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Soliciting ideas for Swarm Cycle email list

Zen Master

Back in the Good Old Days, we used usenet newsgroups like Alt.Stories.Sex.Moderated or Alt.Stories.Sex.Discuss, but usenet is dying, almost uncontrollably taken over by trolls and idiots. For the last few years, we (the collected authors and fans of Thinking Horndog's Swarm Cycle) have been using an email list hosted by a fan. Recently, however, we've had more and more trouble because DMARC breaks email lists so no one using a DMARC domain can participate.
We are casting about, looking for a semi-secure forum to hang out at and swap story fragments and argue canon. We'd happily come here but we're pretty used to 20-50 posts per day with attachments and I don't think that we need to make LJ deal with that.
Any ideas? Google and Yahoo groups are both out because some of us value our privacy and both organizations will helpfully connect our home and work emails to our writing emails. I tried the company that hosts my own domains but they want a lot of money to set up a private forum.
We are willing to take all comers, we don't want a closed forum, but we want to be able to hide behind our pen-names since many of us still have real lives.

-ZM, accepting ideas here or to my email address ZM@TampaAD.net

Replies:   Gauthier
El_Sol

Private Reddit Sub.

Though you would probably have some privacy concerns similar to google and yahoo.

LonelyDad

How much data per month are we talking about?

I assume there would be different threads for different areas of discussion, correct?

Are you going to want to migrate all of the old data from your current system?

Replies:   Zen Master
ElDani

The only reasons why the hosting of a web forum would be expensive are either a) because you want it fully managed by your domain hoster or b) because you need lots and lots of space for attachments and other stuff. The latter isn't always a cause for price inflation, but I'd be leery of any web-hoster that provides "unlimited" webspace when a customer actually tries to use that ;) Any other reason for a high price is usually a bad deal.

For such a small community and the relatively low traffic, you should be able to make a go at hosting it yourself reasonably cheap. One such example is Namecheap, where you can almost one-click install a web forum software of your choice. That's just one example and not necessarily my recommendation, because I've never used the company.

If you stay with a web-based forum, you can also go the managed route and use a company which specializes in forum hosting. There are many options for free ad-supported hosting even, but who knows what they will do with the data you generate? By using an unaffiliated company, you would at least alleviate the issue of Google or another company connecting your work and writing mails.

In the end it's a question of convenience and privacy. The more of either you require, the higher the cost.

Replies:   Zen Master
Zen Master
Updated:

@LonelyDad

The old system used probably (WAG here) 1 GB per month. We have a stable file sharing system through Dropbox, so any new system could prohibit attachments without too much pain.

Yeah, different threads to follow or ignore, pretty much the same activity level that SOL's forums here gets.

Don't think we can migrate data, the old hosted email list appears to be dead and the guy who ran it isn't responding, either.

Zen Master

@ElDani

Web forum was my first thought and the easiest to manage. It's just not ideal from a conversion point of view, for a bunch of cranky old men who don't like change. Tough. Life is that way sometimes. Suck it up or pay for your own solution, man!
Frankly, if it weren't for DMARC I'd simply start up my own email list and send out invitations. With that, though, email lists are becoming very close to unuseable. No one using email provided by google, MSN, yahoo, AOL, etc will be able to participate in an email list unless they host it, and if they host it no one will have any privacy.
I'm looking at El Sol' idea which I know nothing about. Coming here for advice was a real good idea!

Replies:   ElDani
ElDani

@Zen Master

Web forum was my first thought and the easiest to manage. It's just not ideal from a conversion point of view, for a bunch of cranky old men who don't like change. Tough. Life is that way sometimes. Suck it up or pay for your own solution, man!

I can understand that ;)

Frankly, if it weren't for DMARC I'd simply start up my own email list and send out invitations. With that, though, email lists are becoming very close to unuseable. No one using email provided by google, MSN, yahoo, AOL, etc will be able to participate in an email list unless they host it, and if they host it no one will have any privacy.

Well, that's not exactly true (anymore). There are mailing list servers, which can be configured to work with DMARC domains such as Yahoo, Google or Microsoft. I know of two which support that:

GNU Mailman is able, beginning with the version 2.1.16, to work with said DMARC mail addresses by changing one or more settings.

There's also Sympa. Beginning with version 6.1.22 you are able to get it to work by setting a "dmarc_protection_mode" value, which implements the same changes as Mailman so previously affected mails won't bounce anymore.

One word of advice if you want to investigate this further. Any hosting provider needs to be running the proper version of the server software, or you'll have the problems you described. My shared webspace provider for example is running an outdated Mailman server which does not offer the required setting yet.

Replies:   Zen Master
Gauthier
Updated:

@Zen Master


we don't want a closed forum, but we want to be able to hide behind our pen-names since many of us still


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freenet

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNUnet

Zen Master

@ElDani

These both sound reasonable. Alas, I am not a swerver-herder. Back in the dark ages I wrote low-level code for hardware interfaces, but I never made the jump to graphical user interfaces. I'm not up to running (and maintaining!) a secure server on the 'net. I'm still having trouble porting a home-brew database to MySQL.
If I ever work for someone with a server farm who doesn't mind me running a porn server, those will be realistic options.
Update: The email list in question is back up, sorta, so this is all OBE.

gunner

@ Zen Master

You've got mail.

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