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Lists Main
In This Section
Basic Definitions
Terms and Conditions
List FAQ
List Policy
Dispute Resolution
Netiquette

Email Lists
List Subscribers' Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

  1. What is a Listserv List?
  2. Where do I find the lists I can belong (subscribe) to?
  3. How do I find out more about a list?
  4. How do I subscribe to a list?
  5. How do I unsubscribe?
  6. How do I send a message to the list?
  7. How do I find the archives of a List?
  8. How do I contact the owner of a list?
  9. What should I know as a subscriber to a Sierra Club list?

Sierra Club List Policy

  1. What is Netiquette for Lists?
  2. Are there general rules governing the use of Lists?
  3. What is the Dispute Resolution Policy?

Technical Information

  1. I need a password — how do I get one?
  2. My email address has changed —what do I do?
  3. I get too many emails — can I cut down on email volume from the list?
  4. I'm going on vacation- what do I do?
  5. I receive messages in the daily digest, and the attachments come through as gibberish. How can I fix this?

Common Problems

  1. My postings to the list are filled with garbage characters — what can I do?
  2. How do I change the name that appears by my email address, when I send a message to a list?
  3. Help! I'm not getting messages from the list!
  4. I can't post to the list — why?
  5. I get so much spam. How can I quickly identify my list messages?

Also: Additional Tips and Tricks

 


General Information

What is a Listserv List?
Lists are a way to create an electronic "space" for people to get together and hear or talk about specific issues. Since Lists are run by electronic mail, members (subscribers) of a List do not have to be online at the same time, or even be in the same area. Sierra Club hosts lists for many different purposes: to send out activist alerts, news and information, to facilitate specific projects, to support certain groups, and to provide a forum for discussion and organization on certain topics, just to name a few. Also see Basic Definitions.


Where do I find the lists I can belong (subscribe) to?
Easy! Many Chapters have information on their lists right on their website. You can also contact your Club leaders for ideas, or see the list of Sierra Club Lists. (Hint: use Ctrl + F to find key words on this page.)


How do I find out more about a list?
Once you go to the list of Sierra Club Lists, the information is very easy to find. Just select the List you are interested in, and then you can send the following email:

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: Your email address
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: INFO LISTNAME (replace LISTNAME with the actual name of the list)

Then, you will receive an email from L-Soft list server at Sierra Club. It will contain the purpose of the list, who may belong to the list, and how to subscribe to the list.


How do I subscribe to a list?
First you need to obtain the subscription instructions specific to the list you're interested in. To do this, follow the directions above for finding out more about a list. The email directions for subscription should be posted.

To subscribe to a list that is open to the public, go to the list of Sierra Club lists, then click on the name of the list you wish to join.
(hint: use Ctrl + F to find key words on this page.)
Then, click on "Join or leave the list".

OR send an email:

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: Your real email address
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: SUBSCRIBE LISTNAME (replace LISTNAME with the actual name of the list)

If the List requires Sierra Club membership, the subscription process is slightly different, and it will be explained in the INFO statement. Make sure to double-check your membership number, and follow directions exactly. (Membership numbers are printed on address labels of Club mailings such as the magazine and newsletters, and on your membership card. If you can't find your membership number, contact membership.services@sierraclub.org.)


How do I unsubscribe?
Do not send an email to the list itself. Go to the list of Sierra Club lists, then click on the name of the list you wish to join. Then, click on "Join or leave the list".

Or, send an email from the email account which is subscribed to the list.

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: Your real email address
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: SIGNOFF LISTNAME (replace LISTNAME with the actual name of the list)

If you still need assistance, you should contact the Owner of your list.


How do I send a message to the list?
If the list you are on allows subscribers to post, then you can send a message to the list by sending an email to LISTNAME@lists.sierraclub.org (this is not a real address — you have to replace LISTNAME with the actual name of the list). Then, your message will be distributed to everyone who subscribes to that list.
If you are not sure if you are allowed to post, you can request more information about the list, which should tell you who can post.


How do I find the archives of a List?
Go to the list of Sierra Club Lists, and click on your list's name. This will bring up an archive table of contents. (hint: use Ctrl + F to find key words on this page.)


How to I contact the owner of a list?
The standard email for a List Owner is: LISTNAME-request@lists.sierraclub.org (this is not a real address -- you have to replace LISTNAME with the actual name of the list).


What should I know as a subscriber to a List?
You should know the purpose of the list, you should know if you are allowed and how to post messages to the list, and review the Sierra Club Terms and Conditions for Lists. The best thing to do is to read and save the information you receive when you join the list.


Sierra Club List Policy

What is Netiquette?
See netiquette.


What are the general rules governing Lists?

