Cleveland Park Listserv Frequently Asked Questions
How do I join the Cleveland Park Listserv?
There are 2 ways to join:
- On the web: Go to the home page at https://groups.io/g/clevelandpark and scroll down the page -- far down! -- to find the button marked +Join This Group toward the bottom left of your screen. Click on that button and follow the prompts.
- By email: Just send a blank email (no subject line, no message) to the automated subscription address, clevelandpark+subscribe @ groups.io. Be sure to send it from the email address that you wish to sign up. You will receive a welcome message from us that lets you know you have become a member. Everyone is welcome to join -- it does not matter where you live.
How do I receive or read messages posted on the Listserv?
There are 4 different ways to get/read messages:
1. Individual messages (also called "single messages."). This is the default setting. You receive your messages by email, each message arriving at the inbox of your subscribed email address in a separate email. On this busy listserv, on a typical day you can expect to receive from 15 to 45 messages per day. If you don't want you inbox cluttered up with so many listserv messages, we recommend you set up an email "rule" to have them routed into a separate folder. That way, you can easily skim the subject lines and read only those messages of interest. Or you can switch to one of the message delivery settings below.
2. Digest ("full-featured" or "plain text"). You receive one long email from the listserv with the last 12 posted messages.If you choose "full-featured" digest, your messages will be headed by a clickable table of contents. You will get messages in different fonts and colors, and sometimes with photos or other types of images. If you choose "plain text," the 12 messages will all be in the same gray type, same font and type size, and no photos or clickable links. This might be the best choice for someone who is reading the digest on a cell phone with a limited data plan. You can sign up for the digest by using an email command: Send a blank email (no subject line, no message) from your subscribed email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org if you want the full featured digest; or to email@example.com if you want the "plain text" digest.
3. Daily summary. Each morning you will get one very long email from the group with all the messages posted the previous day. This is a good choice for someone who doesn't want to deal with a lot of separate emails from the group. But if you ever hope to snag a giveaway item, don't choose this format! By the time you see the free thing offered up, it will certainly be taken! If you want to subscribe in daily summary mode, send a blank email (no subject line, no message) from your subscribed address to firstname.lastname@example.org .
4. On the web. You receive no email but must go to the Cleveland Park Listserv website, to read messages. To select this option, you want the "Special Notices Only" setting. The moderators can still reach you if there's a notice that we need to make sure all list members will get -- but you will not get any other messages posted on the listserv. Please note: We've only sent out a "Special Notice" once in the listserv's entire history, and that was when we moved the Listserv from Yahoogroups to Groups.IO. If you choose "Special Notices Only," we promise not to bother you with anything less than earth-shattering! To turn off message delivery, send a blank email from your subscribed email address to: email@example.com .
How do I send a message to the group?
Send it by email directly to the posting address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please don't include any notes to the moderator in your message; write just what you want readers to see. Write the subject line that you want readers to see, as well -- but try to keep it brief but accurate. If you have a question for the moderators, please write to us separately at moderator @ cleveland-park dot com.
How do I reply to a message I read on this listserv?
That depends on how you receive the group’s messages and where you’d like your reply to go: to the person who posted the original message, or to the whole group.
If you receive individual messages, read this section:
If your reply is of interest just to the person who posted the message, then you can hit the reply button in your own email program and your reply will be addressed automatically to the sender of the previous email. "Reply to previous poster" is the default setting for this group. If you want to reply to the whole group, change the address to the group's posting address, email@example.com. If you would like to reply to the previous poster AND the whole group, then hit the "reply all" button in your email program, and that should start an email with both the sender's and the group's email addresses in the TO: line of your message. Or you can look at the bottom of the listserv message that you're replying to and select the reply link of your choice: "Reply to sender" or "Reply to group.", Another option is to hit the "View message online" link at the bottom of the message, which will take you to the listsev's website where you can hit the reply button underneath the message to reply to the sender of the original message. If you wish to reply to the group, look under the message and then to the far right of your screen to find the "reply to group" button and hit that button to write your reply to the group.
