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Department of English Listserv FAQ

Q. Do I need a jjay email account to join a department list? 
A. No. Any valid email address will do.

Q. How do I join? 
A. Click the Subscribe link for the list you wish to join. Enter an email address and your name and choose the subscription options you want. Submit the form by clicking "Join the list." You will receive an email asking you to confirm your subscription (this protects you against having others sign you up for lists). Answer the email within 24 hours to confirm your subscription. Otherwise, you subscription will not go through.

Q. What if I miss the confirmation email? 
A. Simply subscribe again.

Q. How do I get off a list? 
A. Click the Unsubscribe link for the list and select "Leave the list."

Q.What are subscription options? 
A. Not everyone chooses to use an email list the same way. You have a variety of options for customizing your subscription to your preferred configuration. The next several FAQs describe several of these.

Q.Will people see my email address? 
If you do not choose the concealed option, yes, anyone reviewing membership will have access to your email address. If you choose the concealed option, everything else will work the same as if you did not but your email address and name will not show one the list of members for that list.

Q. What if I stop checking my email for a while? 
A. You do not have to unsubscribe to stop receiving email. Simply select the no mail option. When you return, you can find what you missed in the archives and reset your mail options to receive email again.

Q. What does the digest option do?
A. If you choose this option, you will receive only one email message a day containing all the email messages sent to the list the day before. This conveniently organizes email for high volume lists but also creates a delay in delivery.

Q. What does the index option do? 
A. If you choose this option, you will receive only a list of subject headings for post to the list the previous day. You will then have to visit the archives to read any messages that interest you. This generally makes sense only for very high volume lists for which you read only a few messages.

Q. How do the acknowledgment and reproduce options differ? 
A. These options govern what you receive when you post an email to a list. If you choose noacknowledgment, you get nothing and have to check the archives to know if your post made it to the list. If you choose acknowledgment, you get an email simply stating that your post went to the list. If you choose the reproduction option, you get a copy of your post just like everybody else does. Note that the reproduction option has no effect if you select the digest option. The digest contains all posts, including your own.

Q. How do I know if my post has gone to the list? 
A. See acknowledgment and reproduce options above.

Q. How do I change my list options? 
A. Click the change subscription options link for your list and update your options. Click the Join the list button to update your options. You may prefer to do this after signing on with a password (created by the Listserv software).

Q. Do I need a password? 
A. You do not need a password to subscribe, unsubscribe, or change you options. You do need a password to read some archives. The Web page will guide you through the process of selecting a password. This will require an email acknowledgment. So, you may find it convenient to choose a password before you need it in a hurry.

Q. What does Listserv mean? 
A. The software that runs the email lists goes by the name Listserv. "Listserve" simply misspells Listserv. People sometimes misuse the proper name Listserv to mean email list.

Q. Do I need to use Listserv commands? 
A. Generally, no. If you have used Listserv email lists prior to the proliferation of the World Wide Web, you may have learned to use Listserv commands to subscribe, unsubscribe, change options, review archives, or perform similar functions. Today you can accomplish most of these things using the Web interface. However, will accept and process Listserv commands should you prefer to use them. For a simple list, send the command "help" to the above Listserv address. For a more complete explanation, see the Listserv Users Guide. If for some reason you have access to your email but not the Web, you can perform email list tasks using Listserv commands.

Q. Is there a main page for the John Jay Listserv site? 
A. Yes, go to Following links from this page will get you to the other pages referenced above.

Q. How can I avoid the most common mistakes using email lists? 
A. 1) Always check the "To" field before sending email after using the reply function on your email editor. Many lists, including those above, automatically address replies to email sent to the list back to the list. If you receive list mail as individual email messages, you can easily mistake one of these for a private email, click replay, and post what you intended as a private email to the list. You can avoid this by always reading the "To" field before you send. You can also avoid it by using the digest or index mail options.

2) Always send Listserv commands, such as unsubscribe, to the Listserv address ( not the list address.

3) If you do not receive a copy of your post, wait. Do not resend it right away. Instead, check you options to make sure that you have them set to produce copies of your posts (reproduction or digest) or to produce an acknowledgment (see above). Check the archive to see if your post appears there. If not, email sometimes hits traffic and servers sometimes go down. Give the post time before resending it.

Q. What is Netiquette? 
A. The phrase net etiquette contracts to form netiquette. This term refers to customs and norms guiding responsible use of an email list. Each list develops its own unique culture and practices. You should pay attention to these when you join a new list. Nonetheless, a few general practices tend to hold across most lists. Avoid the three mistakes listed above. Do not post something to the list unless it applies to the purpose or membership of the list. Avoid cross-posting the same message to several lists with overlapping membership. Move side conversations of interest to only a few members off list. Recognize that email attachments fill email list digests with long strings of illegible characters. Avoid quoting an entire post at the end of your post. Instead, copy only the specific passages to which you reply. Never use an "out of office" auto-reply with an email address subscribed to a list. If possible, avoid HTML email on email lists as it often does not display well for at least some recipients. Above all else, keep your posts as brief and concise as possible. When you have a large amount of information of interest to a small proportion of list members, post a short announcement indicating a means of accessing further information. Many email lists have Web pages or periodic posts that outline the preferred netiquette for that list.