Moderator Guide

This is the notice given to group owners when groups are first set up. Please refer to these instructions as needed, mentioning them to your co-moderators.

Your Email Group is ready for your use!

MANAGING YOUR EMAIL GROUP
-------------------------
You can maintain your group using e-mail commands (send any message to
some-group-help@freegroups.net  for details) or by using the web-based
MimerDesk maintenance tool at http://freegroups.net

If you have not already created an account in MimerDesk, please do so now.
If you have trouble with the Register button, you can send any email
to core-subscribe@freegroups.net to register.


ADDING SUBSCRIBERS TO YOUR NEW GROUP
------------------------------------
You can add subscribers to your group as soon as you Log in to MimerDesk.
In MimerDesk, click on the name of your group in the My Groups box, then
select Add Users from the Current Tool pulldown menu in the upper right.
Enter email addresses in any but the top box.

Here is a demo to add users: /images/demo-add-user.swf

Removing subscribers demo: /images/demo-remove-user.swf

Once your subscribers are added, you can email your group by sending your
message to: "some-group@freegroups.net".


VACATION AUTO-RESPONDERS
------------------------
Do not, for any reason, set up an automated response email when you intend to
be away from your email group for an extended time.  Such automated emails
can auto-approve moderated email requests, auto-subscribe all requested
subscriptions to your group, and can create a message-posting loop that will
drive away all your group members.  If this begins to happen, your address
will be unsubscribed from all email groups, and your group may be permanently
deleted from this service.

Other promises you made when you applied for this group are still at
/guide/your-group-here.html - just in case you forget. (-:


GROUP HOME PAGE
---------------
Your Email Group also has its own home page!  It is located at
/groups/some-group
and the page will come to life at 2am EST of the day after your first message
is sent to the email group address.

4Gb of Public web space is also available for the group.  For example,
hundreds of sermon MP3 or OGG files could be placed online - even videos...

In MimerDesk, just go to the Files tool for your group, click the "Public"
checkbox, and click OK.  It will give a warning about deleting files, but as
long as you have none checked, it will not delete anything.

Upload any files or web pages you want to provide to the Internet, and they
will instantly be available for Christian ministry.


EMAIL ATTACHMENTS
-----------------
PDF files are accepted for those groups that have "Styled (HTML)
Mail Allowed" checked in the Modify Group Information area of MimerDesk.

Keep in mind that the total message size limit still applies, so no email
message (including the PDF) can be greater than 200k, except from 2-6am EST
when the limit is 500k.  Besides PDF, RTF, JPG, GIF, and PNG are allowed.


READING MESSAGES FROM THE WEB
-----------------------------
Any group member can Register in MimerDesk and read or post messages from the
web.  Members of groups whose message archives are not public can read messages
on the web right from the Group Home Page noted above, AFTER they log into
MimerDesk and a cookie is set.  However, the Newsgroup method below is faster.


READING MESSAGES USING "NEWSGROUP" SOFTWARE
-------------------------------------------
Your group members can use Mozilla Thunderbird or Outlook Express to read the
messages from your group as a Newsgroup.  Groups with "Archives only for
Subscribers" will require subscribers to log in using their MimerDesk name and
password.

The URL to connect news readers to your newsgroup is
news://freegroups.net/some-group

The link is also on your group home page when you click "Start Reading..."


DIGESTS AND MICROSOFT OUTLOOK
-----------------------------
Microsoft has not programmed Microsoft Outlook to operate well with email
digests, so your digests seem to arrive as separate file attachments
instead of a set of individually readable MIME parts in one message.  If you
decide to put up with this poor product, here are the steps to read digests:
  1. open the TEXT file attachment at top - it is the index/key to all messages
  2. the message number in the index matches the filename of the attachment
  3. select the filename to read, and that message will operate as normal email

This picture shows how Outlook will look with digests open:
/images/outlook-digest.jpg

For a more modern and enjoyable digest and email reading experience, use
Mozilla Thunderbird, which is free and displays digests as one continuous
flowing email message.  It looks like this:
/images/thunderbird-digest.jpg

To configure Outlook to access messages in Newsgroup mode instead, visit
/guide/?page_id=66.  These instructions
explain how.  A link to them is provided on every group home page that needs
them.


GROUP CALENDAR
--------------
Every Email Group here has a Group Calendar.  The Calendar allows you to
pre-program email messages to be sent to your Group at times, days, and
recurrences you choose.

Imagine you have a Group that gets a daily devotional, but you plan to be on
vacation for a week.  With the Group Calendar, you can write your devotionals
in advance and have the Calendar email them out each day at the normal time,
just as if you were still doing it manually.

When the Event is mailed to the Group, it will appear to come from you - even
if the Event is set up by one of your co-moderators.  Keep that in mind.

  See demo: /images/demo-using-the-group-calendar.asf


LIST MANAGEMENT DETAILS
-----------------------
Here are several tips on using the web tool to configure your group:

1. The Group Owner is you.  I also refer to you as a Group Moderator.

2. Initially, you may spend some time adding or deleting subscribers using
MimerDesk.  Remember that your digest members are on a sublist.  The
"Allow" list (other Email Group systems call this NOMAIL) is for
web-subscribers who do not want to get email, but still want to be able to
email the group and read recent/past mail on the web or via the Newsgroup.

3. Two other sublists are Shepherd and Deny.  Shepherd members have their
messages redirected to a moderator, preventing them from freely posting to the
group.  People in the Deny sublist cannot ever post to the group.

4. You can add or delete your own co-moderators also from the main subscriber
page above.  A co-moderator is helpful especially on Groups that use
moderated posting.  Be careful, because in MimerDesk, a co-moderator has all
the privileges you do as owner!

5. When you enter the Configuration page, the Group settings are set to your
requirements when the Group is first created.  In general, the only setting you
may ever want to change is Moderated Posting, which will let you quickly clamp
down on a renegade discussion by making you pre-approve all posts to the Group.
Unless you are online a lot or have a very slow Group, avoid Moderated Posting.

  A configuration demo: /images/demo-configure-group.swf

6. You can change the Subject Prefix of all outgoing messages from your Group.
Please try to keep the Prefix the same as your Group name - though changes in
the case of letters is fine and helpful.  Using abbreviated Group names can
confuse group members when it comes time to unsubscribe.

7. By default, we usually set the Replies to Group checkbox - it causes
all your subscriber replies to be sent to the Group.  Without that, all
replies will be sent privately/only to the original poster.

8. In your group Configuration, there are several text fields that allow you to
customize the messages your subscribers get when they interact with your Group
email commands. Cryptic <#l#> stuff is there for a purpose in those files - so
please do not remove it.

Please note that all Group owners are automatically subscribed to the MODERATOR
Email Group, which is used to make announcements about system changes, and
for moderators like yourself to give and get help from people running Groups
just like you.  Subscription to this Group is highly recommended, but you can
unsubscribe and read messages in MimerDesk if needed.

Enjoy your Email Group!