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Extension Technology and
Computer Services


University of Missouri-Columbia   Extension Technology and Computer Services—ETCS

  July 1999
Vol. 16, No. 5

A Technology Newsletter for Extension Specialists



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Mail Group Maintenance
by Bill McFarland

We probably are all members of one, or more e-mail mail groups. These services come from Listservs, Listprocs, Almanacs, Majordomo, and other mail control applications. In Exchange, our mail server, mail groups are Distribution Lists, and may be private or public. In either case these Exchange groups are not useable for people outside Exchange. There are two issues I want to discuss in this article about the mail group maintenance.

First, we need to consider the mail groups of which you may have been a member since before Outlook. Not the ones that were in our Extension Almanac, but external to our mail services. These would be national, specialty based e-mail groups that you may have subscribed to years ago, and from which you are still getting messages. These mail groups will have your old mail address in them (before Outlook). The one that ended in Since the mail transfer to Exchange/Outlook was carefully constructed to keep the old address receiving mail, you are still receiving mail from these groups. But you need to correct your address with the group so that 1) when your old address is no longer operational, you will continue on the list, and 2) when you send mail to that group now you look like a non-member, and that could cause some groups a problem. Some of you may have subscribed to this group again after you received Outlook, and are actually in the list twice.

It is not so easy to unsubscribe from a group using an email account that is not itself the member that you want to unsubscribe. Some mail group applications provide away for you to do this with proper command syntax and some give you no way to unsubscribe from a different address. That is, I can't unsubscribe from the email account (my old email address from my Outlook mail box).

One way to achieve the desired results is to use Netscape to send a message to the mail group control application (like listproc, or majordomo) and make it look like your old address sent the message. To do this, open Netscape, go to Edit/Preferences. Then open Mail & Newsgroups, then Identity. In this window fill in your old email address, instead of your current one. Your name should already be filled in. If it is not, you may never have used Netscape to send mail by clicking on a mailto link on a web page. If this is the case, better call ETCS. Click OK, if you only need to change your email address.

Now, you want to send an email message but not all versions of Netscape are the same. So these instructions may not directly apply to your version. In Netscape 4, click on the Communicator menu item, then Messenger. In case it asks, do not make Netscape your default e-mail manager (Outlook is). You should see the Netscape communications – Local Email window. Click on the New Message button. Fill in the To line with the email control address of the mail group from which you wish to unsubscribe. This is not the email group name, but the address of the control function, like, NOT

With the message addressed to the control application, put in the message area unsubscribe mail-group-name. After sending this message, go back and replace your correct email name in Netscape. Also be sure, if you want to continue on the list, that you send a subscribe message to the proper mail control application, from Outlook or else you will not receive any more messages from that group.

Second issue is with the Exchange/Outlook Distribution Lists, private and public. The issues here are also with your older e-mail addresses. It has come to our attention, that some of us had been able to create our own mail list in our Personal Address Book (PAB) before all the rest of us had been moved over to Outlook. The result is that we can have an UOE person in our private mail list with the old email address, and it doesn't get updated when the person got brought over into Outlook. You can check this by looking at your private groups and seeing if there are any Globes by the names. If these names are UOE people, then they are the old addresses. Delete them, and then add them from the Outlook address book again to your private lists.

All changes have to be made by the owner of the group in the public distribution lists in Outlook. So if you are an owner of a DL, look at your list and delete any globe people there and add them again. If you are a member of a group and you see that your name is in there with a globe, send a message to the owner an request this change. We transferred all the active mail groups from Almanac to either the Outlook DLs, or to Listproc on the campus server where a group had to contain members other than just UOE people. No need to worry about the Listproc groups. The DLs that we created are shown in the Outlook address book as UM UOE groupname. If you do properties on one of these groups you can see the members and the owner. These groups are not self-subscribing, so if you should be on a group and are not, send a message to the owner of that group.

With e-mail taking so much of our time, and practice, we need to keep it as neat as possible. Making these changes now, will keep you going for the future. This process may seem overly complicated, and if you try and have difficulty with it, please call ETCS for help in getting your e-mail addresses corrected in the mail groups where you need to be a member.



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