If you receive the Daily Digest, read this section:
Daily Digest Subscribers should not use the “reply” or “reply to all” button in their own email programs to respond to messages, as that would create a digest-within-a-digest if your message were to be posted. If you get the digest and want to reply to a message in the digest, you must use the reply links provided under the message that has prompted your reply, choose either "Reply to sender" or "Reply to group." If you want to reply to both the original sender and the group, please use the "reply to sender" link to start a reply email and then add the group's address, firstname.lastname@example.org, to the TO: line of your email.
I don't want to get so many individual messages per day. How do I switch to digest or daily summary? And while I am away on vacation I want to cut off all email from the group -- how do I do that?
You can do all these things by use of email commands. Send a blank message (no subject line, no message) to the email address that does the thing you want to do:
Switch to full-featured digest: email@example.com
Switch to "plain text" digest: firstname.lastname@example.org
Switch to daily summary: email@example.com
Switch to individual messages: firstname.lastname@example.org
Turn off all messages from the group (except for "Special Notices" from the group owner): email@example.com
I want to leave the group for good. How do I do that?
If you are really sure you want to quit for good, send a blank email (no subject line, no message) to the automated unsubscribe email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're not sure, or think you might want to get messages again at some future point, or just check in from time to time to read messages on the website, you might prefer to remain a member but stop receiving group email. In that case, just turn off message delivery by sending a blank email to email@example.com. You can turn message delivery back on any time you like, without needing to resubscribe.
I want to switch from one subscribed email address to another. How do I do that?
The simplest way to handle it is to send in a new subscription request from the email address you want to sign up. Send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Then unsubscribe your old address by sending in a blank email to: email@example.com. But you might want to consider keeping your old email address as a member but turning off message delivery. There are advantages to having multiple email addresses on the listserv; for example, if you are subscribed using a work email address, but you want to post a non-work-related query, you might want use a personal email address for that purpose. To avoid getting duplicate listserv messages, just keep one subscribed email address set to your preferred message delivery mode and set any other email addresses to the "no email" subscription setting by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org . There's no limit to how many CP listserv memberships you can have.
How can I search the listserv archives?
It's so easy and logical! Go to our main page at https://groups.io/g/clevelandpark and look at the left-hand column of site links to find "Messages." Click on it. You will arrive at the web page with all the messages starting with the most recent at the top of the page. Above that first message, look for the "search" button and hit it. A blank box will appear. Enter your search term in the box and hit the blue "search button" (with the little magnifying glass icon on it). If you are looking for a particular phrase, put it inside quotation marks, to pull up messages with just those words in that order.
If you get too many results to sort through, hit the "Tools" button to bring up some tools to let you narrow the search time frame. You can also look to the far right side of your screen to change the priority of the search results. Hit "Date" if you want your results in chronological order - use the little arrow next to "Date" to set it from newest-to-oldest or vice versa. Or hit "Relevance" if you want the search results based mainly on how well the results match your search terms.
Tip: Try to avoid using overly common search terms - you will get too many results and it will be overwhelming. If you are trying to pull up one particular message, try to think of an unusual word or name that you are sure will be found in that message.
Tip: Take advantage of certain listserv posting conventions. If the subject line begins "Compilation of ...." that means the message will contain a bunch of collected recommendations on that subject. Messages seeking recommendations always start with "ISO" (In Search Of), while replies always start with "Re:"
Tip: If looking for recommendations of skilled trades or professionals, we recommend limiting your search to the past two years. Using the search tool to narrow the time-frame, choose "custom time frame" and then manually reset the first date to two years ago and leave the second date on the present day, and hit "go". That way you will get only reasonably current responses. If there's nothing or very little within the past two years, then it's time to send in a new query and get some fresh recommendations in the archives!
Do I need to register with Groups.io to be a member of the Cleveland Park Listserv?
No, it's not required. You can make subscription changes, get messages, post new messages, and post replies to previous messages by use of email commands alone. If you were previously a member of the Cleveland Park Listserv when it was a Yahoogroup, your membership was transferred automatically to the Cleveland Park Listserv at Groups.io, and you don't need to do anything else to sign up. However, the next Q&A will describe how to create a Groups.io registration, which is recommended if you want to take advantage of some of the bells and whistles of the Cleveland Park Listserv on the web at https://groups.io/g/clevelandpark.
