I.T. Times
Volume 3. No 1 Information Technology News of the University of California, Davis Fall 1994

Choosing A List That's Right For You

Here are the top three reasons people give for not using a listprocessor:

  1. I don't know how.
  2. I don't have time.
  3. What's a listprocessor?

If you know how to read and answer e-mail, then you already have the basic skills you need to take advantage of UCD's list processor. Listprocessor distributes all messages via e-mail, and all Listprocessor commands can be issued by sending an e-mail message to listproc@ucdavis.edu with a blank subject line and the command in the body of the e-mail.

Setting up a List

The initial setup for a list involves nothing more than a phone call to UCD Postmaster Dave Zavatson, and a few minutes to e-mail your list of subscribers to listproc. Once your list has been created, the amount of time you spend maintaining it can vary widely, depending on the kind of list you want to establish. You can control your time investment in the list with the options that you choose during the initial setup.

Choosing the Right List for You

Listprocessor is a program that automates the maintenance and use of large mailing lists. Mailing lists can be set up either for one-way dissemination of information to a large group of people (much in the same way that interdepartmental memos are currently used), or as a discussion group targeted towards a specific audience or topic.

There are three types of lists available to UCD faculty, staff, and students:

  1. Unmoderated lists are easiest to maintain: many listowners of unmoderated lists never have to do anything to the list beyond the initial setup. Individual members are responsible for subscribing or unsubscribing themselves to your list, and they post their own messages directly to the listprocessor for distribution.

  2. Subscription-moderated lists require a small time investment from the listowner, but they do allow you, as the owner, to control who has access to your list. Individual members can still post their own messages directly to the list, but when they attempt to subscribe to the list, listproc automatically forwards the subscription request to you. You must then decide whether or not to allow the individual to subscribe, and then manually add the subscriber to the list. Subscription-moderated lists might be worth the time investment if your list is devoted to a closed group, like a committee or a class.

  3. Moderated lists can be very time-consuming for the listowner, but they give you complete control over both the membership and content of your list. As with subscription-moderated lists, you will receive all subscription requests to your list. In addition, every message sent to the list by members will be forwarded to you for approval - you must manually post each message to the list. A moderated list is probably not feasible if your audience is large and is likely to generate a high volume of messages on a daily basis. However, because of the control that a moderated list allows, this type of list may be ideal for disseminating "official" information to a specific audience.

Unsure which type of list might be best for you - or even whether a mailing list is appropriate? For more information, contact Dave Zavatson by e-mail at list-request@ucdavis.edu, or by phone at 752-7758.