Instructables

Multi-generational email lists

Can anyone suggest a mailing list or group hosting solution that is private, self-serve, and extremely simple? I volunteered to setup a mailing list or group for my neighborhood. I just made a Google group, and checked out the invitation and acceptance process, which requires creating a Google account. I feel that creating another account might be burdensome or too complicated for some of my neighbors -- especially the older ones who stay at home peering out of their windows all day that I specifically want included. Mailman does pretty much what I want, but I don't think it's ready for someone who already has trouble dealing with email at all. Yahoo groups seems to be a default solution, but in all honesty, it is a total mess. Am I not giving my older neighbors enough credit? How have you made mailing lists for multi-generational groups?

I'm sure you've already figured this out, but I've found that folks over 50 are pretty much going to call you no matter what. So I would just supplement the mailing list with a business-card size card with your (or whoever the central contact is) phone number on it that you hand to them at a face-to-face meeting. They'll feel better and probably be more amenable to trying the e-mail list.

Finally, for people who are truly beyond the age of e-mail, or have some disability that prevents them from using a computer, you can recommend that they use presto, which is an e-mail service that prints out e-mails sent to the person. My grandmother uses this and the service has made it _so_ much easier to keep in contact with her.

I suspect that you might be doing this for your community disaster plan work -- which is great! -- so I'm sure there are seniors in your neighborhood who will require a little more effort to reach in case of emergency. Presto or the business card with phone number system could probably be good supplements.

Hope this helps!
ewilhelm (author) 7 years ago
OK, it turns out there was an entire tab that I missed in inviting people to my Google group that doesn't require them to create an account.
NachoMahma7 years ago
PS: I've worked with a lot of "seniors" (even taught a few I'net classes at the local senior center) and most of them do quite well ... once they get used to the mouse. ;)
and if they have a mind to do it. My F.I.L. did not "want" to learn it, and had all kinds of problems in the email dept. but he did eventually get taught by those at the home where he resides.
NachoMahma7 years ago
. A quick Google for "maillist" turned up this as the first hit that looked like it might work for you. Lots of others that looked good.
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. Signing up with Google is not very hard nor is it very intrusive. If you have someone to moderate (and a small list), Gmail may work.
. IMNSHO, Google Groups is a PITA to use - not something I'd recommend for newbies.