Opened 11 years ago

Closed 6 years ago

#347 closed Feature/Enhancement Request (fixed)

making changes in account

Reported by: https://id.mayfirst.org/carescc Owned by: https://id.mayfirst.org/alfredo
Priority: Medium Component: Tech
Keywords: account changes email mailman Cc: rkildayhicks@…
Sensitive: no

Description

I put medium priority because everything is working, but if you're there I hope to talk to you today. It's time to pay you, and renew w/ Dotster. Before I do, I wanted to review some changes we want to make, and make sure to sign up for what we really want for the next year. Questions include:

Web-based email products or other options to send upgraded email newsletters

Web-based products that can easily handle quick changes to small group email lists (ranging from 15-80-ish)

Using listserves w/ multiple email products

Can you/How to have SAME email address be used for multiple destinations?

My understanding of these things has limits, so talking in person will work best for me. Please call 510-841-5252. I may step out in an hour or so, making talking difficult, but in that case try 510-684-3437.

Thanks Alfredo and Jamie! Sara

Attachments (1)

Horde&MayFirst.doc (84.5 KB) - added by https://id.mayfirst.org/carescc 10 years ago.
message as word doc

Download all attachments as: .zip

Change History (12)

comment:1 Changed 11 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/alfredo

Hello Sara,

Jamie and I are out of town until the 26th -- next Wednesday when I'm returning and plan to be at work full-time next thursday the 27th. I was going to answer this here because you already have the capabilities you're needing for the most part and, when you don't, it's probably not possible. But I think we should talk personally because the scope of what you need isn't completely clear from this email.

When would you like me to call after the 26th?

Abrazos,

Alfredo

comment:2 Changed 11 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/jamie

  • Keywords email mailman added

comment:3 Changed 10 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/jamie

  • Priority changed from Medium to Urgent

Sarah responded via email:

I'm not working for the next couple of weeks, but want to push this forward, so catch me at home on Thursday (Dec 27).

I'm leaving off the phone numbers.

comment:4 Changed 10 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/dkg

Since usernames on this site are OpenID URLs (like https://id.mayfirst.org/dkg), the current assignment for this ticket doesn't match any username. This means that it won't show up on anyone's to do list, even though it's marked as Urgent. Maybe it should be explicitly assigned to someone?

comment:5 Changed 10 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/jamie

Thanks for bumping this dkg - I think it may have fallen through the cracks. (I boosted it to urgent in an effort to avoid having it fall through the cracks!). Are you back in town Sarah? If so - maybe we could try again for a phone date.

Jamie

comment:6 Changed 10 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/jamie

  • Owner changed from Alfredo or Jamie to https://id.mayfirst.org/alfredo

And re-assigning to Alfredo :). Although - I can take it too - I just am not in phone contact as much.

comment:7 Changed 10 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/jamie

Hi Sarah - just pinging this ticket again. If you still have questions - can we schedule a phone date? I could talk next week - tuesday, thursday and fridays are my best days.

Changed 10 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/carescc

message as word doc

comment:8 follow-up: Changed 10 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/carescc

Hi Alfredo,

I sent this as word doc too. (Thanks to Jamie for keeping this ticket moving.) Sorry this is lengthy, but it's all important! As I said I would, I wrote up our phone discussion and reviewed with Katie. Please respond to the questions in the six main areas outlined below and let me know of any inaccuracies in my understanding.

Thanks, Sara

Katie, Alfredo and I discussed our account with MayFirstPeopleLink over the winter break. Here are the highlights of what we talked about as well as our goals and possible solutions.

Thanks, Sara

Currently we pay MayFirst to:

  • Maintain 4 listserves (including CARESlist1, and Corps1)
  • host one web page for W4QCC.org, linking UWBA to WestEd

The fees we currently pay include the capacity to build additional websites. We could, for the $200 we currently pay, have a Corps Webpage housed with MayFirst.

We also have: 2 Domains (now paid directly through Dotster)

  • caccwrc.org
  • w4qcc.org

Our emails use our domains and are directed to the Horde email product. They could be directed elsewhere. If we used Google or Yahoo, the email would have to have google or yahoo in their name. OR can our current email addresses be redirected?

We can send to our listserves from any email product. Horde, Webmail, Outlook, Eudora, etc. Can we send to the listserves (Corps1, and CARESlist1) from Yahoo and Google as well? We can receive and send emails from different or multiple locations.

Goals:

  1. Maintain an email product that allows W4QCC work team to access emails from remote localities.

Horde does this and Webmail did offer this. Other solutions-Any web-based email product could work, including Yahoo, Google, or even Earthlink, etc. John (our IT) says that we could even use their web-based product for Outlook, and set up something w/in UWBA. We would then have to follow their capacity limits, spam filters, and etc.

