Communities - Managing ListServs and Forums

MemberMax facilitates the communication needs of members while providing the automation for staff monitoring and control. A person is automatically added and/or removed from the integrated list/forum based on membership type, status, committee enrollment, etc. The end-user can define rules for each list that apply to joining and deleting list members. In turn, the administrator has complete control over each member's subscription, allowing them to join and remain on a list regardless of the lists rules. They also have the ability to ban members from lists based on their record ID in the database. MemberMax also allows members to join and remove themselves from lists via the web, provided they have been given access to a particular list (members only see lists for which they
are eligible).

The integration of listserv/forums in MemberMax provides the ability to create and automatically control extended on-line peer to peer communities where members' participation is dependent upon their ongoing membership status in the association. If a Member becomes eligible, they are automatically emailed an invitation to join a list on the web. If a member no longer meets the list eligibility requirements, they will automatically be emailed an expiration notice and be removed from the list.

MemberMax currently uses Lyris for Listserv/forum generation. However, most other Listserv/forum software can be integrated with the MemberMax database.


MemberMax and Lyris Integration

MemberMax and Lyris join the separate worlds of Listservs & Forums together with membership management.

Until now, web-based bulletin board or forum systems operated independently from existing email based mailing lists, listserv systems and membership management packages. Separately, listservs and forums each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Some of these are described below:

  • Electronic mailing lists are very simple and convenient for members to use since it only relies on the persons’ present email address. However, there is very little history or organization of past discussions. Past emails tend to get lost and the content is only available to the original recipients. While some list servers have the ability to keep a history or “archive” the email messages, the archiving is usually non-intelligent and non-categorized. This leaves the user with a mess of unorganized messages. Additionally, “archiving” is only uni-directional. In other words, going back to view the archives is the only option presented.
  • At the same time, web-based forums are well suited for organized bi-directional discussion. Users may view or contribute to a subject by posting to a new or existing “thread” of information in any category now or in the future. Unfortunately, this requires the user to use the web-based interface. For some this may be less convenient than email. In addition, when a message is posted on a forum, it will only be available to visitors of that forum and will not be sent out to all the members of the forum.With Lyris, posts to the forum are sent out to all of its members.

Although, web-based forums and email listservs both have the common purpose of communication, each system achieves this very differently. Lyris overlaps the functionality of both forum systems and mailing list systems giving the user the best of both worlds.

As with MemberMax, the Lyris software can be branded so that the Lyris interface has the colors and logo of the association.