Friday, August 8, 2008

Using Gmail with the IWW Lists

A Short How-to from List Owner Greg Gunther


Many thanks to Rob Short for doing the research to figure this out.

Usually, when you send a post to one of our IWW lists, you will receive a copy back as our listserv distributes the post to each list member. The benefit to the sender is to see that it's arrived safely.

However, that doesn't work for members who send on their Gmail accounts. Each list member *except* the original Gmail sender will receive a copy. When Gmail receives the originator's email, it puts a copy in Gmail's "Sent Mail" folder, and then sends a copy to listserv.

As near as I can tell, when listserv distributes the copies, Gmail ignores listserv's copy and does not pass it along to the originator. All the rest of the copies get distributed normally. Gmail does not provide tools for fixing the problem. (I have no idea why.)


1) Use Two Email Addresses

Get yourself a second Gmail address in addition to the one we're talking about, and have me ( add it to your subscribed list(s). Then, when you send your post from the original address, the second address will receive a good copy of the post that the original couldn't.

The problem then becomes, with two Gmail address, you'll get duplicate messages. To solve that, either you or I can set your original Gmail address to NOMAIL. In that condition, you can still send mail from the original Gmail address; you just won't receive list mail from it. So your original Gmail address becomes your sending address, and the second one becomes your receiving address.

Your new receiving address doesn't even have to be with Gmail. It would work the same even if your new address were from any other ISP, such as Yahoo. Or, if you wish, you can use the new address as the sending address and the original as the receiving address. Works either way.

2) BCC: and ACK

Send yourself a blind copy (BCC:) of every post. That will give you a proof copy of what you sent out, but will not tell you whether listserv received it.

Listserv's ACK (ACKnowledgement) feature will tell you when listserv has received mail from you.


  • First: Prepare a message to
  • To turn ACK on, in the body of the message put only:
  • Set whateverthelistnameis ack
  • Where whateverthelistnameis is symbolic, not literal. You put your actual subscribed list name in its place.

To turn ACK off, the message is:

  • Set whateverthelistnameis noack

The Workshop's listnames you can choose from are:

  • creative-d
  • fiction
  • lovestory-L
  • marketchat
  • nfiction
  • novels-L
  • poetry-w
  • practice-w
  • prose-p
  • script-w
  • sfchat-L
  • writing
  • yawrite

Send it, and listserv will comply.

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