Caucus E-mail Participation
Copyright (C) 2004 CaucusCare.
Last revised 3 December 2004
1. INTRODUCTION AND PURPOSE
The Caucus e-mail participation interface provides a "listserv" or mailing-list like capability for the Caucus conferencing system. You can use this feature to extend Caucus to
- reach people via e-mail who would not participate regularly via the web
- import mail from unusual sources (e.g. cell phone cameras) into conferences
- save conference text on a PC, where it can be searched by the Google desktop
When this feature is enabled, each Caucus conference organizer can specify a list of e-mail addresses that may participate in that conference. New material (items and responses) are automatically sent to those participants, via e-mail, on a regular basis.
Those users may in turn contribute to the conference by simply replying to those messages. The replies are automatically placed in the proper conference and item.Organizers may also specify "send only" e-mail addresses, that can send mail to Caucus, but do not receive anything from Caucus. (E.g. the cellphone camera mentioned above.) Note: Prior to Caucus 4.6, the e-mail feature was part of a separately installed package. See the old directions if you need this capability with an older Caucus site.
2. CAUCUS MANAGER INSTRUCTIONSThe Caucus installation procedure should do everything necessary to make email participation "just work". If, however, there are problems, a Caucus manager should click on Manage, Look & Feel, Edit switches, email, and find the "E-mail participation" field. This should be set to the unix userid that is dedicated to processing Caucus email -- see the Caucus installation guide for details. As a manager, you can disable email participation by clearing this field.
3. CONFERENCE ORGANIZER INSTRUCTIONS
To allow e-mail users to participate in a conference, the conference organizer must do two things from the "customize" page:
3.1 Include the Caucus Mailer userid in your conference.
Add the Caucus Mailer userid to the list of users included in your conference. This only needs to be done once. (Consult a Caucus manager or sysadmin if you do not know the Caucus mailer userid.)
3.2 Add individual e-mail users.
Customize the conference, then select "email participation". For each e-mail user that is participating, add their e-mail address to either the "Participants" or "Senders" box. (See the instructions on that page for details.)
Note that this must be the address that appears on mail sent from the user. Caucus uses the entries in the E-mail participants box for two purposes: to determine who to send mail to, and to control who mail will be accepted from.
This is somewhat subtle point. A person with simple "mail to" address may actually have a longer "from" address. You must use the "from" address. (Some people may also have multiple e-mail aliases that all point to their "real" e-mail address. In either case, you must always use the "from" address that appears in their replies.)
To remove an e-mail participant, simply delete their address from the box. (There is no way to "rename" an e-mail participant to another e-mail address.)
4. E-MAIL PARTICIPANT INSTRUCTIONS
When an e-mail participant is added to a conference (in step 3.2), they will receive the entire contents of the conference as e-mail. Each item will appear (with all of its responses) as one message. The subject heading of the message begins with "::Caucus", and then shows the conference name, item number, response numbers, and item title.
Thereafter, as new items and responses are added to the conference, e-mail participants will receive regular updates (typically daily). All new responses to an item will be delivered as one message. Each new item (with its responses so far) will be delivered as one message.
An e-mail participant may add a response by simply replying to the appropriate message. A reply to a particular message will be posted as a response to that item.
E-mail participants may post plaintext or HTML messages, Caucus will handle either format. Participants may also attach files (such as images or Word documents) to their messages. The attachments will appear as links in the responses.
E-mail participants may post new items by replying to any message (from the relevant conference), and changing the subject field to remove the item and response numbers. (I.e., the subject field should just contain the "::Caucus" and the conference name.) On most mailers, this can easily be accomplished by simply backspacing over the subject until the conference name is reached. The first line of the message will be used as the item title.
Items and responses posted by e-mail participants look just the same as entries made by regular Caucus users. The names of the authors will appear as they are specified in the "Participants" or "Senders" box by the organizer.
Conference organizers can delete or edit the participants' items or responses in the usual way.