I floated a question in the Kilby Genealogy Group on Facebook about whether anyone would be interested in a mailing list. Enough of the members were interested to prompt me to find a solution for a mailing list.
What seems to have been eons ago, but was actually not that far in the past, Craig had run a mailing list at Rootsweb.com. After looking into a variety of options from a self-hosting to Google Groups, I have decided to resurrect the old list by adopting it. In fact they are now running Mailman, a program I really wanted to use, but is written in Python which my hosting account does not adequately support. And the bonus is that Craig had apparently donated to Rootsweb which means that the list is not going to see any Ancestry.com promotions. Yes, Ancestry also owns this formerly free and independent genealogy resource.
The list is available in two options:
- Non Digest Mode – where you receive an email every time someone posts to the list
- Digest Mode – where you receive, well a digest of submissions on a daily basis or whenever the digest reaches 30 kb.
Okay now that you are interested, you are probably wondering how you subscribe to the list.
- Non Digest Mode – send an email to KILBYemail@example.com, then place the single word “subscribe” (without the quote marks) in both the subject and body of the email.
- Digest Mode – send an email to KILBYfirstname.lastname@example.org, then place the single word “subscribe” (without the quote marks) in both the subject and body of the email.
After sending the subscription email, you are almost there. The next step, which is necessary to prevent those awful bots from joining the list and to validate that you subscribed with a working email address, you will receive an email that contains a link to confirm your subscription. Simply click that link and you will be given confirmation that you are now subscribed.
Then finally, the mailing list will send you a welcome email. In this email you will find:
- Welcome message
- Email address you will use to post to the list
- Link to general list information
- Link to list subscription options
- The temporary password assigned to access your subscription options
Managing Your Subscription
Use the link provided in the welcome email to access your subscription options. These options are:
- Change the email account that you wish to have list emails sent to
- Enter your name. This is optional and I won’t make an issue of it, but it would really help if members of the list knew what to call you. There is a check box just below the “Change My Address and Name” button to make these changes globally assuming you are subscribed to more than one mailing list hosted by Rootsweb. If you are just changing your display name, then you can leave the email address fields blank or vice a versa.
- Unsubscribing, listing of lists you subscribe to, forgotten password, and changing your password
- List of options you can set on email delivery.
Previous List Members
There are currently 32 members listed from when Craig was running the list. I have been testing the list and receive emails when an email address is undeliverable. Chances are that some of those are no longer good addresses, and if they continue to bounce, the software will eventually unsubscribe them. If they are still good email address, some of you may have marked the list as spam rather than unsubscribing from the list, since it seems that the only activity since Craig orphaned the list has been spam; so you might want to check your email client and unmark the list as spam.
One of the reasons I decide to return to the previous list at Rootsweb.com was the archives. The archives go all the way back to when the list was first created and can be both browsed and searched. That way we start with a whole plethora of posts at one location dating back to December 1998 until November 2010 when Craig decided to move from Rootsweb.com to Facebook.
The archives can be accessed at Kilby Mailing List Archive.
Moderating the List
As with the Facebook group, membership is simply a matter of making a request to join. We have no gate keepers, nor do we really want them. That said, abuse of the list is a real possibility and when the list is abused, every list member will see it in their inbox. I have no idea how much traffic there will be, but since I am a truck driver and can’t constantly monitor the posts to the list, we might be in need of a few volunteers that can take action whenever abuse is noticed. You will not be expected to moderate discussions that are within the scope of the list, but rather suspend the account of abusers until we can decide if they should be banned.