Kavi Mailing List Manager Help

Appendix I. Public Discussion

ezmlm-make argument string = aBdFgHiJkLMNOpQRSTUWXYZ

Common Uses

This default List Type is used for public forums that allow anyone to subscribe and post. Lists based on this type allow the public to post messages directly to the list, and accept ezmlm address commands such as subscription requests and archive retrieval requests from public users.

Because this type of list is completely public and unmoderated, control over the content of postings is limited to whatever screening is enforced for all incoming email (e.g., screening out viruses, obvious spam and possibly messages that contain bad words). If your organization sponsors mailing lists based on this List Type, be sure that virus-scanning and spam-filtering are enabled on these lists or posts from legitimate list users will soon drown in a sea of spam. Unfortunately, it is difficult to maintain wide-open lists like this for long because it is only a matter of time before spammers and other list abusers discover its existence. When this happens, the organization may choose to switch the mailing list to a List Type that requires users to subscribe in order to post (i.e., Closed Private Discussion) or moderates all posts (i.e., Moderated Public Discussion).

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Posting Access

This List Type uses the -MU combination in the ezmlm-make argument string so that everyone can post messages directly to the mailing list unless the sender is on the Deny Subscriber List.

Table I.1. Public Discussion Posting Access

List User Level Action
Subscriber (Regular or Digest) post
Public post
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Subscription Access

This is a public List Type, so it accepts email subscription commands from the public and is likely to serve a large subscribership. Lists that accept public subscription requests and are the most common and basic List Types. Because the list is open to public subscription, it wouldn't do any good to use a restrictive Web Availability setting.

Table I.2. Public Discussion Subscription Access

Setting Conditions
Email Subscriptions
Subscribe via Email? Yes
Web Availability
Public This type of mailing list is usually made available in a customized Public Area of the website, but it doesn't have to be (see the Account Holders Only information in the next row).
Account Holders Only This is the most public and open of all List Types, so links that can be used to subscribe are almost always available in the Public Area, but these can be links to spawn prefilled email subscription command messages rather than links to Kavi Mailing List Manager User Tools. If your organization wants public users to subscribe via email only or to require those who want to view archives to acquire accounts, this would be a good fit. (This List Type is open to public email subscription commands.)
Subscribers Only Not appropriate (This List Type is open to public email subscription commands.)
Administrators Only Not appropriate unless the list is being kept hidden prior to initial roll-out or is being decommissioned (This List Type is open to public email subscription commands.)
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Public Discussion Archive Access

Even though this is a public List Type, only subscribers can retrieve archives via email. Your organization allow the public to visit Web archives on customized public pages or make them available only on protected areas of the website or decide not to maintain any Web archives, especially if this is an informal, temporary discussion list.

Table I.3. Public Discussion Archive Access

Setting Conditions
Email Archive Retrieval
Messages saved for subscriber retrieval (-aBg) Subscribers have access to the raw ezmlm-idx message archives via email archive retrieval commands. This allows subscribers to retrieve plain text messages only. Email archive retrieval commands from public senders are rejected.
Web Archive Visibility
NO Web Archives Use this setting if the mailing list doesn't need Web archives. This is more commonly used in public lists than private lists, but archives are often useful because they tend to encourage potential members to visit the organization's website.
Public This setting can be used but some customization is required. If this mailing list is an important implementation of your organization's policy of openness and transparency, this setting may be the best fit. Can be used only if Web Availability is set to 'Public'.
Account Holders Only Your organization may prefer to have public users rely on email archive retrieval commands and reserve access to Web archives to 'Account Holders Only' to entice mailing list users to acquire accounts. Can be used if Web Availability is set to 'Public' or 'Account Holders Only'.
List Subscribers This setting is rarely used for public discussions, but can be used if Web Availability is set to 'Public', 'Account Holders Only' or 'Subscribers Only'.
Administrators Only Can be used temporarily to hide the Web-based archives, but subscribers can still retrieve messages from the raw archives via email commands.
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