I'm the list owner but I can't post to the list! Why not?

If you are receiving messages in response to your attempted posts indicating that your address has been "served out," please refer to FAQ #4, above.

If you are receiving messages in response to your attempted posts indicating that you are not authorized to post from the address you are sending from, read on.

Note that in some cases, your mail client or your outbound server may be changing your From: address slightly, which would prevent LISTSERV from identifying your mail as coming from the Owner= or subscribed address.  The best thing to do in a case like this is to ask the LISTSERV maintainer to check the LISTSERV system logs to see what happened when your posting arrived.

Next, note that list owners do not have an implicit right to post to their lists simply because they are the list owners.  (LISTSERV Postmasters do, but list owners do not.)

In order for a list owner to post to their list, they must:

  • Be subscribed to the list (and not set to NOPOST or REVIEW), with Send= set to allow subscribers to post to the list; and/or
  • Be included, either explicitly or by reference, in the Send= list header keyword.

The first bullet point simply means that a list owner can subscribe to the list like anyone else, and post to the list so long as the list is configured to allow that.  For instance, the list may be set to Send= Private, meaning any subscriber may post, but non-subscribers (including non-subscribed list owners) cannot post.

The second bullet point refers to the setting of the Send= header if the list is more restrictive (for instance, it may be an announce-only list where only certain people are allowed to post notices).  For instance, if johndoe@example.com is a list owner of the MYANNOUNCEMENTS list, any of the following Send= settings would be sufficient to allow him to post:

Send= Owner,Confirm

Send= Owners,Confirm

Send= johndoe@example.com,Confirm

Any number of addresses may be specified explicitly, e.g.,

Send= johndoe@example.com,rachelroe@example.com,Confirm

would allow both John Doe and Rachel Roe to post to the list (even if they are not specified as list owners).  (In all of the above examples, we have specified the ",Confirm" parameter, to help prevent anyone from spoofing mail to the list purporting to be from the authorized senders.)  See the documentation for the Send= list header keyword for more information.

On my non-public list, I use (for instance) a Hotmail account as my Owner= address, and the Hotmail address is subscribed to the list and I get mail and can post just fine from that address. But I don't want to post from my list owner address, I want to post from my school address so that people don't think I'm the list owner. But I can't post from that address! Why can't I post? I'm the list owner!

(Yes, we really do get this question.) LISTSERV has no way to know that your Hotmail account and your school account belong to the same person (you) and therefore LISTSERV treats your school account just like anyone else's. You need either to subscribe your school address to the list or to make it an editor, depending on how you have the list set up.