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Serving Lists

A Guide to Moderating Announcement Lists

by Doug Bates

Most people are very weary of giving out their email addresses these days. They fear that someone will get ahold of it and start sending them so much useless mail they can't weed through it all. Even on "private" lists, these users are forced to listen to others bantering on about trivial and unrelated topics. For these reasons, email holders often avoid email lists despite the tremendous amount of useful information that would be available on them.

Announcement (only) Lists

Lists don't have to be open to conversation. Users inboxes can be protected by persons serving as list moderators. These moderators can control what messages are deposited to all those people. Using modern list services like eGroups, moderators can painlessly keep even the most active communities aprised of upcoming events, coordination efforts, and pertinent news. Plus, the work of the moderator can even be delegated out to more than one person.

Using multiple lists can add a lot of flexibility! I recommend providing two seperate forums where users can recieve announcements and chat amongst themselves seperately. This way, they can choose if they want to participate in the discussions or not. Also, look for significant sub-groups that might exist and consider giving them seperate lists to better focus their interests. But avoid splitting it if you'd foresee a lot of announcements being cross-posted to both groups.

As a Moderator

Before approving any message, consider these criteria: