Groups Subscribers

The following information is for all users of our Groups service. If you are an administrator looking to manage your Groups, further information is available in the Groups Administrators Guide.

Joining or leaving a group

Depending on the group, there might be different ways to get subscribed, but instructions for unsubscribing should be included as a footer on all list messages automatically.

To use the Web interface, you can connect to the group’s page (as described below) and click Subscribe or Unsubscribe. Some groups may not allow you to subscribe yourself, and others might have a way to subscribe via the group owner’s own Website.

You can also subscribe by email, by sending a blank message to the address groupname-subscribe@domain. You need to substitute the group’s name for “groupname”, and its domain for “domain”, which may be npogroups.org, groups.electricembers.net, or a custom domain like lists.your-domain.org. To unsubscribe, send instead to groupname-unsubscribe@domain, with the group’s name and domain substituted.

Logging in

You can log in to a group’s website using your subscribed email address. Many groups are under http://npogroups.org or http://groups.electricembers.net, while others are found under their own custom domain names like http://lists.your-domain.org. Click “New Login” to have an initial password assigned. Once logged in you will be able to modify details about the way you are subscribed, view archives of list traffic, calendar, file share area, and subscriber list. Some of these things may be disallowed by the group owners.

Posting messages to a group

If you are subscribed to a group that allows posting, you can simply email the group address to have your message distributed to all subscribers. You can use HTML formatting and it will be distributed as-is, and preserved in the archives. If you use Outlook, be sure the formatting is set to HTML and not to “Microsoft Rich text”, which is a Microsoft-only format that will be stripped from list messages. You can also log in to the group’s Web page and click Post to create your list message.

Sending attachments

You can send attachments to an Groups list, subject to the following size limit which depends on the size of the list:

1-100 subscribers: 20 MB
101-500 subscribers: 7.5 MB
501-1500 subscribers: 2.5 MB
1501-5000 subscribers: 1 MB
5001-10000 subscribers: 512 KB
10001-15000 subscribers: 200 KB
15001+ subscribers: 100 KB

If you are sending HTML messages that are too large because of in-line images (not file attachments), then we strongly recommend switching the image links to load remotely from the Web, which should end up working seamlessly for most or all recipients. Doing so will require just a slightly more complex procedure for you in message composition, but it’s really only two steps:

  1. Upload the image to a web server somewhere, presumably the same place where you host your own Web site. It doesn’t need to actually be shown on that site or be linked from anywhere; it just needs to be a file sitting on that server and accessible as a public URL, and you need to know the direct URL that will load it from whatever location you used.
  2. Then, when composing an HTML message, from the insert-image dialog, tell it to include the image remotely from the Web. In GMail, you would click the image button and then select the “From the Web” tab; in Thunderbird, you would click the image button and then select the “Link” tab; in other programs it should be similar. Now paste in the URL for the image you uploaded above, and it will get included as a remote resource in the message, which will display (at least for the vast majority of users) just as it would have with a local file.
Daily digests and other subscription modes

You can change your subscription mode in various ways, including receiving daily digests instead of every message as it is sent, either by email commands or most easily from the Web interface. Connect to the list’s Web page and login with your subscribed address, and you will see the Subscriber Options link in the left menu. Click on that to see your subscriber settings, including delivery mode. You can choose Rich Digest (all messages are added as in their original form as attachments), which is recommended if your email client can handle it, or else regular Digest, which strips out all HTML and images and builds a text-only version of each message.

If you wish to use email commands instead of the Web, you can send an email to sympa@domain, with the group’s domain (npogroups.org, groups.electricembers.net, or a custom lists.your-domain.org) substituted for “domain”. The subject should contain a command of the form “set listname digest”, “set listname digest-rich”, etc., with the group’s name substituted for “listname”.

Changing your subscribed address

Log in using the currently subscribed address. (If you don’t know the password and can no longer access email at that address, you will need to contact the group owners.) Click Preferences, enter the new email address, then click Submit. If you are a group owner or moderator, this will also update your owner/moderator address; however, if you are a listmaster, you will need to contact us to update that address separately.

Subscriber options

Log in and click Subscriber Options to change: the name associated with your subscribed address; whether your address is hidden in the subscriber list; or your subscription mode (whether you want to receive a digest of list messages rather than each message individually, or if you want to receive no list messages while remaining subscribed).

Moderation and message rejection

Some groups are moderated: when you post a message to the group, it must be approved by the moderator before being distributed. Some groups are like newsletters: only the moderators can post. Discussion groups allow any subscriber to post. A message you send might be rejected by the moderator for content reasons, or it might get be rejected automatically if it is too large or if the address you sent it from is not allowed to post. In the case of most automatic rejections, the rejection message itself should tell you the specific reason for this response.

Contacting the list owner

You can email list owners directly by sending an email to groupname-request@domain, with the group’s domain (npogroups.org, groups.electricembers.net, or a custom lists.your-domain.org) substituted for “domain”. You can also just click the Contact Owners link on the group’s Web page.

Message archives

All list messages are archived and searchable. You can view messages by month, either chronologically or by thread. From an archived message, you can resend it to yourself, reply to the sender, or reply to the whole list. Log in and click Archive.

Calendar

To use your group’s calendar, log in and click Calendar.

File sharing

There may by a Share Documents area depending on how the owners have configured the group. Uploading files here is often a better way to share them than attaching larger files to list messages.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Why can't I post to my Group?

The most common reason is because you’re attempting to post from an address that is not subscribed to the list. Find your true subscribed address.

Why does Groups say I'm not subscribed when I know I am?

You are probably using a different address than the one that’s subscribed to the list — this tends to happen especially when forwarding mail from one address to another, or else when your email software is set up to check multiple accounts. To find your subscribed address, view the Full Headers (described here) of a message you’ve received from the list, and look for the one called Return-Path, usually among the first listed. It will look like this:

Return-Path: <groupname-owner+name=domain.org@groups.electricembers.net>

Groups encodes the subscriber’s address within the return address, beginning after the + sign and with the @ sign replaced by =. So in the above, +name=domain.org translates to name@domain.org, which is the actual subscribed address. It is from that address that any list subscription change requests must come, in order for Groups to know who you are.

Why don't I receive a copy of my message when I post to a Group from Gmail?

This is a feature of Gmail designed to reduce duplication of messages in your inbox, and/or to prevent spoofing or infinite mail loops. The email you’ve sent to the group is not delivered to your inbox because a copy of the email already exists in your Sent Mail and All Mail labels/folders. You should be able to find more information on this behavior in the Gmail help section.

I lost my password. How can I retrieve it?

On the Groups site, click Password Reset in the upper left corner.