  1. Subscribers must opt-in, or request to subscribe. This means you cannot sign up your friend, unless they expressly ask you to.
  2. Spam and other misuse of a list in any form is not allowed, and will not be tolerated on Sierra Club Lists.
  3. The purpose of a List must be respected.
  4. Any instances of subscriber misconduct are handled by the List Owner and Sponsor according to Sierra Club's Dispute Resolution Policy for Lists.


What is the Dispute Resolution Policy?
Sierra Club policy is to maintain lists which serve to advance Sierra Club's mission. The List Owner and List Sponsor are responsible for this. For details of Dispute Resolution Policy, click here.


Technical Information

I need a password-- how do I get one?
Go to the web archive interface, and follow the link in the first paragraph labeled "get a new LISTSERV password." Then, fill in the required information. We recommend that you use something different from your email password. Remember, this password will be the same for all your Sierra Club lists. You will receive an email message requesting confirmation; follow the instructions in the email, and then you can log in through the web archive interface. After you enter your email address and password, click on the link labeled "follow this link" in the paragraph at the top of the page.


My email address has changed-- what do I do?
Send an email from your old email account:

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: your old email account
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: CHANGE * new email address (where you type in your actual email.)
Note: put a space on either side of the *.
If you no longer have access to your old email account, contact your List Owner and include: Listname, old email, new email, your subscription first and last name.


I get too many emails -- can I cut down on email volume from the list?
If you wish, you may request that you receive messages in "digest" form: this means that you will not receive each message as it is sent; instead, you'll receive one message with the postings of the day in one email. This is useful for high volume lists, and for those of us who are already beset by a plethora of email.  Another possibility is to set your subscription to "nomail", and then simply read the messages on the web archives.

To change the subscription options for one list at a time, you can use the web archive page for each lists.
Go to the list of Sierra Club Lists, and click on your list's name, then click on "Join or leave the list". From this page, you can select digest and mail options.

If you are subscribed to many lists, you can use the Subscriber's Corner and change the options for all of your lists at once. For the digest option, check the "Mail Style" box. For the nomail option, check the "Mail Status" box, then click on Submit. Select your preferences from the drop-down boxes at the bottom of the page, then click on "Submit Changes".

Or, you can change these options by email.

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: your subscribed email address
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: SET LISTNAME DIGEST (replace LISTNAME with the actual name of your list)
To reset your subscription, send the same email, but change DIGEST to NODIGEST. If you have problems, email your List Owner with your request.

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: subscribed email address
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: SET LISTNAME NOMAIL (replace LISTNAME with the actual name of your list)
To reset your subscription, send the same email, but change NOMAIL to MAIL.


I'm going on vacation- what do I do?
You may want to set your subscription to "nomail" until you return. You must send another email when you return, requesting that your subscription be set back to "mail". This way, you do not have to remember to unsubscribe from your lists and then re-subscribe when you get back from vacation. See the directions immediately above.


I receive messages in the daily digest, and the attachments come through as gibberish. How can I fix this?
Please change your subscription type to: Digest (MIME format) [no html mime format].

To change the subscription options for your list, use the web archive page. Go to the list of Sierra Club Lists, and click on your list's name, then click on "Join or leave the list". From this page, you can select, Digest (MIME format) [no html mime format], under Subscription Type.

Or, you can change these options by email by sending the following command:

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: your subscribed email address
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: SET LISTNAME NOHTML MIME DIGEST
(replace LISTNAME with the actual name of your list)

To reset your subscription, send the same email, but change SET LISTNAME NOHTML MIME DIGEST to SET LISTNAME NOMIME DIGEST. If you have problems, email your List Owner with your request. To contact the listowner please send an email to LISTNAME-request@lists.sierraclub.org, by substituting LISTNAME with the actual name of the list.


Common Problems

My postings to the list are filled with garbage characters — what can I do?
Here are some tips to follow when writing e-mail messages that will be posted to a listserv list:

  • Write the message within your email program.  Try not to write the message in another program, such as Word.
  • Use a basic font such as fixedsys or Default Sans Serif.
  • Do NOT write your message using HTML.
  • Do NOT copy and paste from Word files or Web pages. If you need to "copy" such text, you should write the message in a text editor, such as Notepad.  If you need to copy the text from Word, first SAVE the file as a text file. Then IMPORT that file into your email program. For example, in Word, use the File --> Save As option, and then from the dropdown menu, choose the file format of text (.txt). (You can't just change the file name extension to .txt). Then, go to your memo, make sure your cursor is clicked in the message area, and choose File --> Import to bring your document into your email. This works better than cutting and pasting.


