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Mailing Lists

What is a Mailing List?

A mailing list is simply a group communication tool that uses e-mail. It can be used for news, group discussion, file sharing, etc. The beauty of a mailing list is that sending an e-mail message to a single address will automatically distribute it to all subscribers.

Tips and Etiquette

In case you are unfamiliar with mailing lists, here are some tips for using them efficiently:

  • Because a mailing list is e-mail based, discussion can be done in near-real time, or you can participate once a day or once a week, whenever you normally read e-mail. It's up to you and your e-mail habits!
  • When replying, include enough of the previous message to give some context, without necessarily including the whole thing. Some way to mark the quoted material is useful; this is often done by prefixing each line with a > sign. Your mail program should do this for you automatically.
  • Often, replies get sent to the mailing list by default, which facilitates discussion. However, it can be embarrassing if you meant to make a side comment to one person and instead everyone sees it. Check the To: field of your message before pressing Send!
  • Sometimes there may be lots of discussion going on, and the number of messages in your Inbox can be a bit overwhelming. It may help to turn on Digest mode, so that you only get one or two messages a day. It may also be useful to have all of the messages from this list filtered automatically into a special folder, if your e-mail program has that ability.
  • Because you don't know what e-mail programs the various subscribers may use, it's best to stick with straight text and avoid fancy formatting. Your program may allow you to turn on and off HTML (web-style) formatting; turn it off for messages to mailing lists if possible.

How to Subscribe, and Other Commands

The following commands will work for any list at Root Central. In each case, replace <listname> with the actual list name.

  • To subscribe to the list, send a mail message to maiser@rootcentral.org, placing the following two lines in the body of the message:
       SUBSCRIBE <listname>
       EXIT
  • To send mail to the list for all the subscribers to read, send it to <listname>@rootcentral.org
  • To see who is currently subscribed to the list, send a mail message to maiser@rootcentral.org, placing the following two lines in the body of the message:
       REVIEW <listname>
       EXIT
  • To receive your messages as "digests" (occasional messages containing all the mail received for the list over a period of time) send a mail message to maiser@rootcentral.org, placing the following two lines in the body of the message:
       SET <listname> DIGEST
       EXIT
  • To stop receiving mail from the list for "x" days, send a mail message to maiser@rootcentral.org, placing the following two lines in the body of the message:
       SET <listname> VACATION x
       EXIT

    Naturally, you should change the "x" to the proper number of days. The list server will automatically re-enable your subscription at the end of the period.
  • To unsubscribe from the list permanently, send a mail message to maiser@rootcentral.org, placing the following two lines in the message body:
       UNSUBSCRIBE <listname>
       EXIT

For all the commands shown above, please ensure that the commands start hard against the left-hand margin of your mail message - do not indent them (they are indented as shown above simply for clarity). It doesn't matter if you use capitals or lower case.

Available Lists

Current mailing lists at Root Central:

Family News (list name is "family")

If your mail program supports hyperlinks, you can use the following links to generate the proper commands for this list:

Table 151 (list name is "table151")

If your mail program supports hyperlinks, you can use the following links to generate the proper commands for this list:

Other Lists

Other mailing lists will be created on request. If you have a need to set one up, contact the postmaster.

Material on this page is copyrighted by Root Central, all rights reserved.