How to I register with Groups.io to take advantage of the web features of the Cleveland Park Listserv's site at https://groups.io/g/clevelandpark?
Groups.io keeps things simple for website users! Just go to https://groups.io/g/clevelandpark and look at the upper right hand corner to see "Log In" or "Sign Up." Choose "Sign Up" if you are not yet a member of the Cleveland Park Listserv. If you are already a member (you are receiving messages from the group, or you were previously a member of the group when it was a Yahoogroup), click on "Log In" and enter your email address in the blank box. Underneath that box is a box for your password, and underneath that you will see a sentence that reads, "Forgot your password, or don't have one yet?" -- click on those words. Groups.io will send an email to the email address that you typed in the box above, containing a link that will prompt you to create a password. Type in a password of six characters or more, and you are now registered with Groups.io with that email address and password. That's it!
Now that you are a registered member of Groups.io, you will find you have your own account page, listing the Cleveland Park Listserv and any other Groups.io memberships that you have under that email address, together on your account page. Now you can do all kinds of things using the Groups.io web tools. Go to your group and you can click on "Subscription" and make quick and easy changes to your subscription settings. (Just be sure after making any changes to scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit "SAVE.") If your group has any files, or polls, or keeps a web calendar, you can access those features. You can post a message to your group by using the "new topic" button (it has a little pencil writing on a blank sheet). You can even go back to your previously posted messages to make any corrections or edits you would like to put in. Everything is laid out in a clear and intuitively navigable way. Explore around! It's a really well designed site.
I sent my message to the listserv but it didn’t appear? What happened?
Here are the possibilities:
- You misaddressed the message and so it was never received. Check to see if your message was properly addressed to email@example.com (and not, for example, just to the previous poster (that's the default setting for replies and it's the most common mistake people make). Or you might have accidentally sent your message to our old address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you might have sent it to the listserv owner address. If that’s the case, then resend your message to the correct email address, email@example.com.
- You sent it but there was a sending glitch on your end. Check to see if it bounced back or if you sent it from an email address other than your subscribed email address.
- You sent it, but there was a receiving glitch on your end. In other words, you didn't receive a copy of your own message, although it was posted on the site and it was received by other list members. Want to check to see if it was posted? Go to the home page and click on the "Messages" link in the left hand column of site links. If you see your message posted on the site, that means it was sent out to all, and you should have received a copy. (Check your spam folder -- it might just be there!)
- You sent it, you double-checked the sending address,you checked your email system, but it hasn’t appeared within 24 hours of the time you sent it. This could be because it’s still in the pending messages queue, waiting for moderator approval. Just be patient. There isn’t a moderator on duty 24 hours a day. If you sent your message in the middle of the night or very early in the morning, you may have to wait until normal working hours for it to appear. Sometimes the problem is just that email servers are running slowly. It can take up to 24 hours for a message to appear. Please don't resend it or complain to the moderators before normal working hours the next day.
- You sent it, checked everything, it’s been more than 24 hours, and your message still hasn’t appeared. Now the thing to do is check over the list rules carefully. We assume that you read the rules when you first joined the listserv, but please check again, as the rules do change from time to time. Please read through all the rules to be sure that your message is right for this neighborhood discussion list. Here's a summary of the important rules:
A message will be deleted if:
- It’s unsigned. Posters need to sign their name to the END of their message to the group. A full name is preferred but a first name will do. Messages signed with just initials, a screen name, or "Concerned Neighbor" will not be posted.
- It’s off topic, about something outside of or unrelated to life or home maintenance in this part of Washington, DC.
- It’s got extraneous material that needs to be edited out (such as the previous day’s digest or a long confidentiality disclaimer or a note to the moderators.
- It’s addressed to just one list member, calling upon that specific person to respond, or it is written in a scolding or accusatory tone, or it contains assumptions about the previous poster's motives or ascribes views to a previous poster that were not explicitly stated in that person's message, or it quotes private, off-list correspondence without the poster's permission (except for quoting government officials.)
