CDNet

Community Development Network ACT

The Community Development Network has been providing support and information to the development sector in the ACT and surrounding areas for over thirteen years. The mailing list is currently distributed to over 3200 members.

To join, use the 'Subscribe and Manage' link in the Main Menu to the left.

 

CDNet Flier

 

 

 

 


1. After becoming a subscriber to CDNet I sent a message but it was rejected. The list software sent me a message stating that only subscribers to the list could post messages and that my message was being held for approval. Why does this happen when I am already subscribed to the list?

Check that the 'from' address set in your email software is the same address that you used when subscribing to the list. Many people have more than one email address and a list will only allow you to post messages from the address you used to subscribe to the list.

If you want to use multiple email accounts with a list you will need to subscribe to the list with each 'from' address that you want to use. Subscribing to a list with more than one 'from' address will cause the list to send a message to both accounts unless you access the subscriber options and select 'disable delivery' for your duplicate addresses. Even if delivery to the duplicate address is disabled you will be able to post to the list with the duplicate 'from' address.

2. When I send a message to the list that has a file attached, the file isn't there when people receive the message. Where did the file go?

Attaching files to an email being sent to a mailing list is generally considered as poor practice. Most people expect the information you are sending to be in the message itself and will ignore file attachments as they can contain virus files or spam. Files attachments can also be large and some people on the list may not have the software required to open or view the file. Sending file attachments to a list with hundreds of users is a good way to annoy those on the list who do not want the attachment. To address these issues, attachments will automatically be removed from messages and a copy of the file will be saved on the server. The file attachment will be replaced with a link in your message. Users may click on the link in your message if they want to download/view the file you have sent.

If you have a need to send file attachments consider converting them to pdf files as this format can be read by anyone with the free Acrobat reader software, is secure and typically much smaller in size than other formats. If your software doesn't have the option to save files in pdf format you might want to try downloading the free PrimoPDF file converter software. You can even convert your files on their website if you prefer not to install the software on your computer.

3. I haven't been able to access my email for a while but I would like to see what messages have been sent to the list. Is there a way that I can view list messages on the web?

CDNet includes a web based archive that users may access with their password. The link to the web archive is located on the list management page accessible from the main menu on the CDNet web site.

4. I thought that when a user sends email to a list that they would receive a copy of the message in their own email. I have never received a message that I have sent to the list even though others have told me that they received the message.

Unless a user changes their subscriber options, any messages they send to lists will be sent to their email address as well. Most users prefer this as it gives them confirmation that their message was sent successfully. Users of Google's Gmail service will not receive a copy of messages they send to mailing lists regardless of any settings made to their subscriber options. This limitation is imposed by Gmail and cannot be altered. Users of Gmail may wish to set the subscriber option 'Receive acknowledgment mail when you send mail to the list?' to 'Yes' if they want the list to send them a separate confirmation message when they send messages to lists.

5. Can list subscribers tell who else is subscribed to the list? If so, can't they use this information to send me spam email?

The CDNet info page has an option to display all the addresses subscribed to that list. The addresses displayed are in a format that does not allow automatic harvesting of the addresses however there is certainly nothing stopping a list subscriber from manually changing the addresses and using them to send out spam mail. All subscribers have the option to not display their address in this list if that is what they desire. The option can be changed by accessing their subscription options using the username and password  sent them when they subscribed.

6. I'm on several mailing lists and even though I want to receive the messages it's difficult to keep track of so many messages. Is there some method of organising my mail to deal with receiving a lot of messages from lists?

There are at least two ways to handle large amounts of any email traffic that users typically find very helpful in this respect. The first is to configure your email software to filter any messages from a list to a separate folder automatically. Almost all email software now allows users to right click on a message and define a 'rule' to move messages with certain characteristics to a specific folder. This is the exact reason why the list software inserts the name of the list in square brackets in to the subject line of all messages sent to the list. For example, if the name of the list is case-test you can use the filtering options in your email software to create a rule that sends all messages that contain the phrase [case-test] in the subject line to a separate folder. This will then automatically place all messages from the list in to a specific folder allowing the user to review them at a later date and keeping them messages from cluttering up their 'In Box' folder.

Another option available to users from their subscriber web page is to change the delivery option from 'Immediate' to 'Digest'. Users that select to receive messages sent to the list in digest form will receive one email per day (typically overnight) that contains all the messages sent to the list that day. Some users love digests and others do not. Therefore the Mailman software gives subscribers to your list the option to receive list messages either way. However, list administrators can use the administrator web page to disable giving subscribers the option of having list mail sent in digest mode.

7. Will joining a mailing list increase my chances of receiving spam or a message with a virus in it?

One of the reason CDNetuses the very popular Mailman software is because it has been around for many years and extensive work has been done to include anti-spam measures in to it. The default settings provided are intentionally conservative to provide the maximum privacy and limit the availability of the list to public viewing. This is also why we stress that list owners should be very careful of changing default setting unless they have taken the time to fully understand the ramifications of making changes.

Many users have computers that send out infected email messages even without their knowledge. This is why it is so important that all users keep their anti-virus/anti-spyware software up to date and also need to ensure that their computer systems are configured to automatically update and apply security patches as required. These two steps alone will keep most systems very safe.

It is entirely possible for an infected message to be sent to a mailing list. To prevent the infection from being distributed to other list subscribers the CDNet server scans all email messages and file attachments before final delivery. You may receive an email at some point in time with a notice from the scanning software indicating that a dangerous attachment or dangerous content has been removed. In most cases these email messages are totally blocked and you will never see them, but if there is useful content remaining in the message and the dangerous content has been successfully removed the software is configured to deliver the message with an explanation included. The scanning software used by CDNet software to remove dangerous content from email is very sophisticated and is used successfully world wide to block the delivery of dangerous content via email systems. In years of using it on many servers we have yet to see a single infected email message passed on to a user. 

8. I replied to a message sent to a list but my reply only went to the author of that email message rather than to the entire list. Why didn't my message go to all the list subscribers?

The CDNet mailing list is configured to deliver replies to only the person who posted the original message. If a user wants a reply to go to all the subscribers of a list they must explicitly enter the list email address in to the 'To:' box of their message.

This may sound like an odd way to configure the software but years of experience has shown that users (most often new users) assume that when they compose a reply message it will only go to the person that posted the message. When users assume a reply is being sent only to the user who posted the message they may intend the message to be private. It only takes one of these messages being sent to all list subscribers by mistake to cause extreme embarrassment and/or upset a lot of the list subscribers. Every list administrator who has had the unfortunate experience of managing a list where replies were automatically addressed to the entire list will have at least one horror story to share regarding a difficult situation caused by this choice of configuration options.

Trust us, this topic is one of the most common discussions regarding how mailing lists operate and the only way to prevent it is to set the list software so that replies go only to the poster of the list message being replied to. Users learn very quickly that posts that are intended for all subscribers must be manually addressed to the list address so it's really not an issue to require this extra step.

9. My posting was not processed due to a size limitation. What is the maximum size allowable for an email posted to the CDNet?

The maximum size for a posting to the CDNet is set at 2000KB, so any postings made with large attachments or too heavy with graphics,which make a post too large, will not be forwarded for distribution.

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