  1. Have an email product that gives us clear, effective, fast communication for constantly changing small groups of 15-80 people.

Horde does not allow us to make quick group changes in our address book. (WebMail did.) In Horde, addresses must be added individually. This is not useful to us, as we generally use Horde to send messages to groups. We create these lists of addresses from other address books, databases, or lists we maintain or create. We do not need another individual contact data file. Also, it is difficult to combine a number of group addresses in Horde.

Our alternative solution is to maintain lists based in Word or Excel, and dump them into the BCC send line when needed. Horde does not seem to accept more than 45 at a time (tho this is inconsistent) so even this method is difficult.

What web-based email products allow you to add and delete email addresses in groups (as WebMail did)? Is there a way to increase the capacity allowed on a send line (so we could send to 100 or even 500 at once). Does Squirrel mail or the new Horde have the capacity for more addresses in the send lines or the capacity to add addresses as a group?

  1. Have well-formatted, easy to access and edit, and user-friendly email communication with constantly changing small groups of 15-80+ AND our listserve groups, particularly corps1.

Horde is even more sensitive than Webmail was [to formatting], and does not allow for easy ways to check drafts of mail being sent.

We could have our usual mail come and go from one email product and another be used for the messages we want to be more formatted. What are the best products for more highly formatted messages? One we’ve found is Constant Contact. They are at http://www.constantcontact.com. Please let us know the limits and pluses of using this product or one like it.

Would these products forward email responses to our Corps or CARES email destinations?

  1. Build a user- (or creator-) friendly website including a Corps Calendar, and key documents. It would be a plus for the website to include interactive ability.

Alfredo said we have this capacity now. How user-friendly would it be? Alfredo-Can you show us samples and let us know how we would go about starting it up? None of us know much HTML, so need this to be very user-friendly. Katie (W4QCC staff) went to google and quickly constructed some pages for a group we work with called the California Corps. Please see these pages for an example of what we need (ability to show documents on line and a calendar for starters) http://cachilddevelopmentcorps.googlepages.com. It would be great to have some interactivity, ability to download PDFs, email discussion, etc. too, but not required.

  1. Change email or email product without loosing people who have our current addresses.

Dotster says they can forward emails for a nominal fee for a year or other time period. They imply they’ve had some problem forwarding to AOL addresses. What other limits are you aware of to forwarding addresses?

  1. General questions about Yahoo, Google, Hotmail.

What are the limits of using these products? Besides these companies turning over people’s addresses to governments (an important limitation) what are the limits of using these products that I hear you and others refer to? Is it limitations around capacity? What email name you can use? Other?

comment:9 in reply to: ↑ 8 Changed 10 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/jamie

Replying to https://id.mayfirst.org/carescc:

Hi Alfredo,

I sent this as word doc too. (Thanks to Jamie for keeping this ticket moving.) Sorry this is lengthy, but it's all important!

Thanks for the comprehensiveness. I think this discussion will be helpful for others as well - so I'm glad we're having it on the public ticket tracking system.

I'm going to try to zero in on the questions and answer them as best as I can.

What web-based email products allow you to add and delete email addresses in groups (as WebMail did)?

There is a lot of free software that does this more or less (and does a lot more). I'm thinking of programs like [www.phplist.com/ PHPList] and CiviCRM. However, your needs are so specific and, to be honest, not very demanding at all, I think those programs might be over kill and add a lot more complication.

Another alternative would be to design a simple custom application that does exactly what you need. One way to do that would be to use a program like Basebuilder (full disclosure: I'm the primary developer of that program). Basebuilder is a framework (like Access or Filemaker) for quickly and easily building simple database programs that are web-based.

Given what you are asking for, I think we or anyone familiar with Basebuilder (or a similar program) could implement that in with about 5 - 10 hours of labor.

Is there a way to increase the capacity allowed on a send line (so we could send to 100 or even 500 at once).

I'm not sure this is the best route (and I'm not sure what is enforcing that limit - Horde/IMP - or the underlying mail system or your browser).

Regardless - I don't think that solution would produce a long term, stable way to send email (mostly because it does involve browser limits which we couldn't control).

Does Squirrel mail or the new Horde have the capacity for more addresses in the send lines or the capacity to add addresses as a group?

By this I think you mean (based on your previous comments above) - the ability to copy and paste a list of email addresses directly into a group. I've tested both squirrelmail and horde - and neither, as far as I can tell, offer this functionality.

Horde is even more sensitive than Webmail was [to formatting], and does not allow for easy ways to check drafts of mail being sent.

