LBSG Mailing List Information Document Version 4.20 Why a mailing list? In early 1999, having used the Internet for over two years and never having corresponded with another member of the LBSG by that means, Andrew W Young was convinced that there must be other members with e-mail facilities. He tried posting messages in the rec.collecting.postal-history newsgroup and got a few responses, a couple of which mentioned the group, but none from any members. He also found a few references to the Group when searching through the DejaNews archives, but nothing particularly exciting. As a result, in May 1999, he offered to start an unofficial mailing list for LBSG members to use. After a successful 23 months, in April 2001, it was adopted as part of the LBSG’s Internet Services programme and endorsed as a service provided by the LBSG for it’s members. In November 2008, the LIST and PEST mailing lists merged into this single list, which allows attachments. Who is it for? Any current paid-up member of the LBSG. When you attempt to join the list, your details will be checked against the current LBSG membership list. On leaving the LBSG, an individual also leaves the Mailing List. This is strictly enforced. What is it for? Subjects which are acceptable to discuss are anything which is relevant to the LBSG. This includes telephone boxes and anything related to them. How is it run? The list is processed every 2 minutes, every day of the year (including weekends, bank holidays etc.). Precise details of the system(s) operating the list are no longer available for security reasons. Who maintains it? The LBSG Mailing List Moderator maintains the list. The role of the Moderator is to oversee the day-to-day running and usage of the list, answer any questions about the list, resolve any technical problems with the list and keep everyone communicating in a happy and friendly manner. It is also the Moderator’s job to uphold the rules and guidelines of the list (see below) and in extreme circumstances to remove from the list those subscribers who persistently flout them(!). To get in touch with him e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. This address is for private e-mail to him and any e-mail sent to it will not get distributed to all list members. The Mailing List Moderator is currently the Web Site Administrator and Information Officer. The LBSG pays the costs of running the list. How do I subscribe to the list? To subscribe to the list send an e-mail to email@example.com. In the subject line put Subscribe. You must spell Subscribe correctly or it will not work. It does not matter what you put in the body of the e-mail – it will be ignored. You should then receive an e-mail telling you that you have been successfully subscribed and introducing you to the list. Please be sure to spell the word Subscribe correctly (note – it has a B as the third letter!). If you spell it wrong, the processing software will ignore the message and you will not get subscribed. What will it cost me to subscribe to the list? The LBSG levies no charge to members of the mailing list. In essence it is a free service to members. You should be aware, however, that you will naturally be responsible for your normal Internet access charges (for downloading e-mails/messages from the list and for posting messages to the list), whatever those charges may be. What happens once I have subscribed? You should receive e-mails with a subject line starting “[LBSG] – ” This indicates that the message has been posted to everybody on the mailing list. You might like to set up a filter or routing in your e-mail software so that these messages go to a special folder or suchlike. If you want to add something to a message or make a comment, then reply to it. Because the “Reply-to” field of messages is always set to firstname.lastname@example.org, your e-mail software should set up the reply to go straight to the list. When you post to the list, there is no need to add the “[LBSG]” at the beginning of the subject. This is done automatically. How do I post a message to the mailing list? Send your message to email@example.com. Be sure to send the message from the same address which you used to subscribe with, otherwise it may get held up while a human manually inspects it to make sure it is from a valid member of the mailing list. Use a subject line for your e-mail as normal, but do not add the “[LBSG] – ” prefix. The mailing list software will do this automatically. Do not CC or BCC messages to the mailing list. The software running the system expects to see the list’s address in the To: field only. You should receive a copy of your message sent back to you by the mailing list within about 5 minutes. Please keep to one topic of discussion per message. If you have two different things to discuss or write about then it is perfectly acceptable to send two separate messages, each with an appropriate subject line. If you want to start a new topic of discussion, please do not reply to an existing message. Start a new e-mail instead and set the subject line appropriately. Who will see copies of the messages I post to the list? Any message you send to the list will be seen by all the other subscribers to the list. If relevant and appropriate, then copies will also be sent to those committee members who are not subscribers to the list. Any relevant information you send to the list or which is discussed on the list will be monitored by the Information Officer, or in the case of the Information Officer not being a list subscriber, copies