Joomla 1.5 email broadcast/announce list advice

apps

#1

Hi,

I’m building a Joomla 1.5 site for a group. I need to be able to send e-mails to the group (yes, it’s OK, it’s not spam).

I want to use Joomla as the way the email.

If you have advice (from using any of the popular ones [letterman, yanc, etc] please post a reply and let me know what you think or would recommend.

Also, I need to be able to input the list of addresses (like import a csv file or something similar). Having users subscribe, or be a registered Joomla user for my site is not a requirement and would be a negative for what I need.

Thanks in advance.


#2

Read the DreamHost anti-spam policy.

http://www.dreamhost.com/spam.html

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#3

Chillax :wink:

I have read the Dreamhost policies. Also read the CAN-SPAM act…well first I tried to read the act, then I read a summary which was designed to be understood by persons without advanced law degrees :-).

This is a Boy Scout Troop web site.

I think it’s reasonable say that:

  1. They have already opted in. They gave us the e-mail address on a sign up sheet so we could keep them up to date.
  2. We have a prior relationship.
  3. We take seriously cleaning up our email address list to keep it current.

I want to use a csv file import because we already have our email address in our database of record, the Troopmaster software we use to track our troop membership.


#4

Ha ha ha. I’m both “chilled” and “relaxed”; you misunderstood the whole point of atropos7’s post … I don’t care what you do, seriously, but I’d hate to see your good intentions result in the loss of your account. :slight_smile:

His point was to warn you about the risks to your account if you proceed with what you appear to be assuming is going to be “ok”, and from your last post it’s apparent that is was a warranted warning.

You have either not understood what you have read, or are ignoring the risk to your account, if you think that any supposed compliance with the CAN-SPAM act, or your own determination of what constitutes an “opt-in,” is going to make you compliant with DreamHost’s Anti-Spam policies. You can be 100% “CAN-SPAM compliant”, as are many spammers, and still place your account at risk for not being compliant with DreamHost’s Anti-Spam policy. I’m not saying you are a spammer, but that’s a minor distinction if you don’t comply with the spam related aspects of the TOS, because you can end up being treated as one.

That’s great, and I’m sure that most, if not all, of those you will mail to will be happy to get the mail, but that is not the issue with Anti-spam policy compliance. You may function for years in a “non-compliant mode” and have no problems, but a very few (possibly even a single one) “complaint” (someone who forgot years ago that they signed up, or someone who doesn’t recognize the mailing for what it is, etc.) can trigger a review of your compliance procedures, and you will be found lacking. I have clients that can testify to that reality. :wink:

[quote]I think it’s reasonable say that:

  1. They have already opted in. They gave us the e-mail address on a sign up sheet so we could keep them up to date.

  2. We have a prior relationship.

  3. We take seriously cleaning up our email address list to keep it current.[/quote]
    That’s all fine and good, and it may indeed be reasonable, but it is not compliant with the DreamHost (and many other companies’) Terms of Service or their Anti-Spam Policies.

  4. Unless they have “confirmed opt-in” via an electronic process, and you can provide the date, time, and IP address from which they did so, you are not compliant.

  5. A prior relationship is completely irrelevant to the TOS or the Anti-spam policy (and is one of the “loopholes” in CAN-SPAM that makes CAN-SPAM more of a spammers’ justification mechanism than a legitimate spam deterrent).

  6. It’s great that you take seriously your responsibility to keep your list clean and current, but again, it is irrelevant when it comes to complying with the TOS or the Anti-spam policy.

You really should take the time to read the Anti-spam policy again; possibly you will find the clarifications and the “Q and A” in the information at the DreamHost Abuse Center sections on the subject to be enlightening, as they address some of the statements you have made in this last post.

There are also many threads that address this, and your particular position on some of it, in these forums. The search function will point you to many of them (here is one you might find enlightening - then again, maybe not!) :wink:

There is no “import” facility to do that for you provided by DreamHost, though it should be a trivial data-processing task to manipulate that CSV list into a text-file format that could be “cut-n-pasted” into the “Edit Subscriber List” textarea of the announcement list management form in the web control panel.

There is more information about importing subscribers in the DreamHost wiki (which again warns you about being policy compliant with your imports), and the following section that describes “exporting” may be helpful (you could basically “reverse” that procedure to “import” your CSV list). :slight_smile:

–rlparker

Edited: Oops! my original response about the “import” referred to my previouspost in another thread, not this one … Mea Culpa!


#5

Thanks for the very detailed reply - really do appreciate it.

I did find the thread enlightening and a bit discouraging.

It’s a major bummer that this will essentially make us keep two list of email addresses.

I may consider other options for e-mail than part of the DH hosted site.


#6

Could you setup a gmail account for the sole purpose of posting your troops newletter?


#7

You are welcome, and I understand the part about it being discouraging; I’ve been there myself, as you can see from that thread. :wink:

Well, in spite of the “hoops” you have to go through, it can be done on DreamHost - you just have to go through a couple of extra steps:

  1. You have to get your existing list into the DreamHost system - I talked about that a little bit in my previous post and, if you have a CSV list, it really isn’t that hard to manipulate it into a form that you can use on DreamHost (I may even be willing to help you with that)

  2. You would have to do an “initial mailing” to all on your “imported list”, announcing the “new list” and providing a link for them to “sign-up/confirm” … and then you would have to purge your list of any that did not respond. If you did that, you would be in compliance with the initial set-up of the list, but you risk loosing some of your subscribers if they elect not to “sign up again” - and that may be a deal-breaker for you.

That, in fact, is what my client discussed in that other thread ended up doing - not only did he use a different email provider for the mailing, but also disassociated that maililng completely from his DreamHost site (used another url, and never referenced the DreamHost site in his newsletters). It was a bit of a kludge, but it seemed to work well enough for him.

–rlparker


#8

You read my mind ;-).

I already have a gmail account for the troop Calendar. I then wrap the calendar from Google in the Joomla site using the gcalendar extension.

I like the fact the DH gives you an announce list and discussion groups, but in this case, I think the user interface would probably be a bit much for others to use.
Also, it’s not clear to me if I can allow others access to the DH mail solutions without giving them my account credentials…Just haven’t looked into that yet.

Thanks


#9

Part of my dilema is that I wish to setup the site but not be the main content contributor going forward. I think if the solution is too kludgy it will not be kept up going forward.

Thanks for the offer of help. Creating the CSV is not an issue. I can export it and reformat as needed with Java, perl, etc. My concern is keeping them in sync. I’d like for this to be very simple. Something that would create a differences list from the master list and what I have in the announce list and send invites to just the differences, while also dropping any which are on the announce list but not on the master list any longer.

In the end - I may go with a Gmail account for two reasons:

  1. it will be easier for anyone to use.
  2. list maintenance will be much more straight forward than using the DH screens.

Thanks


#10

You’re welcome, and it sounds as though you have a plan that will work better for your purpopses than the DreamHost tools.

You are correct that you would have to give others some access to the control panel in order to have them post to the announcement list (though you wouldn’t have to give them your credentials - you would create a new use and give them certain panel privileges)

All said, for your needs, your alternative tools approach seems better!

–rlparker