- It’s a cross-post (a message sent to multiple recipients or email lists), or a press release, a reprint of material published elsewhere, a forward from another listserv, or anything other than a message in your own words, written just for this listserv. (We make exceptions for messages from the police, city agencies, and community organizations.)
- It’s hard on the eyes. We don’t run messages written in all lower case, or using too much upper case, or lacking punctuation or paragraphing. Highly formatted messages may end up garbled when they appear in the "plain text digest" version of the listserv. Messages with images over 500 KB in size may overload the system. Please avoid overly complicated layout or unusual fonts.
- It is something that falls under our sponsored messages program -- in other words, it needs to be posted as a paid ad. You can learn more about our listserv advertising program here. We will write to everyone who sends in a message that needs to be paid for, but if we don't hear back from you within a couple of days, we'll delete the message. Here's the quick list of the kinds of ads that need to be sponsored to be posted on the listserv: all ads for businesses, services, and commercial products; all ads for homes, rooms, offices, or other spaces for rent or for sale; all ads for vehicles or items with an asking price above $1000; all for-sale items from list members who live outside of zip codes 20008, 20016, 20015 or 20007; all ads or ntoices that are crossposted to other listservs or on Craigslist. By limiting the number of free ads for members, we keep the listserv from turning into a mini-version of Craiglist; and by charging for certain types of ads, this 365-day-a-year online publication receives the support it needs to keep going! We have a handy Ads Checklist Page with all the details of what can be posted for free and what needs to be paid for. We hope you will consider supporting the listserv with your sponsored message, if it's outside the rules of what we will publish for free.
- It’s better suited to be a personal reply, or it contains someone’s personal information without any indication that the person wants that information published on the listserv.
- It asks a question that can easily be Googled.
- It's a post from the same person who's already commented before on this topic, or it's a post from someone who has already posted several times in the past few days. Since we need to hold down the number of posts each day to a manageable number, we don't want the same voices posting repeatedly, dominating the conversation (it's called "overposting").
- It continues a thread that ended a while ago or it takes a thread off-topic. Please note that it's the prerogative of the moderators to decide how long to let a thread go on, or when to start a new thread. We do our best to publish a fair sampling of the views submitted, regardless of our own views on any subject, but we just can't publish everything that's sent in, or we could end up with over 150 messages a day! (And please don't write to us to ask why we wouldn't post your message while permitting someone else's boring message to appear. Boring is in the eye of the be-moderator!)
As you can see, there are many reasons why a message isn’t right for this listserv. The moderators can’t take the time to write to every list member with an explanation every time a message is deleted, as this is something that happens dozens of times per day. If you have a question about a message that has or has not appeared, you can write to the moderators at moderator [at] cleveland-park dot com. Due to the volume of email, we may not be able to respond to all inquiries, but we'll do our best to answer any questions that are not explained in this FAQ.
Political candidates, campaign workers and supporters should read our posting guidelines for candidates at http://clevelandpark.googlepages.com/candidaterules. If you are writing a message about a nonprofit organization, or you are making an appeal to raise funds for a good cause, be sure to read our policy page on use of the listserv for fundraising here:
I sent a message to the list but I forgot to sign it. (Or I sent it with some other problem, such as a broken URL, or an incorrect phone number, or repeated tags lines from a previous message). What should I do?
If your message has not been posted yet, just send in the corrected version to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not include any notes to the moderator along with your resubmitted message. Do not, for example, start your message with "Oops, I forgot to sign my message" -- simply resend the message the way you want it to appear. When we see two pending messages from the same person with the same subject line, we assume that the second message is the correct one. If your message has already been posted, you can go to your posted message on the website under "Messages" at https://groups.io/g/clevelandpark (you need to be a registered member of Groups.io to have editing privileges - but if you are not registered, you can read the Q&A earlier in this FAQ to learn how to create a password and log in.) Find your posted message in the message list, click on it, and then click on "More" at the bottom of the message, and then click on "edit message." Make any changes you would like and then choose whether to resend the revised message (it will need to pass the moderator's approval again) or simply save the corrected version in the archives. Be sure to scroll down the page to hit "save" after making your changes!
