How do I post to SPALS?

Where do I post SPALS messages?

Registered subscribers can post messages to the SPALS mailing list at -- use this as a mailing address just as if you were posting to another person. Note that this address is not case-sensitive, and thus represents the same address.

After your message has been received by our Majordomo, it will forward you a confirmation message to acknowledge that your message will be sent out on SPALS.

For messages about subscribing and unsubscribing, or missing mail, or problems receiving mail, post messages as follows:

For all questions about SPALS, and whenever you are in doubt where to post, our list administrators can handle any questions you may have about SPALS -- including any questions about subscriptions, missing mail or problems with mail.

Why didn't my message appear on SPALS?

Normally, messages from a subscribed address that are correctly addressed are processed and distributed from SPALS. If your message does not appear on SPALS, several things may have happened:

  • The message has bounced. See what causes bounced messages.
  • There may be a problem sending mail at your provider's mail server.
  • Your provider's mail server may have trouble reaching our provider.
  • The message may be delayed in the incoming mail server at our provider.
  • The message may be delayed entering your provider's mail server on the way back from SPALS.

Our experience with email is that minor network problems arise frequently, and are often resolved within 24 hours. If your message has not appeared on SPALS, we recommend waiting 24 hours before taking further action.

If you are concerned that your messages are not reaching SPALS, please contact one of our list administrators. We generally advise against resending messages to SPALS. If you are concerned that your message may have bounced from SPALS, review what causes bounced messages. Please note that for a message that has bounced, resending the identical message will cause the message to bounce again.

On very rare occasions, network problems may take longer than 24 hours to resolve. Our experience has been that when this occurs, messages that were delayed may take up to a full week to be delivered.

See also: Why was my message rejected from SPALS; What causes bounced messages

Why was my message rejected from SPALS?

SPALS mail is received and forwarded automatically to each subscriber by Majordomo software. The Majordomo enforces our "closed" list and is responsible for authenticating subscribed members of SPALS.

If the Majordomo rejected your message, and reports that you are not a subscribed member of SPALS, please check:

  • Have you unsubscribed from SPALS?
  • Are you using the email address you used when you subscribed to SPALS? Majordomo can only identify you from your subscribed email address.
  • Has the name of your provider, or its mail server, changed since you last posted successfully to SPALS?

If you are unable to determine from this why your message was rejected from SPALS, please forward the rejection message you received (in its entirety) to our list administrators. This will help us to determine why you are not able to post to SPALS.

See also: What causes bounced messages

Why did my message appear twice?

Messages are processed by Majordomo as received. If your message appeared on SPALS twice, it is because:

  • You sent it twice (inadvertently or intentionally).
  • Your provider's mail server was restored from a backup and sent the message a second time.
  • Our provider's incoming mail server was restored from a backup and sent the message to Majordomo a second time.

If your messages continue to appear twice, it is likely that a problem is recurring, and you may wish to discuss this with one of our list administrators.

See also: Why am I getting 2 copies of SPALS messages

What causes bounced messages?

SPALS mail is received and forwarded automatically to each subscriber by Majordomo software. The Majordomo is responsible for accepting or rejecting messages for SPALS.

Rejected messages

We have set several parameters within Majordomo to assist in managing the traffic on the SPALS. The Majordomo rejects messages that are:

  • Over 40K in size. Pictures, documents and other attached objects often lead to a message exceeding 40K in size. If you have material to send others that exceeds 40K in size, send a message to SPALS and invite people to ask you for it directly.
  • From addresses not subscribed to SPALS.

Assumed administrative requests

A feature of Majordomo is that it does not forward messages that appear to contain "administrative requests". Such messages should be sent to Majordomo itself, but occasionally (on other lists, of course!) subscribers forget and send to the wrong address. If Majordomo finds a pattern that suggests the message might be an administrative request, it "bounces" the message.

A bounced message is forwarded to our list administrators, who have the ability to resend the message through Majordomo to SPALS.

Some of the key words that Majordomo uses to "select" a message to bounce are words that we use often on SPALS:

help -- as in "I need help with ..." or "A friend of mine needs help ..." or "I hope this helps" or simply "Help!"

(un)subscribe/ed/ing -- as in "I have a friend who wants to subscribe ..." or "I need help unsubscribing", but also "I just subscribed" may also cause a bounce.

add me -- as in "Add me to the Pregnant Moms list".

The best way to avoid bounces is to avoid words that cause them. While complex rules govern how Majordomo "selects" a message to bounce, we can use 4 simple rules to avoid bounced messages:

Use "h*lp" for "help" in your messages.

Use "join" instead of "subscribe/ed/ing".

Use "leave" instead of "unsubscribe/ed/ing".

Don't use the phrase "add me".

If you forget and your message is bounced by Majordomo, our administrators will assess your message and, if appropriate, resend your message to SPALS. If there is a problem resending your message to SPALS, our administrators will forward the message back to you with an explanation.

See also: Why didn't my message appear on SPALS; Why was my message rejected from SPALS

What should I do during vacation?

You have 3 options when going on vacation: (a) remain subscribed to SPALS; (b) switch to the digest while you are away; or (c) unsubscribe temporarily and resubscribe when you return. The choice is yours.

If you have mailbox space limitations or are unlikely to have time to read all the messages that will have accumulated, we recommend that you unsubscribe temporarily.

To switch to the digest while you are away, email to one of the list administrators asking to be placed on the digest. When you return, email that you would like to return to the ongoing SPALS distribution.

To unsubscribe temporarily from SPALS for your vacation, simply unsubscribe. When you return, resend a copy of your bio to Michael.

See also: Does SPALS have a digest; How do I arrange for the SPALS digest; How do I leave SPALS

Why can't I post to SPALS?

If you find that you cannot post to SPALS, please check the address you are using for SPALS. The correct address for SPALS is Despite administrative messages you may receive from Majordomo from time to time -- the preferable address to use for SPALS is which will always point to the correct location.

See also: Where do I post SPALS messages; Why didn't my message appear on SPALS

Where are the SPALS archives?

Posts to SPALS are considered private and confidential, and no public archives are available.

Private archives of recent copies of the SPALS digest are available to current SPALS members. For information on the location, and to obtain an access ID and the current password, please email Michael.

Members are currently working on a page of information and experiences from SPALS members to help people who are facing subsequent pregnancy -- this page is still under construction.