LISTSERVS & Google Groups

Admins: Administering | Creating a Listserv | Deleting a Listserv

Users: Subscribing | Unsubscribing | Monitoring

All: Complete Manuals and Documentation from L-Soft International, Inc.

LISTSERV Administration

If you are the owner of a list running on the Williams Listserver (as opposed to the WSO Listserver), use the LSoft Listserv interface to perform administrative functions. Links to documentation are available there for both subscribers and owners of lists.

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LISTSERV or Google Group?

  • Faculty who want a LISTSERV for a course can use Glow. Your Instructional Technology Liaison would be happy to show you how to create one.
  • Students looking to create a LISTSERV for a student organization, contact WSO.
  • Google Groups: A service from Google that provides discussion groups for people sharing common interests.  Google Groups should be used if all the group members have email addresses. Google Group Directions and Help
  • LISTSERV would be the option to select if any of the subscribers will be using a non-Williams email address.

You can request a new LISTSERV and/or Google Group online using the LISTSERV/Google Group Request Form.

When filling out the online form, please read through the Help sections carefully since you may select from a variety of options that will affect the way that your list works. Additional instructions can be found in the Listserv manual. Your request may take a few days to process- you’ll be notified via email when your list is ready.  Please specify if you are requesting a LISTSERV or a Google Group.

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When you no longer need a listserv, please e-mail [email protected] to request its removal.

In the message please provide

  • your name
  • phone number or other means of contact, in the event we have questions
  • the name of the listserv(s) to be removed

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Subscribe to a list

To subscribe yourself to a list, send an e-mail message to the following address: [email protected]. This message should have a blank subject line and a message body containing only the following line:

subscribe {list-name} {your-name}

where {list-name} represents the name of the list to which you want to be subscribed. {your-name} is required – it cannot be left blank.

This only works for open lists – that is, ones to which anyone can subscribe. If the list you’re interested in is closed, your subscription will have to be approved by the list’s owner.

In either case you will get a confirmation of your request returned to you by the listserver. If the list is an open one, you will get a request to confirm your subscription. You can do that by clicking the link in the email or by sending a confirmation; instructions for how to send that confirmation will be in the request message.

If you get an error e-mail message back from [email protected], it may be because you misspelled the name of the list or because you sent the message to the list itself and not to [email protected].

Example: subscribe thelist-l Bob Jones

You do not need to register a password with to use email commands.

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Unsubscribe from a list

To remove yourself from a list, send an email message to the following address: [email protected]. This message should have a blank subject line and a message body containing only the following line:

signoff {list-name}

A name is not needed to remove yourself from the listserv.

Example: signoff psci203-01-l

You do not need to register a password with to use email commands.

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A listserv user gets the ‘monitoring’ status when emails sent by the listserv system are bounced back. After a certain number of bounced emails within a certain timeframe, the user will automatically be removed from the list – the system assumes the email is no longer in service. If the user wishes to be on the list, they will resubscribe.

On our system, if the owner has been adding emails to the list manually, the emails might not match the ‘canonical’ email address used and will be considered the wrong email address and bounced.

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