Topics Map > IT Services > Communication and Conferencing > Email > Mailman
Mailman: Configuring a New List
Establish Your List
How to request and configure a Mailman mailing list at WSU.
Do you even have a list to manage yet? If not, you can request one by submitting the appropriate Mailman List Request Form here. For more information, please read "Requesting a Mailman List."
Review List Configuration
Once you have received your list creation email and your list is set up, you may want to see exactly how it's configured. To review your list's configuration settings, go to http://lists.wsu.edu/manage.php and log in with your list password. Once you are logged on to the administration site for your list, you should see the following configuration categories:
- General Options
- Language Options (default is English)
- Membership Management
- Non-Digest Options
- Digest Options
- Privacy Options
- Bounce Processing
- Archiving Options
- Mail to News Gateways
- Content Filtering
Get the List Ready 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 list info page at http://lists.wsu.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.
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 Submit Your Changes.
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.
As you might imagine, mailing lists need subscribers to be worthwhile. How you get them will depend on what your list is for. If it is for a class or small group of people, then you can probably tell people about the list in class, or email them, or even add them yourself. Learning how to add subscribers is easy.
If your list is intended for a larger body of subscribers, you might want to post information about your list on a Web page. Subscribers will generally want to know the following information:
- Name of the list
- Purpose of the list
- Restrictions on the use of the list
- How to subscribe
- How to unsubscribe
Now You're Ready to Use Mailman
Once you've done the above, that's pretty much it. 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