small, easy-to-maintain listserv that isn't a Google Group in TYOL 2022
March 11, 2022 1:00 PM   Subscribe

I am an organizer for a group of academics at similar institutions who work on similar things. We have a mailing list, which right now is just hand-maintained and copy/pasted into new e-mails. This is kludgy and prone to error, and I would like suggestions (if you have any) for ways of setting up a listserv that (1) Will be easy to maintain (in case I hand it off to someone else, there's not too much of a hurdle) and (2) not Google Groups (which is a no-go for various unimportant reasons).

Like, ideally, it would be a situation where one of us e-mails and then we all receive it (and can filter it/unsubscribe to our heart's content).

I don't mind hand-maintaining the overall list of recipients.
posted by dismas to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is certainly a feature of your institution's email service, and there might be a process for just getting that set up rather than having to run something yourself. Have you checked if that's a possibility?
posted by russm at 1:32 PM on March 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

Best answer: is free for up to 100 members and can be used as a basic listserv without much hassle.
posted by 2ghouls at 1:35 PM on March 11, 2022

Best answer: is your best bet for a non-Google option.

Like russm says if you have a friendly academic sysadmin they can probably set this up in the existing mail system for you. The trick is maintaining the list of subscribers; if it doesn't change more than a couple of times a year doing it as a manual mail alias is reasonable.
posted by Nelson at 4:11 PM on March 11, 2022

There are 'list server' applications that many, many institutions and organizations run. Your use of the term 'listserv' says that yours may have one since 'LISTSERV' is the name of one of the original programs of that type. You might look for that at one of the institutions and work with them to set up yet another list.
posted by TimHare at 4:20 PM on March 11, 2022 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestion (and I welcome others). I could probably get something set up internally at my institution but I don't want to run into issues if I hand off running this to someone at another institution. And they would likely suggest Google Groups in any case!
posted by dismas at 6:12 PM on March 11, 2022

Best answer: nthing
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 6:31 AM on March 12, 2022

Best answer: I would also suggest!
posted by fabius at 7:17 AM on March 12, 2022

Best answer: I've been using with my group and it's very simple to use and I like its featureset.
posted by jessamyn at 11:02 AM on March 12, 2022

Response by poster: Thanks all! sounds like is a good option.

Follow up question: It seems like I can't add people manually with the basic group, but could with a premium option. Does anyone know what happens to your premium group once the trial expires? (I don't super mind ponying up but again, want to be able to hand this off and don't want someone else to be on the hook or having to pay the fixed set-up cost if it can be avoided)
posted by dismas at 10:04 AM on March 15, 2022

Can you say a bit more about what you want to do with adding people manually? You can invite people manually (or in bulk if you have a spreadsheet) just with the basic level. They will have to click a link in a confirmation email but then they're in.
posted by jessamyn at 3:00 PM on March 15, 2022

Response by poster: That actually is almost as good, thanks Jessamyn!

(The background is that I tried to set this up as a Google group and because not all of the users had a gmail account, or set up their settings correctly, or robust university spam filters, some announcements didn't get circulated; Google Groups is a little over-powered for my use case and not everyone is familiar with it. Since I had already hassled everyone to sign up for the Google Group, I'm a little embarrassed to ask them to sign up for Another Thing.
I had hoped to be able to create the list and say "okay now this is the list" without any of my members needing to be able to do anything. But if it's as simple as "click here to be added to the list," that's not too heavy a lift).
posted by dismas at 8:33 AM on March 16, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yeah that should work okay and no one cares what type of account you have. I have a few really-reluctant technology users and they were able to manage it. Good luck!
posted by jessamyn at 10:54 AM on March 16, 2022

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