Mailing List Preference

How many mailings lists have you been a part of? It seems like they all behave a little different. Does the list send an echo email back to the sender? Does the reply go to the sender of the email or back to the list? Mailing lists behaviors are about as diverse as the number of opinions that there are on how they should work. We’ve added a new option to hubs that changes the way a Discussion Board Mailing List will behave.

The way that a hub’s mailing list worked up to this point is pretty straight-forward. Any time a new thread is started (whether in the hub or by sending an email to the hub’s list) an email is sent to each member of the hub. The email was sent in such a way that hitting the Reply button in your mail client (Outlook, Mac Mail, Entourage, GMail, etc) would default the To: field to the hub Discussion Board Email Address and therefore send an email back to the group and record a new message in the thread. For many users this feels natural and understand the implications of communicating through a mailing list. However, we found some users were not expecting the Reply to go to the entire group. After all, the email was from Matt Harrell, why would hitting the Reply button draft an email to the hub and not Matt? That kind of logic is reasonable in my opinion. In an attempt to address these concerns we’ve added an option to the Hub Settings.

In your hub(s) click the Hub Settings button. On the General tab you’ll notice a new radio button selection about half-way down the page.

reply-to-option

By default, replies to emails through the hub mailing list will act just like they do now, and send an email to the whole group. However you can change this option so that replies to any new emails through the mailing list will be sent to the author of the message. Here’s the powerful thing about this option:

Hitting the Reply All button will CC: the hub mailing list email address!

With this option users are empowered to make a decision; “Do I want to reply to just the sender or the entire list”. This option could prevent more active discussions, but for some groups (particularly larger ones) this option will really help cut down on what can sometimes be seen as unnecessary “chatter”.

The one thing to note here is that hub Discussion Boards can now behave differently. So pay attention to what’s in the To: field.

Do you find this option useful? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know how you feel about mailing lists and these new changes.