I've just been working on a letter that will be sent to folks when they
initially subscribe to SCREEN-L. It'll replace the cryptic, computer-ese
note that is currently sent.
The entire text follows. If you have suggestions/comments on improving it,
please send them directly to me at
[log in to unmask]
Thanks a heap!
Welcome new SCREEN-L subscriber!
We're glad you decided to join the 500-plus teachers, students,
filmmakers, video producers, media librarians, and non-professional
film/TV enthusiasts who make up SCREEN-L.
This note should provide all you need to know to participate
in SCREEN-L. If questions or problems arise, contact Jeremy Butler,
the coordinator or "owner" of SCREEN-L: [log in to unmask]
**To cancel your SCREEN-L subscription, send e-mail to this address:
[log in to unmask]
In the first line of the body of the message (after all the "header"
stuff with the address and subject and all), put this command:
LISTSERV is the name of the software that automatically runs SCREEN-L.
By sending mail to [log in to unmask] you are sending a command to the
University of Alabama computer that runs SCREEN-L and giving it
instructions about your subscription (e.g., kill it, kill it now!).
Quite a heady feeling of power, eh?
If you mistakenly send mail to
[log in to unmask]
instead of [log in to unmask] (note: SCREEN-L rather than LISTSERV
in the address) your request to LISTSERV will be sent to every cotton
pickin' person who subscribes to SCREEN-L rather than to LISTSERV.
It's a common mistake, but one to be avoided.
Also, anything you type before or after a LISTSERV command in e-mail to
it will just confuse it. It's a computer, it's not as discerning as you
**To participate in SCREEN-L:
Now that you're subscribed to SCREEN-L, messages will automatically be
sent to you that have been "posted" on SCREEN-L by one of its many
subscribers. Typically, 5-15 messages each day will turn up in your
It's ridiculously simple to post a message yourself. Just send a regular
e-mail message to:
[log in to unmask]
LISTSERV (the software that runs SCREEN-L, remember) will nab your note,
address it to each person subscribed to SCREEN-L and ship it out--
automatically and virtually instantaneously.
In effect, SCREEN-L provides a direct pipeline to hundreds of persons
interested in film and television. With this comes certain
1. SCREEN-L is designed for persons teaching, researching, and
making film and television--whether they are film/TV
educators, students, professionals, media librarians, or
self-schooled fans. Discussion, therefore, is invited
regarding film/TV criticism, theory, history, production
issues, and teaching.
In other words, SCREEN-L messages should somehow relate to
the >study< of film and TV, not just the casual enjoyment of
these media. This is interpreted rather broadly. Postings
to SCREEN-L need not be dry, didactic treatises from which
all joy has been crushed. But also, they should not noodle
on about, say, the poster's penchant for full-lipped actors.
2. SCREEN-L messages should maintain a sense of collegial
respect for SCREEN-L's subscribers, even when disagreeing
with the opinions of others.
Personal attacks on subscribers will not be tolerated.
3. Identities are not always clear from the headers sent with e-
mail messages. It's always a good idea to sign your message
with something more human sounding than your e-mail address
(e.g., I use "Jeremy" or "Jeremy Butler" rather than just
"[log in to unmask]").
4. Each SCREEN-L message should include a descriptive "subject"
SCREEN-L's "digest" (see below) and most e-mail systems use
subject lines in their listing of messages. Descriptive
subject lines greatly facilitate subscribers' use of SCREEN-L.
5. SCREEN-L messages are sent to hundreds of subscribers. Users
should avoid sending personal messages to a single person
So, that's the basic skinny on SCREEN-L. I hope you'll be posting
something soon. SCREEN-L would be awfully durn quiet without its
I'll conclude with some slightly technical information below on how
you can modify your subscription to SCREEN-L.
Thanks for wallowing through all this!
There are a number of things you can do to control how your
subscription to SCREEN-L is handled. In LISTSERV terms, you
can "set" several options that will modify how SCREEN-L mail
is sent (or not sent) to you.
Here's the basic method: send mail to [log in to unmask]
Once again, note that the address is not "screen-l," but rather
"listserv." After the header, put in the command:
SET SCREEN-L <option>
"<option>" is the thing you want to set for your subscription
to SCREEN-L. The specific options you can set are:
>>>SUSPENDING MAIL TEMPORARILY
NOMAIL turns off your mail delivery but keeps your name on
SCREEN-L. Thus, to suspend mail delivery:
SET SCREEN-L NOMAIL
To restart delivery:
SET SCREEN-L MAIL
Every day SCREEN-L collects all of the day's messages and
packages them into a single file called a "digest." The
digest has an index at the start that contains the messages'
subject headings. Following the index is each of the day's
messages--in chronological order, separated by a line of
hyphens, and identifying each poster with his/her real name
and e-mail address.
To receive the daily digest of messages:
SET SCREEN-L DIGEST
To receive the index that is packaged with the digest but not
the messages themselves:
SET SCREEN-L INDEX
Since SCREEN-L is archived, you can order specific messages
that you see listed in an index.
If your account is set to DIGEST or INDEX you will not
receive individual messages as they are sent by SCREEN-L. To
quit receiving digests/indexes and go back to getting
messages one at a time:
SET SCREEN-L MAIL
>>>INFORMATION ABOUT THE SENDER OF SCREEN-L MESSAGES
In some mail systems it is difficult to tell the original
source of mail that was bounced off a LISTSERV like SCREEN-L.
You can, however, have SCREEN-L put this information into the
body of the message itself (as opposed to it being solely in
This is called a "dual header." To receive dual headers:
SET SCREEN-L DUAL
To get rid of the dual header:
SET SCREEN-L SHORTHDR
If this does not work, try:
SET SCREEN-L SHORTBSMTP
>>>ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF MESSAGE
If you're worried about your mail getting through to SCREEN-L
you can have SCREEN-L acknowledge receipt of your messages.
When you post a message, SCREEN-L will send you e-mail back
saying all's fine.
To receive acknowledgements:
SET SCREEN-L ACK
To turn this off:
SET SCREEN-L NOACK
>>>GETTING YOUR OWN MESSAGES BOUNCED BACK TO YOU
SCREEN-L knows who you are and assumes you don't want your own
messages sent back to you. But then, if you're
worried about getting through to SCREEN-L you might want
copies of your messages sent to you just to be sure they made
To start your messages being sent to you:
SET SCREEN-L REPRO
To stop your messages being sent to you:
SET SCREEN-L NOREPRO
>>>CONCEALING YOUR ADDRESS ON SCREEN-L
Anybody may review SCREEN-L and see your name and address on
it. To hide that address:
SET SCREEN-L CONCEAL
To unhide it:
SET SCREEN-L UNCONCEAL
To review who is subscribed to SCREEN-L:
A file listing every un-concealed subscribers' name and e-mail address
will be sent to you.
| Jeremy Butler |
| SCREEN-L Coordinator [log in to unmask] |
| Telecommunication & Film Dept * The University of Alabama |