How do I change the name that appears by my email address, when I send a message to a list?
When you subscribe to a Listserv list, and you use a name, Listserv "registers" that name with your email address. After your name has been registered, it will always appear in the "From" portion of postings you send to any Listserv list. In order to change this, you can send the following email to Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org:

REG Firstname Lastname

Be sure to send this command from the email address that you use to send messages to Listserv lists.

To further ensure that your name appears correctly beside your email address, please verify the correct spelling of your subscriber name on all lists to which you are subscribed. You can modify the spelling of your Subscriber Name through the Subscriber's Corner. You must Login with your subscriber email address and your listserv password. If you have never created a listserv password, please see instructions above, I need a password-- how do I get one?

Once you are successfully logged in to the Subscriber's Corner, look to the bottom of the page. Here you will find all the listserv lists you are subscribed to. Click on the List in which your name is spelled incorrectly. You should now see "Join or Leave LISTNAME." Where it says "Your Name," please fill in how you would like your name to appear by your email address. To save the changes click on "Update Options."

A message should appear stating "The name associated with your subscriber@email.org subscription has been changed to "Subscriber Name". The email address and subscriber name should appear correctly in this line.

If you are subscribed to multiple listserv lists, you can check the spelling of your name as it appears next to your email address, on all lists at once, by sending the following command.

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: Your subscriber email address
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: QUERY *
(there is one space between query and the *)

You will receive an email from listserv@lists.sierraclub.org displaying your subscription options for the lists you are subscribed to. Here you can verify how your name appears next to your email on each list. You can then go back to the Subscriber's Corner, and update only those which appear incorrectly.


Help! I'm not getting messages from the list!
There are a number of reasons you may not be receiving messages. The most important thing we need to resolve this issue is details. The more, the better. To begin with, follow these suggestions:

  1. Keep track of any error messages you may have received. Do not erase them because they seem like just a bunch of incomprehensible numbers and words.
  2. Contact your List Owner. The List Owner is responsible for list member subscriptions. They can review your subscription and let you know the status of your subscription account. They may ask you to send any error messages you may have received.
  3. Contact your ISP, and review your email filter settings. Often, the problem can be found in one of these areas.


I can't post to the list-- why?
Some lists do not allow subscribers to post messages. However, for those that allow it, there are a number of reasons-- the most common is that you are using a different email account from the one you used when you signed up. Listserv is a computer with little flexibility in this regard. The best thing to do is to use one email account for all your list subscription and communication needs. If you have to use more than one email account, make sure you subscribe each email account separately. You may use the same first and last name for each subscription. Make sure to have your secondary email subscriptions set to "nomail" so that you do not get duplicate postings. Contact your List Owner if you need help.



I get so much spam. How can I quickly identify my list messages?
LISTSERV has a feature which puts the name of the list in the subject line of each message from the list. To set up this feature for a single list, you can send the following message from the email account which is subscribed to the list.

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: Your subscription email address
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: SET LISTNAME SUBJ (replace LISTNAME with the actual name of the list)

OR
for all your lists, replace the message portion with
Message: SET * SUBJ

OR
Go to the list of Sierra Club lists, then click on the name of your list. Then, click "Join or leave the list". At this point you will be prompted to login with your listserv password, if you are not already logged in. If you do not have a listserv password, or have forgotten it, then you can create a listserv password. Under the "Mail Header Style" heading, choose "LISTSERV-style, with list name in subject". When you are finished, be sure to click "Update options" at the bottom of the page.

You will receive each message from the list with the list name inserted into the "Subject" line. In some cases, the list owner has defined a nickname for the list and the nickname, not the actual listname, will appear in the "Subject" line.


Additional Tips and Tricks
  • When searching a web page for a specific word or group of words on a page, you can press and hold the Control "Ctrl" plus the "F" keys to enter a search string and quickly find it.
     
  • To go directly to the archive page for any list (without having to go to the list of Sierra Club Lists first), modify the following URL:
    http://lists.sierraclub.org/LISTNAME.html where you replace "LISTNAME" with the actual name of the list.
     
  • If you want to make the same subscription option change on all of the lists to which you are subscribed, via the email method use the wild card symbol * in place of the List names.  (To a computer, * means "all".)
    For example, if you wanted to change all of your lists to "nomail", you could send an email that specifies each List individually:

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: subscribed email address
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: SET LISTNAME1 NOMAIL
               SET LISTNAME2 NOMAIL
               SET LISTNAME3 NOMAIL 

Or, you could send the following email:

To: Listserv@lists.sierraclub.org
From: subscribed email address
Subject: [this line is ignored and may be left blank]
Message: SET * NOMAIL

Both methods set your subscriptions for LISTNAME1, LISTNAME2, and LISTNAME3 all to "nomail."

However, it is best to exercise caution with this option; if you are not absolutely certain that you want the change to apply to all of your lists, don't use the *!
 


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