I saw a message similar to my rejected message on the Cleveland Park Listserv. Why did that message go through, but mine didn't?
First, consider the possibility that one of the moderators made a mistake and that that message shouldn't have been posted either. Or that the list's rules have changed since that other message was posted. (You've read the list's rules, right?) Those possibilities aside, we need to say that just because you see a similarity between a posted message and your deleted message doesn't mean that the moderators see it that way. Please don't write to us to argue about it! The moderators handle dozens of messages a day and often delete as many messages as are put through. We simply cannot revisit posting decisions based on a list member's perception of having seen a similar post. All the moderators have regular jobs and families and need to sleep sometimes.
We'd also ask you to keep in mind that the listserv simply can't run every message sent in, or the amount of message traffic would be overwhelming. There are some email lists that publish 50 to 100 messages per day, but we've made a conscious decision to keep the message volume manageable, that is, about 20 to 40 messages per day.
One final thought on this subject: While we know that we can never please all list members all the time, we're comforted by the thought that most people enjoy the listserv most of the time. And if we make a moderating mistake now and then, we know the fate of the world -- or the neighborhood -- doesn't hang on whether a particular message goes through.
May I post a message on the Cleveland Park Listserv if I've posted it on another email list?
No. With a few exceptions, mostly for community groups and government agencies, messages must be unique to the Cleveland Park Listserv. In other words, if you post a message elsewhere, you may not also post it on the Cleveland Park Listserv. Here are some of the reasons for our long-standing "no-crosspost" rule:
First, it helps to keep the neighbor-to-neighbor focus of this email list. By asking posters to address their messages just to their neighbors on this list, we prevent use of the list for a wide variety of canned messages and blanket announcements. (We make an exception for messages of importance to public health or safety or that the moderators consider of public benefit.)
Second, cross-posted messages frequently cause problems in the reply sequence; it can be confusing for the moderators to determine whether a reply was to a message that appeared on this listserv or whether it's a reply to a message from another listserv.
Third -- when it comes to items for sale -- it can put the readers of this list at a disadvantage to compete with readers of another listserv for a chance to buy an item.
Fourth, many list members subscribe to more than one email list. Crossposting mean that these list members get duplicate messages, which clutters their inboxes. We like to keep this listserv fresh and non-repetitive.
Fifth, if you crosspost a message and somebody who's on the Cleveland Park Listserv responds to your message only on that second list, that can deprive our list members of the information in the reply. In other words, crossposts really require that people respond on multiple lists, too (which then creates some confusion for the moderators -- see point number two above.)
We like to keep things simple and as un-confusing as possible on the Cleveland Park Listserv. So, no crossposts. Neighborhood civic groups are generally except from the no-crosspost rule (but still shouldn't have more than one email address in the TO or CC line of their message.)
If, after a week has passed, you find you don't get any useful responses from your message on other lists, and you would like to post your query on this listserv, you are welcome to revise it so that it is addressed just to the members of this listserv.
If all of the considerations above are too much to keep in mind, then don't worry about it -- just think of the Cleveland Park Listserv as you would a letters-to-the-editor section of a newspaper. Not all messages get posted on our very busy place in cyberspace. Just as you can't send the same letter to more than one newspaper, you can't send the same message to both the Cleveland Park and other listservs.
I sent a message but now I don’t want it to appear. Is there any way to withdraw it?
Maybe, depending on the timing. If the message hasn’t yet gone through to the listserv, write to moderator @ cleveland-park dot com without delay and ask to have the message deleted. If the message has been put through, then there’s no way to stop members from receiving it, but you can still have the message deleted from the message archive on the CP web site. Just write to the moderator -- and be sure to include a copy of the message you want deleted. Don’t just say “it was about a yard sale,” because we don’t memorize the messages and we can’t spend time searching through old messages to find one based on a vague description.
I know that the our council member and various government officials are on the Cleveland Park Listserv. Can I use the list to report problems with city services or crime?