By creating this as a custom web application you'd have a lot more freedom to tweak it as you want it. Every tweak, however, would come with labor charges :(. But nonetheless, I think it would get you a lot closer to what you want then what you currently have.

We could have our usual mail come and go from one email product and another be used for the messages we want to be more formatted. What are the best products for more highly formatted messages? One we’ve found is Constant Contact. They are at http://www.constantcontact.com. Please let us know the limits and pluses of using this product or one like it.

Would these products forward email responses to our Corps or CARES email destinations?

I'm not familiar with that product.

  1. Build a user- (or creator-) friendly website including a Corps Calendar, and key documents. It would be a plus for the website to include interactive ability.

Alfredo said we have this capacity now. How user-friendly would it be? Alfredo-Can you show us samples and let us know how we would go about starting it up? None of us know much HTML, so need this to be very user-friendly. Katie (W4QCC staff) went to google and quickly constructed some pages for a group we work with called the California Corps. Please see these pages for an example of what we need (ability to show documents on line and a calendar for starters) http://cachilddevelopmentcorps.googlepages.com. It would be great to have some interactivity, ability to download PDFs, email discussion, etc. too, but not required.

  1. Change email or email product without loosing people who have our current addresses.

You are free to move your email anywhere you'd like without losing your address. The address (aka domain) is something that belongs to you - and you should never give it away :)!

It's your ownership of your domain that allows you to move wherever you want.

Dotster says they can forward emails for a nominal fee for a year or other time period. They imply they’ve had some problem forwarding to AOL addresses. What other limits are you aware of to forwarding addresses?

You don't have to pay dotster - that ability is one of the services we offer. However, like dotster, we discourage it. For more info, we have a faq on the subject.

  1. General questions about Yahoo, Google, Hotmail.

What are the limits of using these products? Besides these companies turning over people’s addresses to governments (an important limitation) what are the limits of using these products that I hear you and others refer to? Is it limitations around capacity? What email name you can use? Other?

There are a few ideas that are important to consider:

  • Functionality

Most of us think of spam as being an annoyance because that's how we experience it as email users. However, the bigger issue of spam is not that we are getting a lot of it, but that many corporations are taking very regressive steps to stop it. The most regressive is that if they think a server is a spammer, they will completely block email from your server. This makes a lot of corporations nervous. As a result, they limit the number of email messages any user can send at a given time. They do this in sometimes unpredictable manners, meaning that it's hard to count on being able to consistently send mass email.

MFPL, on the other hand, places no limits on messages to be sent (aside from the hardware limits of our servers). We have a dedicated server setup to send mass emails (so if it gets blocked it doesn't affect our email users) and we exist to support the organizing work of groups like yours as our first priority, which means supporting mass emailing.

  • Privacy

You mentioned the big bad government, which is certainly an issue. The main difference between MFPL and a corporate provider is that if pressed by the government, we'd call a lawyer. Let's not pretend that we're more powerful than the government (at least not yet :) - if the government really wants the data, they'll be able to get it from us too. However, we won't cave or fall for intimidation tactics like many corporate providers would.

  • Access

With any service that requires you to enter data, you run the risk of never seeing it again. How easy is it to export the data? Can you make backups?

  • Flexibility

Is the data export useful to you if you are not using the service? MFPL only uses free software. That means that at any time, if you want to, you can take both your data and the software used to run it and put it on a different server. That's because we're not a business and our motive is not profit, it's to strengthen the left. The same is not true with most corporate providers.

  • Politics

The last point is really part of all the other points. We're not a corporate service provider like Google or Constant Contact, so comparing us with them is like comparing apples and oranges. We're a membership organization building and organizing the Internet to be a free (as in freedom, not gratis), open, and transparent movement. The Internet is not necessarily going in this direction by itself!

One of the most important ways we do that is by discussing with groups like you the very things we're talking about now. Our ticket tracking system is public because we believe this conversation is not just important for you, but what we figure out together can help others as well. And we believe that it's a responsibility of politically minded people on the left to recognize the value of our goals (like we recognize the value of yours) and support these efforts accordingly.

comment:10 Changed 10 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/jamie

  • Priority changed from Urgent to Medium

We haven't heard back from you on this issue, so I'm lowering the priority. If you'd like to continue discussion on this ticket or move forward with the suggestions, please let us know! If you're questions are answered, then it would be great if you could close the ticket.

comment:11 Changed 6 years ago by https://id.mayfirst.org/dkg

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Status changed from new to closed

I'm closing this ticket since there's been no discussion on it for a while. the support-team had a discussion about what sort of features were really desired for webmail offerings, which might be relevant to future discussions along these lines.

If there are specific questions or concerns, feel free to open a new ticket.

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