Thursday, June 17, 2004

Easy List Unsubscribing

The up-to-date version of this post will be maintained at:

If you have changed your email address permanently, and no longer have access to the account, to to the Rootsweb HelpDesk and have them do a global unsub for all your lists:

More on changing your contact information at Rootsweb:

I did not write this article, previously published in RootsWeb Review: 16 June 2004, Vol. 7, No. 24.

RootsWeb Mailing Lists -- Gone Fishing?

"Summertime and the livin' is easy" is how the familiar song from "Porgy and Bess" goes. For RootsWeb users in the Northern Hemisphere, summer is nearly here and that often brings with it vacations (holidays), long weekend fishing trips, beach house visits or trips to the cabin in the mountains. All of which means time away from genealogical research, time away from your computer and your e-mail. What should you do when you are going to be away temporarily from your RootsWeb mailing lists?

Depending upon the length of time you will be away, the capacity of your mailbox, and the activity level of the lists to which you subscribe; you may choose either to remain subscribed to the lists and catch up on your mail when you return or unsubscribe (especially from the busiest high-volume lists) and re-subscribe when you get home. RootsWeb list software does not have a temporary "NO-MAIL" setting. However, unsubscribing and re-subscribing is easy and will accomplish the purpose.

If you choose to unsubscribe from all, or just some, RootsWeb mailing lists during your vacation, first check Password Central to verify to which lists you are subscribed.

Once you obtain a list of your subscribed lists, address a new e-mail message to the list "request" addresses for the lists from which you
wish to unsub. The "request" address is used to send your command or instructions that can either unsubscribe or subscribe you from a list.

The format for addressing a message to the request address is: -- if you are subscribed in mail mode (receiving every individual message list members send to the list) or -- if you are subscribed in digest mode (receiving list messages lumped together in digest format).

Replace the generic word LISTNAME above with the actual name of the list. For instance, if you wish to unsubscribe from the SMITH surname list and you are subscribed in mail mode, send your request to: or to unsubscribe from the digests.

Be sure to put the word UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject and message body of your e-mail and don't include any other text. If you wish to unsubscribe from more than one list at the same time, you can show multiple "request" addresses in the SEND TO box of your e-mail with the addresses separated by a comma just as you would if you were sending an e-mail to several individuals at one time.

Keep a record of the mailing list names for the lists from which you have unsubbed so that you can easily address a new e-mail to the same list request addresses when you return with the word SUBSCRIBE in the subject and message body to get back on the lists you temporarily left. Note: Never send a REPLY e-mail to subscribe to, or unsubscribe from, a list -- always send a NEW e-mail.

Upon your return from summer fun, you can browse the archives of your mailing lists to catch up on the messages you missed. Start here:
Type in the name of the list you wish to browse and then select the month and year to view an outline of the messages you wish to read. Next, click to view any or all individual messages.

So, if the fish are biting this summer or the seashore looks inviting, leave the laptop at home and don't worry about the "the big one" getting away because you are not home to view responses to your genealogical research queries. You can catch up with mailing list messages when you return.

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