Listservs

Frequently Asked Questions

Listservs

What are Listserv requirements?

There are 4 things we need from you to set up a list. Just send your response to the Helpdesk with your answers and it will be set up in a couple of days:

1. A list ID:

This is the address list members will use when they are sending mail to the list. It needs to be 8 letters or less. Many lists start with "SNY", indicating that they are SUNY lists. May lists also end with " L", indicating that they are discussion lists. However, neither of these is required. It's a good idea to use at least one of these two conventions because this list name will be visible to the public and we want to indicate that this is a SUNY list not open to the general public. Of course, nobody can sign on without the list owner's permission, but you might get a lot of unwanted requests.

For example: SUNY L

2. A brief name for the list:

Just a short name describing the main purpose of the list. For example, SUNY Academic Programs Officers Discussion List.

3. A list description:

A couple of sentences describing what the list is for.

4. List owner:

The name and e mail address of the person who will be responsible for maintaining the list. There can be more than one list owner.

Listserv RequirementsListserv Requirements

What do I need to know as a Listserv list owner?

There are two addresses you need to know when working with a LISTSERV.

One is the e-mail address of the list itself:

listname@LS.SYSADM.SUNY.EDU

This is the address to use when you are sending a mail message to the list. The e-mail address for all lists hosted at SUNY System Administration are stored in the address book. In the address book type in the first few letters of your list address to auto-scroll down to the entry.

For example: LIST, SUNY PROVOST LIST

The other is the e-mail address you use when sending maintenance commands for a list. This address is LISTSERV@LS.SYSADM.SUNY.EDU. This address is in the address book under user name: LISTSERV

Use this address when you need to use the following commands:

1. To get a personal LISTSERV password:

Since e-mail is inherently unsecured, many LISTSERV commands require that a list password be included. You should first obtain a list password sending the following command:

pw add yournewlistservpassword

2. To add a user to your list:

For each user to be added to your list enter the following:

quiet add listname e-mail@host.address.edu Firstname Lastname pw=yourlistservpassword

Where:

  • quiet = optional parameter, used only if you want to suppress user notification.
  • ADD = the command verb
  • listname = the name of your list. (For example, SUNY-L)
  • e-mail@host.address.edu = the e-mail address of the user to be added.
  • Firstname Lastname = the full name of the user to be added.
  • yourlistservpassword = the password you picked above.

Example:  To add user "Jeff Jones", e-mail address JONESJ@SYSADM.SUNY.EDU to the SUNY L list, enter the following in the body of an e-mail message to LISTSERV@LS.SYSADM.SUNY.EDU
ADD SUNY L JONESJ@SYSADM.SUNY.EDU Jeff Jones

A notification of subscription will be sent to the owner and the user, unless you include the "QUIET" parameter.

3. To delete a user from your list:

For each user to be deleted from your list enter the following:

quiet del listname e-mail@.host.address.edu pw=yourlistservpassword

The terms mean the same as described above for adding users.

Example:  To delete user "Jeff Jones", e-mail address JONESJ@SYSADM.SUNY.EDU, from the SUNY L list, enter the following in the body of an e-mail:
DEL SUNY L JONESJ@SYSADM.SUNY.EDU

A notification of removal will be sent to the user, unless you include the "QUIET" parameter.

More than one command can be sent with each e-mail message to LISTSERV.

For example to add several users to a list at the same time:
ADD SUNY-L JONESJJ@SYSADM.SUNY.EDU Jeff Jones
ADD SUNY-L USERJ@SYSADM.SUNY.EDU Joe User
ADD SUNY-L HELPDESK@BINGHAMTON.EDU Binghamton Help Desk

Other commands:

4. To see who is on your list:

REVIEW listname f=mail
Example:  REVIEW SUNY L f=mail

5. To get just one mail message a day from the list:

SET listname DIGEST
Example:  SET SUNY-L DIGEST

6. To learn more about LISTSERV:

INFO LISTSERV
INFO LISTOWNR

7. Instead of adding users to the list you could have them subscribe to the list themselves. They send an e-mail message to:

LISTSERV@LS.SYSADM.SUNY.EDU

Leave the subject line blank, and in the body of the message type:

SUBSCRIBE listname firstname lastname
For example:  SUBSCRIBE SUNY-L JOHN DOE

8. To leave the list type:

UNSUBSCRIBE listname
Example:  UNSUBSCRIBE SUNY-L

9. Set a specific LISTSERV member to NOMAIL:

QUIET SET [list-name] NOMAIL for e-mail.address@suny.edu

Listserv Owner Instructions

How is a Listserv used, the Listserv Usage Guide?

All steps must be done in Microsoft Outlook in a new e-mail message. The body of the message is case sensitive.

  1. Setting up a password for a Listserv - only done once and will remain your password for all Listserv's you work on.
    • In the To: field type: LISTSERV
    • In the body of the message type: pw add xxxxx (xxxxx is the password you want)
      Example: If you want "welcome" to be your password you would type: pw add welcome
    • Send the message. You will soon receive an e-mail back that asks you to confirm your password. Reply to the message saying only "ok" in the body of the message. Your password setup in then complete.
  2. Adding a person to a Listserv.
    • In the To: field type: LISTSERV
    • In the body of the message type:
      quiet add listname e-mail address Firstname Lastname PW=yourpassword
      Example: If you wanted to add John Green with the e-mail address greenjo@sysadm.suny.edu to the list SUNYHELP you would type:
      quiet add SUNYHELP greenjo@sysadm.suny.edu John Green PW=welcome
      If you wanted to get a confirmation e-mail that the person was added you would omit the word "quiet."
    • Send the message and the person will be added to your Listserv.
  3. To check and see the recipients of a Listserv.
    • In the To: field type: LISTSERV
    • In the body of the message type:
      REVIEW listname f-mail
      Example: If you wanted to see who is in SUNYHELP
      REVIEW SUNYHELP f=mail
    • Send the e-mail. You will then receive an e-mail with a list of the people in the particular Listserv list.

Listserv Usage Guide

What are the general user commands for Listservs?

To see a list of commands see the Listserv Reference.

User Services