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How To Start: The Mailing List
Attached is the "how to set up a mailing list" text.
Comments and criticism welcome.
Drive A: not responding...Formatting C: instead
Title: Setting up a Mailing List
Setting up a Mailing List
The mailing list is where the project's action takes place. Here plans and
decisions are made, designs are discussed - everything important happens
here. The mailing list is every (distributed) project's main home.
To put it short: You need one.
Mailing List Hosting
Perhaps the best way to set up a mailing list is to ask your web host about
it. All hosting services (well, at least those not solely targeted towards
Joe and Jane user) also offer mailing list hosting.
Things to consider
Fortunately a mailing list setup is a relatively simple thing, there is
not much that can go wrong and there are only a few "optional
features" to care about:
- Some sites offer automatic archival of mailing lists. This is a
very useful feature. For one, it means that every single mail that
was ever sent to the list is stored at a central place and can be
accessed from anywhere. Secondly, people new to the list can
retrieve the mails of the past some days to get up-to-date quickly.
- A less common service (offered for example by SunSITE Denmark is the mirroring
of a mailing list as newsgroup, making it possible to read and write
mailing list posts both via mail (like with any other mailing list)
and news (like with a normal newsgroup). This is especially useful if
you are subscribed to the list with your home email address yet want
to read and post from uni or work.
- Have detailed instructions on how to subscribe/unsubscribe to/from
the list on your website. If people visit your site and become
interested in your project they tend to subscribe to the list to
learn a bit more about what's going on. These people are your main
source of new developers, so treat them well and try to attract as
many of them as possible.