Yes and no. It's good to report crime and issues with city services on the Cleveland Park Listserv, but we don't want people to try to use the list as a substitute for reporting something to the police directly or contacting the appropriate city agency. The Cleveland Park Listserv is a discussion email list; it is not an official forum. While we appreciate the fact that city officials and councilmembers read the listserv, we don't want them blamed for failing to respond to a particular message on the listserv. Once you have made a report to through the appropriate channel, by all means keep the listserv informed about the response you received and whether, in your judgment, it was effective or not.
How do I include a link in my message?
You can copy and paste the URL into the text box of your message, but please be sure that you test any links in your message before sending. To save time and trouble for list members, messages with non-working web links may be deleted. There are several reasons why links often don't work. First, links are sometimes incorrectly typed or copied. Second, punctuation that appears right after the link (such as a period or comma) can become part of that link, ruining it. You should leave a space after the link and before the punctuation. Third, dots have a tendency to get doubled, or extra spaces may creep in, breaking the link. Fouth, long links frequently will arrive broken after processing by the recipient's email system. You should shorten long links (those that span over a full line of type) with a free shorten-link service such as bit.ly .
How do I communicate with the moderators?
First, let’s say what not to do: Do not write a question for the moderators and send it to the group’s posting address. Your question will be deleted and you may not get it answered at all. To write to the moderators, just use the contact form here. You must be sure that the moderators can communicate with you using the same email address that you use when you write to us and when you post to the listserv. We do not make phone calls to list members and we expect them to be able to read notes that we send about problems in their listserv messages, by replying to the address you used when you wrote to us. If we can't communicate with you through your listserv email address, that means that other list members can't use it to reply either. To save time and prevent frustration, the moderators will suspend posting privileges for list members who can't communicate with the moderators by email.
I'm not receiving any messages from the group. What's happened to my listserv email?
It's probably going to spam. Please check your spam folder. It it's not there, then could you perhaps have set your subscription to the "no mail/special notices only setting" before a vacation and then forgotten about it? We're happy to check your status for you. Write to us at moderator @ cleveland-park dot com.
If you did not put a stop on your listserv message delivery, and your missing messages are not found trapped in your spam folder, it could be that there's a block on bulk email from group delivery services at the ISP level. You will need to check with your ISP about this.
The best way to prevent interruptions in message delivery from Groups.io is to use the tools in your email's anti-spam/junk message filtering system to add the domain "Groups.io" to your "whitelist" or "trusted sender" list (each anti-spam program may use different terms and have its own way of keeping desired email from being blocked, so we can't tell you what steps to follow to preserve your listserv email. We will tell you that Groups.io has interactive rules in place to unsubscribe members whose email systems treat Groups.io messages as spam. You could have been automatically unsubscribed. If that's what has happened, you will need to resubscribe -- and also take steps to designate Groups.io as a "trusted sender" so that it doesn't happen again.
How does the Cleveland Park Listserv differ from other email lists?
The Cleveland Park Listserv functions much like a letter-to-the editor section of a newspaper: Currently, on any given day, we publish between 50-75 percent of the messages submitted. We treat bandwidth as a limited resource, and work hard to make sure that our members' inboxes are kept uncluttered. Messages posted to the Cleveland Park listserv must be "good" -- there's more about how to write a message for the Cleveland Park Listerv on our rules page. While the philosophy at most other email lists is "Just delete those messages that don't make sense for you," we believe that list members deserve to have an informative, useful and fun place in cyberspace.
We also are the only community email list that runs regular columns and features. We are currently running a weekly events column - "Get Out!" and a "local color" column, "Still Life with Robin." The events column runs on Thursdays and the submission deadline is close of business on Wednesday. Send event notices to events @ fastmail dot net. The "Still Life with Robin" column runs on Saturdays (occasionally on Sundays). Both columns are also available on our sister blog: All Life Is Local.
The Cleveland Park Listserv is the largest neighborhood email list in the country. The Cleveland Park Listserv is a privately owned email list. The CP list owners may choose to publish or not publish any of the messages submitted by list members, who are solely responsible for the content of their own messages and retain ownership of the copyright of any messages published on the listserv.
Any questions left unanswered? What is the meaning of life? Contact us via our "contact us" form: