What is a mailing list?

A mailing list permits you to address an entire group of designated individuals by specifying only one address to your email software. This is very convenient for contacting groups with whom you correspond frequently or for sharing information among people with common interests. If you want to send email to a large group of people at once, then a mailing list would likely be one of the most effective means for delivering information.

Mailing lists are recommended for emailing a large group (50 or more) of individuals. Mailing lists may be useful for smaller groups as well, such as a half dozen members of one small department quickly communicating with one another.

Rutgers University Computing Services offers two different options for mailing lists, Mailman and RAMS.

Mailman is for University-affiliated ad hoc mailing lists. Examples include lists for the supervisors of a department, members of a club or sport team, members of project teams, route 18 construction alerts, and more.

RAMS (Rutgers Automated Mailing System) is for administrative and offical course mailing lists. Examples include all New Brunswick students, all students in one course, all third year students, and more.

What is Mailman?

Mailman is software for managing electronic mailing lists. Mailman is integrated with the web, making it easy for users to manage their accounts and for list owners to administer their lists. Mailman supports built-in archiving, automatic bounce processing, content filtering, digest delivery, spam filters, and more.

Mailman is freeware distributed under the GNU General Public License.

More information on Mailman can be found at the following sites:

Mailman, the GNU Mailing List Manager - Main Mailman site.
The Mailman Wiki. - Information on latest stable and development versions of Mailman.

Why did we switch to Mailman?

As the university's needs grew it became evident that our previous mailing list could not scale to our needs. During peak times (and at the end, non-peak times), the service was so busy that web browsers would timeout before the service would get to the web requests. Listserv also sometimes saw several hour long delays in delivering mail.

Mailman has, so far, met these needs without any problems. It queues web requests on a seperate queue from mail to be sent.

Where is Mailman hosted?

The URL for Mailman is: https://email.rutgers.edu/mailman/

This page includes links to various information and webtools related to the Mailman service. Included there are the following links:

What is RAMS?

The Rutgers Automated Mass-mailing System (RAMS) allows an e-mail list to be generated based on demographic information from the registrar or payroll data, and provides for automated updates to the list membership based on changes in the demographic information.

RAMS may be a better choice for you if you intend to use your mailing list in order to contact all students in one course, all students in one section of one course, all Newark employees, all Camden students, etc.

Next Section - The "Request a new mailing list" webtool.