Starting a new mailing list

We get a fair number of requests to host electronic mailing lists, and we even grant a few of them. Okay, most of them. Our criteria include that it be 100% motorcycle-related, that it be strictly non-commercial, and that it be something we're interested in.

Oh, and the most two important criteria — 1) that we can talk Carl into doing the work of setting it up, and 2) that once a year you'll agree to a solicitation for contributions on the mailing list to help me pay the ongoing costs of running this service.

We don't really have unlimited spare time, so that means that requestors who expect us to host their mailing lists need to be honest, reliable, and quite computer literate (since you'll be the list administrator, not us). Carl has chosen the Mailman mailing list package since it's well-supported and actively maintained and has an active user community. For more information on Mailman. see http://www.gnu.org/software/mailman/ If you want MajorDomo or some other package, or features Mailman doesn't include, we can't help you.

If you want to ask us to host a mailing list, first please read our policy on archives, then read the following text which is our standard email reply to such requests:

Browse around the Micapeak web site (i.e. the links on the home page) and get an idea of what I'm trying to do. You might also send a short message to mailman-request at micapeak dot com with a 1-line message body of the word HELP.

We need at a minimum three pieces of information:

1) What is the focus and purpose of the list?
2) Who would be the list administrator (full name, primary email address)
3) What 'name' you want for the list (e.g. somelist@micapeak.com)?

While they aren't a huge amount of work, mailing lists are definitely a continuous, never-ending job. If you aren't willing to read this message completely and respond fully, then you probably don't have the patience and/or stamina to run a mailing list.

Being the list administrator isn't easy either. Depending upon the volume it may take as much as an hour a day to keep up with it, and you aren't exempt on weekends (unless your subscribers don't care). (Carl Paukstis) takes care of the Mailman care and feeding required to do all the mailing lists. Once we get started, you will be dealing almost exclusively with Carl -- Marc doesn't get involved in the mailing list administration other than to pay the bills and keep the server running.

The basic deal is that Marc runs this Web site at his own expense because he enjoys it, and doing so allows him to combine computer geek stuff with our love of motorcycles. It's definitely not cheap to do this, in time or money. We get a lot of requests asking for 'free service' so understandably (we hope) we have to be somewhat selective about just saying YES automatically.

You have to agree to abide by the rules. You also have to agree to post (unmodified) a once-yearly message from Marc solociting donations to help us keep micapeak.com running. He generally sends out the message once a year (with a repeat about 2 weeks later) sometime in January or February. And you have to keep the appropriate "Who pays for it?" notice in your list's "info" page - the Mailman default contains the standard wording, you just have to avoid removing it.

So, if you've read and agree to the above (and the rules it references), the next step is to send Marc an e-mail message saying that you agree, and include answers to the three bulleted questions at the top. If we approve, Carl will set up the list. He will send you a Listowner Startup Document so that you can find out the day-to-day details.

Copyright © 1998-2014, by H. Marc Lewis. All rights reserved.