of any messages containing relevant information will be sent to him/her. The Information Officer will then include this information in LBSG records and The Directory data files. Do I need to introduce myself to everyone on the list? If you’d like to, then yes, please go ahead and write an introduction to yourself, where you are from and your interest in our hobby. Perhaps include a little “story” on how your interest started and how it has evolved. How do I unsubscribe from the list? To unsubscribe from the list send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line put Unsubscribe. You must spell Unsubscribe correctly or it will not work. It does not matter what you put in the body of the e-mail – it will be ignored. You should then receive an e-mail informing you that you have been unsubscribed. If there was something particular which you did not like about the mailing list or which made you decide to unsubscribe, please e-mail the Mailing List Moderator at email@example.com and discuss it. The mailing list is, of course, for the use and enjoyment of the subscribers, so please let us know about any problems which hamper this enjoyment. You can, of course, subscribe again at any time. How do I change the address I use to receive and send messages to and from the mailing list? 1. Subscribe from the new address you want to use. 2. Wait until you receive the welcome message at your new address (generally about 5 to 10 minutes). 3. Unsubscribe from your old address (only once you are sure that you are subscribed from your new address). 4. Wait about 5 to 10 minutes for the goodbye message sent to your old address. Following this procedure in this exact order ensures that at no time are you ever unsubscribed totally and likely to miss any messages. If you were to alter the order and do steps 3 and 4 before steps 1 and 2 then there would possibly be an hour or two when neither of your addresses were subscribed and you would not receive the messages posted in that interval. This could also happen if you were to do steps 1 and 3 on the same day. If this procedure causes you problems then e-mail the Mailing List Moderator who can do it manually. This is likely to be necessary if you no longer have access to your old address to do steps 3 and 4. I lost/deleted some messages from the list. How do I get another copy of them? Use either the SEARCH or RESEND commands as detailed under ‘What is the full list of commands which the list will recognise?’ Can I search an archive of list messages? Yes. Use the SEARCH command as detailed under ‘What is the full list of commands which the list will recognise?’ Can I get a complete archive of every message that has ever been sent to the list? In theory, yes, although this is not practical as you would receive 50,000 messages. To receive some of the most recent messages, send a RESEND-xx command as detailed under ‘What is the full list of commands which the list will recognise?’ to request all messages in the last xx days. What is the full list of commands which the list will recognise? The LBSG Mailing List recognizes the following commands in the subject field of messages sent to firstname.lastname@example.org: SUBSCRIBE subscribes you to the list UNSUBSCRIBE unsubscribes you from the list SUSPEND suspends your list subscription until you send a RESUME command SUSPEND-xx suspends your list subscription for xx days or until you send a RESUME command (where xx is whatever number of days you choose, e.g. SUSPEND-12 would suspend your list subscription for the next 12 days) RESUME restarts your suspended list subscription STATS responds with an e-mail containing current statistics for list usage RESEND responds with an e-mail containing copies of every message from the last 7 days RESEND-xx responds with an e-mail containing copies of every message from the last xx days (where xx is whatever number of days you choose, e.g. RESEND-19 would get you all the messages from the last 19 days) SEARCH searches all the previous list messages from the last 28 days to find the words you put on the first line of the e-mail (e.g. you might put “pillar” (no quotes) on the first line of your command message so would get all messages from the last 28 days which contained the word “pillar”) SEARCH-xx searches all the previous list messages from the last xx days to find the words you put on the first line of the e-mail (e.g. you might send SEARCH-300 in the subject line and “type k” (no quotes) on the first line of your command message so would get all messages from the last 300 days which contained the word “type k”) HELP responds with an up-to-date copy of this list of commands If the subject of your message is anything other than one of the above commands, the message is forwarded to everyone who has subscribed to the mailing list. All the above commands are automatically processed and not seen by a human. If you want to communicate with a real person then e-mail the moderator at email@example.com. Who else is subscribed to the list? Is my e-mail address published or given out to anyone? There is no published list of subscribers. The only way to find out who else is subscribed to the list is by reading their postings. This protects people’s anonymity, should they not wish to be involved in discussions. The result is that if you subscribe and subsequently do not make any postings, no-one else (other than the LBSG committee) will be able to find out that you have subscribed or what your e-mail address is. It’s perfectly possible to just be an “observer” on