mail explosion lists are simple to use and manage. You do everything concerning them by email, as described in the sections below.
Note - this document describes how to use Majordomo mailing lists that are held on the central Lancaster mailing list system. To use other mailing list systems, such as mailbase, you must consult the specific documentation.
Setting Up A Mailing List
In order to set up a mailing list you will need to contact the ISS Service Desk, who will arrange for the list to be created. Until the time you decide you want to delete the list, this is probably the only interaction you need have with ISS; you perform most of the other aspects of managing your list yourself.
The properties of your list
When you ask for your list to be set up you need to specify the following.
You need to provide the email address of the list owner. The email address of the list owner will receive various messages from the Majordomo system e.g you may get messages from it asking you to approve users joining the list, or notifying you of events. It will probably be best for you to use your Standard Mail Address, which has the format email@example.com.
The 'List Name' can contain lower-case letters, numbers and hyphens, and should not normally be much longer than 16 characters. The name must be different from those of existing lists. the List Name should reflect the purpose of the list and should be easy to type.
Then youíll need to set up an information file that describes the use of the list. This is a text message that is sent to anyone who subscribes to the list or asks the mailing list system for information about the listís uses. You can supply anything you like in this file, but preferably it shouldnít be more than a couple of pages in length. Potential members of your list can use it as a guide for whether the list will be of use to them, so you would normally want to set out details of what topics are to be discussed (and what topics are not to be covered).
Finally, youíll need to decide on who can access your list, and what functions they can perform. Posting Access controls who can post messages to your list.
You can have a:
- Simple List - where only the owner cam mail to the list.
- Restricted List - where only named people can mail to the list.
- Members-Only List - only list members can mail to the list.
You can change any of these options at any time - simply contact the ISS Service Desk.
The List Owner Password
When your list is set up youíll be given your list ownerís password. You use this password to identify yourself to the mailing list system when sending it messages, and youíll need to keep it secret as itís the sole authentication mechanism. You should also make a discrete reminder of it somewhere because the password is NOT linked to other ISS passwords the password is not normally recoverable.
Managing Your Mailing Lists - including changing your password.