[Mailman-Users] newbie question

JC Dill lists05 at equinephotoart.com
Sat Jan 22 03:57:10 CET 2005

C. Jon Hinkle wrote:

>I have been "selected" to set up a Mailman system to communicate with
>roughly 140 users.  I have exactly zero experience with this kind of
>endevor, although I am not totally techno-challenged.
>I need to set about 30 of the users to be able to post and reply at
>will.  The rest should be able to post and reply, but with some limits. 
>For instance, if someone posts something useful, we don't want 130
>postings back to the list saying "Wow!  That's cool!"  Given the
>user-level of many of the 110 with limited rights, such a scenario is
>well within the realm of possiblity.  These are the same people who
>reply to a Department-wide announcement by hitting the "Reply All"
>In any event, I can see from the List Admin manual that I can set up
>moderators and they would have full rights and set the rest as users and
>make their replies be moderated, but having 30 moderators seems
>unwieldy.  For instance, who would actually moderate the postings from
>the 110?

I would set the list up like this:

General options:
    strip reply-to:   yes
    reply goes to:   poster
    list moderator email addresses:  add 2 or 3 moderators here

Privacy options:
   Sender filters:
       By default, should new list member postings be moderated?:   yes
       List of non-member addresses whose postings should be 
automatically accepted.:  Add any additional "always accept" addresses 
(if any of your 30 "full rights" members may be occasionally sending 
from alternate addresses) here.

When you add your 110 members, set them all to moderated except for your 
30 members who should have "full rights", they will be set to 
unmoderated status.  You could do this in 2 batches, set the list so 
that new members are not moderated and add your 30 "full rights" 
members, then set your list so that new members are moderated and add 
the remaining members.  Then the new members going forward will also be 
set to moderated by default, and you can unmoderate them as needed.

>If I set first_strip_reply_to to YES and then set reply_goes_to_List to
>POSTER, the reply would go to the original poster, but not to the entire
>list?  Is that different than setting first_strip_reply_to to NO and
>having the original reply-to be in force?

I can set my reply-to with the list address (as I have in this email).  
When mailman doesn't strip the reply-to (and it doesn't on this list) 
replies go back to the list instead of to the poster.  Of course, your 
typical "Wow! That's cool!" user isn't going to know how to do that.

>In either instance, how do I account for worthwhile replies that would
>be beneficial for the entire list to see?

You need several moderators who can approve the held messages in a 
timely manner.  I help moderate several lists (mailman-users is one of 
them :-) and have found that you need three or more people who check 
email several times a day to keep the moderated posts from piling up and 
to ensure that they get approved and posted (or rejected) in a timely 
manner.  Also remember that people get busy, take vacations, etc. so any 
list needs *at least* two moderators if you want to ensure that held 
messages are processed promptly.

>Am I taking the wrong tack here?  Is this better done with something
>like default_member_moderation?  I could set the flag to off for the 30
>and on for the rest and then set the action to Hold. 


> Then, if the
>posting/reply was worth seeing on the list, it could be approved by a
>single moderator, and if not then it gets rejected and the poster gets a

Also consider if your list will need more than one single moderator, and 
remember to set new members to moderated status by default - it's *much* 
better to change them to unmoderated after you see that they have clue 
than to have to set them to moderated after they have posted one or more 
"Hey, that's cool!" posts back to the whole list.


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