Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(March 2000)
 

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Subject: Mail Lists on RemarQ
From: Eric Leach <eleach @ remarq . com>
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2000 11:55:15 -0800
To: list-managers-digest @ greatcircle . com

Hello. As you already know, we have incorporated support for mail lists
through our web site at http://www.remarq.com/ . Up until now we have
been addressing the concerns of list owners on an as needed basis. We
would like to address list owner's concerns in a centralized forum, so I

am posting this here.

This message covers the functionality of mail lists on RemarQ in 4
sections: 1) Background on RemarQ and our current approach to Usenet
newsgroups and custom groups, 2) Approach to public mail lists, 3)
Benefits to users and 4) Contacting us.

1)
RemarQ currently provides Internet discussion services (Usenet
newsgroups and custom message boards) via the RemarQ web site and
co-branded partner web sites. Currently people can use our web interface

to search or browse a directory of message boards to find a group they
are interested in and read the discussions in that group. To participate

in the group (post a message) they must register with a valid email
address. RemarQ confirms users' email addresses before allowing them to
post messages.

2)
We support public mail lists in a similar way, but with several key
changes.

A) Mail lists have been added to our searchable index and our directory,

so people are able to find them in the same way they find Usenet
newsgroups or custom groups. We obtained our “list of lists” exclusively

from Stephanie daSilva's Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists. If your list

is not on PAML and you would like to have us include your list please
email mail_lists@remarq.com. You can visit our mail list suggestion page

http://www.remarq.com/suggestmailinglist.q and enter your mail list
information directly into our form to suggest a new list or update an
existing list. If your list is on PAML and you do not want us to include

your list please send email to mail_lists@remarq.com.

B) Mail lists are designated as "subscription required" and RemarQ
performs only the client end function of a mail list, leaving the
subscription approval process in the hands of the list owner. To access
a mail list users have to subscribe to the list. Only registered users
with valid email addresses are able to subscribe to a list. RemarQ
simplifies the subscription process by creating a unique email address
for the user and then sending a subscribe email to the list on their
behalf. The user cannot view list content until we receive confirmation
from the list owner that the user is successfully subscribed.

C) RemarQ does not archive mail lists. Once a user is successfully
subscribed, they are able to read discussions from the date of their
subscription approval. If the user is unsubscribed from the list they
are not allowed to see any messages in the list from that point forward.

RemarQ simplifies unsubscribing for users by placing an "unsubscribe"
button in the user interface.

E) Users who are subscribed to a list can post messages to that list via

RemarQ. RemarQ will send messages to the list on the user's behalf. The
user's email address will appear with their messages, so they have an
identity in the list and so people can respond directly to them.

F) RemarQ does not publish the member list of any mail list. Based on
the response of list owners, clicking the member tab in mail lists now
surfaces a confidentiality message. Email addresses of list members
appear only if a subscribed member of a list clicks the sender’s name in

the header of a message. This functions exactly as if the user had
subscribed through a mail client.

3)
We believe that making it possible to read and participate in email
lists via the RemarQ interface has 4 main user benefits:

+ Makes it easier for you to subscribe and unsubscribe to a mailing list

+ Keeps your email inbox from being overwhelmed with mail list messages
+ Allows you to better manage your list participation using RemarQ
features like discussion threading, watched discussions, ignored
discussions, and searching within a group.
+ Helps promote access to mail lists

4)
In implementing support for mail lists we have consulted with Alan
Schwartz (author of Mailing Lists published by O'Reilly) and Stephanie
da Silva (owner of PAML). Our intention is to create a community that is

both convenient for users and respectful of list owners. Consequently,
we are always looking for feedback from list members and owners alike.
Please send us any suggestions that might help us improve our service to

the mail list community to mail lists@remarq.com.

Thank you,

Barry Saik, Director of Product Management
Eric Leach, Content Programming and Web Support
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