Re: How to set up a listserve?

Subject: Re: How to set up a listserve?
From: Kat Nagel <mlists -at- masterworkconsulting -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 15:34:09 -0400

At 1:40 AM -0400 2004/06/12, Steven Oppenheimer wrote:

I am about to self-publish a book (details to follow soon, once it's available on the Web). In conjunction with the book, I'm setting up a Web site, and connection with both the book and the Web site, I am planning to set up a listserve. The idea is to create a forum where people can come to discuss topics related to the subject of the book. [snip]

And, you might let me know ahead of time, answers to a few questions:
(a) Is a listserve something I have to pay someone to help me set up, or to host, similar to the way in which I pay my ISP to host my domain?

Many web hosting plans include the right (and the tools) to host one or more email discussion groups. Others charge a small fee for each group. The hosting company typically installs an email list software like Lyris, Listserv, Mailserv, or a wide variety of other applications, on their mail server and sets some basic options. This is often the cheapest and easiest way to start a simple discussion group.

(b) Is it something that, in fact, I set up through my ISP?

Some ISPs also offer this service for customers. My old ISP did. My new one does not, at least not at the plan level I'm willing to pay for.

(c) How does one advertise the existence of a Listserve? Is there some central Internet directory of Listserves?

Mention it (with subscription info) in discussion groups where you are already a member, as long as it fits the purpose of the group. Put it in a 1- or 2-line sig file in every email you send. Include subscription instructions in one or more of your business press releases every year. Have a subscription link in a highlighted box on the book's web site home page, and in a sidebar or a small-print text link at the bottom of your web page template down near the copyright notice, so it will be available on every page.

(d) What other questions should I be asking, that I don't even know to ask, because I am such a newbie at this?

Wherever the email group is hosted, make sure you know the details of any limits and charges: How many members allowed? Can more members be added for additional fees? Are messages archived? Is there a storage limit for the archives? How much are the fees if you exceed the storage limit? Is there a MB limit for 'download bandwidth' when people view the archives? Is there a warning before you exceed the limit? Does service continue, or is the group blocked until you can delete the excess material? What are the arrangements for moderating the list? Can the list owner delete offensive messages and spam from the archives, or must he delay message delivery until he has the time to scan list messages before they hit the archive?

That's all I can think of at the moment.

Kat Nagel, MasterWork Consulting

katnagel -at- masterworkconsulting -dot- com



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