Help Mailing List Procedure

Mailing Lists: Getting Started

We use a mailing list and shared web application called Sympa to provide a simple yet sophisticated set of tools for you and your group to manage your email lists and communication strategies. A full Reference manual is available at To create a new mailing list:

Get a Password:

1. Go to You will see a selection of public mailing lists. To see private mailing lists you are subscribed to, you must login Click on the “Login” button at the top left of your screen
2. Click the “Send me a Password” button
3. Type in your email address
4. Click the “Send me my Password” button
You can also use this feature if you ever forget your password
` 1. Open your email with your regular email program. You will find new mail to you from Sympa with a temporary password (copy this to your clipboard) and links to: password changes, mailing lists service and a help page
2. Click the “Changing your password” link Paste in your temporary password
3. Enter an easier to remember new password (write it down!)
4. Re-enter your new password
5. Click the “submit” button

This password will also work for any other VCN list subscriptions you have.
Configure your account:

  • Go back to the login screen and use your full email address and password
  • You are now logged onto the Mailing list services The “Your environment” page is where you can change other details of your account like your full name, language and other email addresses you may use occasionally

Create your mailing list:

1. Click on “Create list” on the top menu bar Fill in your mailing “List name” (either put a hyphen in it or make it longer than 8 characters)
2. Often lists are identified as such to avoid their confusion with regular email addresses (eg. planning-list, or planning-l)
3. Choose the type of list that best reflects you intentions. You can make adjustments to the configuration once you are using it 4. Type in a “Subject” for your mailing list that briefly identifies what it is for
5. Select a “Topic” (you can add more later)
6. Type in a “Description” of your list to be sent to all new subscribers with the information they need to use it effectively. Here’s a rather elaborate sample(need link –

Configure your list:

1. Click on “Submit your creation request”. The list will not be active until VCN validates it, however you can modify its configuration
2. Click on the “List admin” button on the left-hand side of the screen Using the choices on the “List administration panel”,
3. You can now add and remove owners, moderators and subscribers to the list.(warning: if you add email addresses to the list without the “quiet” mode activated, they will be notified of their subscription – even though the list is not functional)
4. Add your own address as a subscriber – it will help you find the list later!
5. You can create a “Shared web” to store documents and links. And you can develop texts to be sent to subscribers and others.

For information on using your mailing list effectively you should consider studying “From Workplace to Workspace”

Add a Subject Tag Line
Go to “List Admin” for the particular mailing list

1. Click on “Edit List Config” from the “List Administration Panel”
2. Choose “Sending/reception setup” from the list of options
3. Type in your abbreviated list name under “Subject Tagging”
4. Click “Update” to save your changes

View list archives:

1. After logging in, click on the list name you want to view
2. Click in the ‘archive’ button in the left hand column B
3. Browse the archives by month, or use the ‘advanced search’ link to search by keyword (there are lots of options to narrow down a search). Some archives have been transferred from our previous list Manager, Majordomo.

View a list shared web space:

1. From the left hand column, click on ‘Shared web’ You’ll may see a number of types of documents posted, they can be text, html, links, subfolders or files created with proprietary software (remember, only those with appropriate software will be able to view them)
2. To view a document, either click on the link or use the edit link. It’s easier to view text files using the edit link, and to view html files using the file name link (a new window will open).
3. To make changes, click on the ‘edit’ link. Make the desired changes and then hit the ‘publish’ button.
4. To upload an existing file from your hard drive, use the ‘browse’ and ‘publish’ buttons at the bottom of the screen.
5. To add a new document you’re creating from scratch, enter a file name in the box to the left of the ‘create a file’ button. Then fill in the info on the next screen and hit the ‘publish’ button. These will be plain text files (unless you add html tags).
6. You can also create subdirectories within the ‘shared web’ folder and store docs there. I haven’t found an easy way to move docs around from folder to folder, other than re- uploading.

Moderating a mailing list:

1. After logging in, click ‘list admin’ link on the left hand column.
2. On the next screen, click on the ‘moderate’ link on the list administration panel to see any messages for distribution or rejection.