List Maintenance - Membership
At first the user interface of Mailman can be a little daunting due to its large number of options and navigational structure. Once you have spent some time with it you will realize that it is very functional and provides a large amount of flexibility in the area of creating and managing lists. This guide will explain some of the options you are presented with and provide you with an easy method for maintaining your mailing list. For the purposes of this tutorial we will be using a list named testlist. When you are managing your own list remember to replace testlist with the name of your list. If at any time you have a question that is not addressed in this document, please contact the IAIT Help Desk.
The first thing that you must know is how to access the admin features of Mailman for your mailing list. Each mailing can be accessed at its own Mailman URL; for example the URL for the testlist mailing list is: http://mailman.rose-hulman.edu/mailman/admin/testlist (remember to replace testlist with your list name). An example administrator login page is shown below:
At this point you will be prompted to enter the administrative password for your list and you will be granted access to the administrative portions of your mailing list.
It is important to make sure that cookies are enabled from this point forward otherwise any changes you make will not take effect.
By default when you enter your mailing list you will be presented with a list of configuration options (automatically selected is a long list of general options), a list of other administrative activities options, and a logout option. Below is a list of options and what each option does (organized by category). Also, if you click on the details link below any option you will be given a definition for any option you want help on.
If you make any changes to any options remember to click the "Submit Changes" button located at the bottom of each page before you browse away from that option page
Viewing and Updating Membership List
One of the things that most people will want to do is view, add, and remove members from their list. Fortunately, Mailman makes this very easy. In the leftmost column of the "Configuration Categories" list there is a link called "Membership Management" which will be the primary way in which you will view list memberships and manage add/removals from your mailing list. When you click on "Configuration Categories" you will be presented with an alphabetical list of members by e-mail address (so Mr. Tester email@example.com would appear under the 'M's while Aaron Tester firstname.lastname@example.org would appear under the 'A's). If you navigate away from this list of members you can also click on "Membership Management"->"Membership List" to get back to the list of members. Each member address will be followed by several check boxes each of which provides a separate function within the Mailman software. If you find these check boxes confusing at first you can click on the "show legend for this table" link right above the list of members. The legend is as follows:
To remove any single member you must first check the 'unsub' check box to the left of their name and then press the "Submit Your Changes" button:
You can remove multiple members at one time using this method. However, they must all be displayed on the screen at once as browsing away from this page without clicking the "Submit Your Changes" button will uncheck all of the "unsub" boxes you have already checked. So while you could remove Mr. and Mrs. Tester from your list at one time (since their address both start with 'M' you could not remove Barbara Tester from the same page since her name starts with 'B' and would not be displayed on the same page.
If you find that you have a large list of people to remove form you list and you do not want to go through your list checking the 'unsub' box next to each name you can also click on the "Mass Subscription" link underneath the "Membership Management" configuration category. This will present you with a new screen:
In the large text box at the center of the "Mass Removal" screen you can enter as many e-mail addresses as long as you are careful to put only one address per line. This is very useful because you can remove many members with different names at the same time. Remember to click the "Submit Your Changes" button after adding each person's e-mail address:
Now that you know how to log in and how to remove members it would be good to know how to add members. Fortunately, adding members is nearly identical to removing them. To add members to the list you must first be in the "Membership Management" screen and then you must click on the "Mass Subscription" link underneath the "Membership Management" heading:
This will present you with another set of text boxes. The first of which is where you would place all of the e-mail address of people you want to add to the list making sure to have only one name per line. The second text box is used for a short welcome message you want to be sent to each person that you subscribe, leaving it blank will send the default welcome message which only informs a user that s/he has been added to your mailing list. Once again be sure to press the "Submit Your Changes" button at the bottom of the page when you are done to submit your list of Subscriptions:
A few important points
- Always click the "Submit Your Changes" button at the bottom of each page if you have changes to make before browsing away from that page.
- Make sure that each members e-mail address appears on a new line when using the mass subscription/removal interface.
- Users are sorted alphabetically by e-mail address in the list of users and you will not see everyone if their names start with different letters.
- Make sure you have cookies enabled so that your changes are submitted.
- When you are done working on your list be sure to click the "Log Out" link.
This completes the primer on how to log in to your list and add/remove users from it. If you are still unclear or uncertain how to perform some task with your list please contact the IAIT Help Desk.