Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin : August 2006

Previous | Next

 TECHNOLOGY TALK:

BY JOHN ANDERSON  

TECHNOLOGY TALK: MSBA Email Lists 101

The MSBA Email Lists are the e-mail-based discussion groups that takes place via e-mail using a Mailing List of subscribers. You can send one e-mail message to a single e-mail address and have it delivered to every member of that Email List. You don't need any new software – all messages are sent and received using your existing e-mail software.

The MSBA currently has over 200 Email Lists. There are Email Lists for each MSBA Section, Section Council and MSBA Committee. The MSBA also has Email Lists available for Maryland Local & Specialty Bar Associations. Each list works pretty much the same, with some differences that are described below. (To see a list of available Email Lists visit www.msba.org/?lists)

Email List Types
Most everyone is probably familiar with the MSBA Discussion Lists. If you send a message to the Email List address, it is delivered to the other list members, who can then respond. You have to be a member of the list in order to send to the list.

The other type of list is the Announcement Lists. These lists are for announcing important events and delivering important information to list members. We also use this type of list for sending the MSBA Bar Brief and MSBA Events newsletters each month.

Joining an Email List
It is easy to join a Section Email List. Most lists require that you be a member of the Section before you are able to join a list. If you are a member of a Section and wish to join a Section Email List, you can either visit www.msba.org/?lists or visit the Section webpage and click on the "Join Email List" button.

If you are not yet a member of a Section and request to join both the Section and Section Email List at the same time, your Email List account will be activated as soon as your Section application has been processed by our membership department.

If you are a member of a Local or Specialty Bar Association you can contact that particular association to be added to their Email List.

Email List Settings
There are a number of different options for your Email List accounts. By default, your account is set to receive messages as they are sent. If you prefer, you can ask to receive only one message per day containing the Email List messages for the previous day; this is the "Mime Digest". There is another digest mode available, but it often will display the formatting codes, making messages difficult to read. The Mime Digest mode should work for everyone, with the possible exception of those members who get their mail from within programs like Timematters.

There is also another option. The "no mail" option will keep your account active on our system but not deliver any mail. This is also known as vacation mode.

If you would like to change your settings please contact us by e-mail; the address is listed below.

E-mail Address Changes

The easiest way of changing your e-mail address on the MSBA Email List is to contact us. If you are a member of more than one Email List we can update your e-mail address on all lists of which you are a member. Please include your old e-mail address as well as the new address; it is the fastest and easiest way of updating your account.

Sending Email List Messages
Sending Email List messages is easy. Using your regular email software, create a message and send it to the Email List address. If you are a member of the MSBA Solo and Small Practice Section, for example, the Email List e-mail address would be MSBASolo@lists.msba.org. [List names are not case-sensitive]. All MSBA lists will have "@lists.msba.org" as the mail domain. We suggest adding the Email List address to your e-mail address book to help avoid misspellings. A list of MSBA Lists, including their e-mail addresses, can be found at www.msba.org/?lists.

Replying to Email List Messages
There are two types of discussion Email Lists: "Reply to List" and "Reply to Author". "Reply to List" is the easiest way to carry on a discussion. Sending a reply back to the list is as simple as clicking the "Reply To" button. If you want to contact ONLY the original sender, you would have to create a new message. This can also be a tad dangerous. Too often, after receiving an e-mail message, we instinctively fire back a reply to the sender. Now what you thought was a personal message has been sent to all other list mates. Because of this, many lists use the "Reply to Author" method.

With a "Reply to Author" list you click "Reply" to reply to the author and "Reply to All" to reply to the list. The type of list will be mentioned in the welcome message you receive when you join the list. The list type is also shown at the bottom of all "Reply to List" List messages.

Attachments
To help protect Email List members from viruses, none of our large Discussion Lists will deliver any message with attachments. If you send a message without an attachment but receive an "attachments detected" message, it may be because you have a vCard or other signature file associated with your outgoing messages. You can try resending your message in PlainText mode, or change your signature file.

Email List Rules
There are a number of rules for using the MSBA Email List, and you can read them online. Most involve e-mail etiquette, but there are other items that you should review (www.msba.org/sec_comm/lists/rules.htm).

Unsubscribing
We hate to see you go, but if you do decide to leave, you can either contact us to remove you from a list or follow the instructions located at the bottom of each List message you receive. There may be unsubscribe links displayed in the message that are a part of an e-mail reply – always use the link at the very bottom of the message. If the link contains a "$" in the link it was not displayed properly; please contact us to unsubscribe you from the list.

If you need to have any changes made to your Email List accounts, you can send them to webmaster@msba.org.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions. And stay tuned – next time, I will give you some tips to help control incoming messages and not have them take over your inbox.

Previous previous

next Next

Publications : Bar Bulletin: August 2006

Back to top