the list, but the more people post messages and get involved in discussions, then the more effective the list will be. I am not receiving all the messages from the mailing list. Other members are talking about a message I have not received yet We have discovered that some users of BTInternet, Yahoo, AOL, TalkTalk, Tiscali, Comcast and Pipex (and probably some others too) experience intermittent problems receiving messages from the mailing list. The problem stems from those ISPs incorrectly blocking messages from either the LBSG mailing lists and/or the LBSG’s hosting company or both. Our hosting company has exhausted all avenues to resolve this matter with the ISPs in question. If you think you are experiencing missing messages, firstly please allow an hour or two to see if the missing messages were merely delayed in transit. After that please contact the Mailing List Moderator at firstname.lastname@example.org with details of the problem. He will be able to help determine whether you are a victim of this problem or if the issue lies elsewhere. I think there is a technical problem with the mailing list. The system doesn’t seem to be working properly This is perfectly possible. The system is not infallible. In the first instance please do not raise it publically via the mailing list. Please contact the Mailing List Moderator at email@example.com with details of the problem. Rules It is not acceptable to post virus warnings, get-rich-quick schemes, chain letters, etc. to the list. The maximum message size permitted is 2,048 Kb (2 Mb). Messages larger than this will be quarantined until they have been examined. Guidelines These are not rules, but general guidelines which should be adhered to. They are mostly common sense things and are pretty much the same as you will find on any mailing list or newsgroup. If something is of general interest to everybody then send it to the list at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know that something is of interest to only one or two particular people then send it to them directly at their e-mail address(es). This situation is likely to occur if there has been a discussion between a few people via the mailing list and it has now got so specific or off-topic that no-one else needs to see the messages about it. Please keep to one topic/subject of discussion per message. If you want to write about two separate things then send two separate messages, each with an appropriate subject line. Postings should not (generally) exceed 100 lines and attachments totalling more than 2 Mb (2,048 Kb). Although it used to be the case that replies should be below the original message, the de facto standard is now that when replying to a message, please quote that message and reply above it. Please try to include your geographic location under your name at the bottom of your e-mails, e.g. “Bob Smith, Cardiff” as many members like to know where you are based. Any message sent to email@example.com will be automatically sent to everybody who has subscribed to the list, provided it is not a “Subscribe” or other command message. Please be sure that messages sent to the address are intended for “public” consumption, i.e. polite, of general interest to subscribers and take into account that the LBSG has members of many different nationalities, political inclinations, religions and moral standpoints. This is particularly relevant when giving a personal opinion or making a seemingly harmless joke. Disclaimers The LBSG Mailing List is an officially recognised service of The Letter Box Study Group. The Mailing List Moderator reserves the right to remove any subscriber from the mailing list, to prevent him or her from posting to the list or to review any message before allowing it to be forwarded to all subscribers. There may be occasions when problems outside the control of the Mailing List Moderator and/or the LBSG cause the list to fail to operate for one or more days (e.g. ISP problems, communication system problems, power supply problems). You use the LBSG Mailing List at your own risk. If you get a virus or any other undesirable side effect on your computer equipment as a result of using the mailing list you agree that the Mailing List Moderator and the LBSG are not responsible for any loss or damage caused by this. By posting an e-mail to the LBSG Mailing List, you agree that it may be included in an archive of messages which may or may not be made available to members only through the LBSG web site, on paper or via any other medium at any point in time. Everything presented in this document is for informational purposes only and not to be taken as a contract, either implicit or explicit. It is the responsibility of the person posting the message and attachment(s) to ensure that he/she is not breaching any laws, rules or regulations (including copyright) by doing so. The LBSG and the Mailing List Moderator will not take any responsibility whatsoever in regard to this. The Letter Box Study Group is an operating name of The Letter Box Study Group Trust. What if I have a comment or question about something I have just read above? E-mail the Mailing List Moderator at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you are already a subscriber and your comment is of interest to other subscribers to the list then send it to email@example.com. When was this document last amended? LBSG Mailing List Information Document Version 4.20 23 October 2012 Where can I read the latest version of this document? On the LBSG web site at http://www.lbsg.org/list.htm.