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List Manager: About

A note on terminology: Early iterations of this kind of software are known by trademarked names such as ListServe and Listserv. We don't use either of those products, hence our use of the term List Manger.



  • List Manager - The software used to manage lists.
  • List - A colection of email addresses that can be used for either broadcast or conversational purposes.
  • List Owner - The person or persons who is responsible for managing list membership.

Lists are an old technology, one of the first "killer" internet communication apps aned, aside from email itself, the only one that continues to be relevant and useful in the 21st century. Lists are collections of email addresses that can be used for either conversation or announcements. Some examples of academic lists include:

  • A department-based faculty discussion list
  • A list used for sending announcements to students in a department, college, or club
  • Managing professional academic organizations

In the first two instances William Paterson email addresses would predominate, but third party email addresses are acceptable for colleagues in universities across the country and around the world.

Learning Management Systems have replaced lists in many instances, and for good reason: Blackboard can store documents and features a graphical user interface. The one advantage of lists is that email is pushed to the user, while users have to log on to an LMS to get information. So a department search committee would likely utilize Bb because of the ability to store CVs and conduct discussions, while a list is a better tool for broadcasting job openings to students.

The Web Help Desk is the best means for communicating with the list management team in the Center for Teaching and Learning with Technology. Log into the Web Help Desk:
and select the category:
List Manager

for purposes including:

  • Opening a list
  • Closing a list
  • Consultation about the usefulness of learning management vs. list management tools for a particular purpose
  • Reporting problems
  • List management training


List Manager: Management

A list owner communicates with both the list users and the list management. If the name of the list is "Chem-students" the address used to distribute email to members will be:

The address to send list-editing commands to the list manager is:

In both cases please remember the term "list" in the domain

List mail or list commands will not be distributed without use of the correct domain!

The most common commands for the designated list editor are

review (obtain a roster of members):

In each case the first step is to open an email and address it to Every list command must begin with a login statement:

login yourpasswordhere

Under the login statement enter a command:

add yourlistname User One

One may submit several commands in one email, but each command needs to start on a new line. Here is an example of adding, deleting and obtaining a list roster in one email:

login yourpassword
add yourlistname User One
delete yourlistname
review yourlistname


  • Every set of commands must begin with the login
  • When adding a user one may include the members name after the eamil address, but it is not mandatory
  • When deleting a user the members name is never included. Finally, users of other list manager tools might recognize truncated commands such as del and rev, but our list manager requires use of the full word.


Use this link to contact the IT Help Desk