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New Features of Listserv

Listserv 16 comes with ready-to-use newsletter templates for content creators.

Published August 6, 2014

On Sunday, August 10, 2014, the UB Listserv service and Web interface was upgraded from version 15 to 16. The upgrade contains many exciting improvements for list owners and content providers, and addresses some recently discovered changes in the way Internet Service Providers identify fraudulent email addresses.

What Is UB Listserv?

UB Listserv is a communication tool, located at listserv.buffalo.edu, that makes it easy for official UB organizations to manage email lists. Listserv is supported by L-Soft.

Why Did We Make This Change?

Dennis Reed Jr (UBIT Staff) has been a Web developer, graphic designer and writer for UBIT since 2011. Before coming to UB, he was the webmaster for Buffalo State's E. H. Butler Library, and an adjunct professor in the college's writing program. Watch for him around Buffalo with one of his musical projects.

The Listserv upgrade had been on UBIT’s radar,  but a change in the policy of major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) discovered last April increased its priority.

The change in “DMARC” policy, which is designed to create a standard for authenticating email, had caused some ISPs to mis-categorize email sent from a non-UB email address to a UB Listserv as "spoofed." The upgrade corrects this problem. List owners are encouraged to reinstate any individuals whose accounts were disabled or set to “Review” status.

What’s New in Version 16?

Most of the new features benefit the list owners, but subscribers may soon begin to see more engaging content as a result of the improved tools.

The list below is taken largely from West Virginia University:

  • Newsletter Templates: The newsletter template system allows users to send HTML newsletters without expert-level HTML skills. Newsletters can be created by simply clicking on placeholders and filling in the content. A text alternative part is created automatically, while the draft feature allows senders to work on newsletters over time. The interface also carries an integrated WYSIWYG HTML editor for fine-tuning.
  • Template Gallery: Listserv comes with a gallery of pre-designed and tested HTML newsletter templates that customers can use as-is or modify as needed. Users can also create their own newsletter templates from scratch.
  • Default Bottom Banners: Bottom banner templates are now automatically enabled when a new list is created.
  • Newsletter Testing: The newsletter testing feature allows users to send test messages to their own addresses before posting. This is particularly useful for HTML newsletters since HTML standards support can vary widely across different email clients.
  • HTML Mail Templates: List owners can choose to have confirmation and informational messages sent out in HTML. A number of pre-designed HTML mail template styles are available. List owners can also easily create their own HTML mail template styles for their lists.
  • UTF-8 Support: Listserv now supports UTF-8 for subscriber names, list titles and list descriptions, facilitating lists and sites that operate in non-English languages and rely on charsets other than ISO-8859-1.
  • Message Scheduling: The message scheduling option allows senders to schedule the delivery of their newsletters and announcements at a specific time and date, without having to be present at the time of delivery.
  • Improved Digest: The plain text digest now displays encoded messages (quoted-printable or base64), both in UTF-8 and other character sets.
  • RSS Previews: The Listserv archives now display hovering RSS previews when moving the mouse over the subject line of a message.
  • Improved Archive Search: The archive search has been improved to use more accurate sorting for search results that span multiple pages.
  • CSV Reports: List, subscriber and server usage reports can now be downloaded as CSV files and exported to Excel or other external applications.

More complete information is available from this vendor-provided PDF.

Having a Problem Logging in after the Upgrade?

If you are unable to log in to UB Listserv after the upgrade and you have lower case letters in your password, try changing the lower case letters to upper case (capitalizing them). For example, "AbcXyz" would become "ABCXYZ."

Alternatively, after the upgrade you can click the "Get a new Listserv password" link on the UB Listserv login page at http://listserv.buffalo.edu.

Who Can I Call For Help?

The CIT Help Desk (ubithelp@buffalo.edu, 716-645-3542, Lockwood 2nd floor Cybrary) is still the place to go with questions or problems.