ITS launches alternative to panlists

Information Technology Services launched a version of Google Groups for its EliApps Gmail service Tuesday that aims to provide a more user-friendly alternative to panlists and mailman groups.

Loriann Higashi, manager of the Student Technology Collaborative, said the app, called EliLists, was not released along with EliApps last fall because ITS wanted to test the “core functionally” of the email service before enabling all features. Higashi said she expects EliLists will reduce spam since it has a feature that will block emails when an address is receiving too much activity within a certain period, adding that she hopes the launch of EliLists will encourage students to voluntarily switch to EliApps before the automatic migration at the end of the semester.

Both mailman groups and panlists are slated to be decommissioned in the next few years, though students are still currently able to create mailman groups. Higashi said EliLists offers the security of mailman groups with the user-friendly capabilities of panlists, adding that creators of groups can decide whether subscribers can reply to an email thread and whether members of the Yale community can join their EliLists as they please.

Every year, email chains that include dozens of Yale panlists and mailman groups have garnered flurries of spam emails, along with messages from group members urging people to stop responding to the thread.

Yale College Council president Brandon Levin ’13 said EliLists provides a useful alternative for reaching members of student groups in a Tuesday emai.

“The change will allow for panlist-type communication among groups without the potential for spamming,” Levin said. “I think over time the panlists and mailman groups will be replaced by [EliLists].”

Harry Yu ’14, who manages several panlists for the student activities he is involved in, said in a Tuesday email that he expects to continue using his current panlists since he has grown accustomed to how they work, though he added that he knows mailman groups may be “a little harder” to manage.

Students can convert their current panlists or mailman groups into EliLists on the ITS website.

As of Monday, Higashi said roughly 45 percent of undergraduates had migrated to EliApps, adding that ITS is holding a raffle at the end of April, when it will award two iPads to students who have transferred by that time.

Students can use the EliApps migration process until mid-May, when ITS will automatically create EliApp accounts for students, who will then have 30 days to manually retrieve old emails from their former Pantheon accounts.

Besides EliLists, EliApps also features 25 gigabytes of storage along with access to Google Calendar, Documents, Sites and other Google applications.

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