Right now we have three different types of email groups:
- Magic mailing lists - lists that get sent to people based on positions, patrol, etc. They can only be used by people in the group, unless you mark it as an “open” list. Then, every member of your group can send to it.
- Custom mailing lists - lists that get sent to specific people by name. They can also only be used by people in the group, unless you mark it as an “open” list. Then, every member of your group can send to it.
- Mailboxes - lists that get forwarded to specific people by name. Every member of your group can send to it.
If you had to read that twice, you’re not alone. These different lists are confusing - we get questions about them all the time.
These lists are also very limiting. What if you want to set up a list that is for all members of your troop with a certain position? What if you want the general public to be able to send an email to a list? What if you want to always copy a specific person or leadership position on every email to a specific patrol?
You can’t. And we don’t like that.
Quite a while ago we made a change to TT that has simplified a lot of things - we forced all of you to use a subdomain for your TroopTrack site. When you use TT, you go to troopX.trooptrack.com, or some other url like that. We also introduced the ability to use your subdomain in your mailing lists, so instead of having something like firstname.lastname@example.org, you can use email@example.com instead (this is a beta feature - if you want to try it out send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org).
So, here’s one thing you should know: subdomain emails are the future. If you haven’t made the switch yet, please consider doing it. We will be phasing out the old email lists over the next few months.
A few weeks ago I realized that the differences between custom mailing lists, magic mailing lists, and mailboxes were ridiculous. We don’t need three separate things if we just give you the ability to define mailboxes more flexibly.
So… coming soon… custom mailing lists and magic mailing lists will die. There will only be mailboxes and you’ll be able to define them much more flexibly. Check out this screenshot:
The design isn’t particularly good yet, but hopefully you can see the potential - it has all the capabilities of custom lists, magic lists, and mailboxes all in one.
On top of that, I am redesigning how you view messages. Recent Messages will be replaced by a new menu option called Inbox. It may look something like this:
By default, anyone will be able to send messages to any of your lists.
This is going to pave the way for a lot of possibilities with email, including:
- The ability to moderate messages to certain mailboxes
- The ability to route messages from junk to certain mailboxes
- Spam scoring
- The ability to moderate messages from certain email addresses
This approach to email also introduces a thing we have needed for a really long time I am calling a “membership resolver.” This is a coding concept that creates one single way for dynamically assigning members of a troop to a thing. Initially it will only be used for mailboxes, but once all the kinks are worked out it will be used for inviting people to events, assigning people to checklists and sign up sheets, and more.
It will also help us fix the problem with events where new members and other changes don’t get picked up by events. For example, if you create an event today that is for Patrol X, and you add Jack to Patrol X a week later, Jack won’t get an invitation to the event you created. This makes Jack sad. And it stinks.
Want to be an early adopter of this feature and help us shake out the bugs? Follow this thread, and when we are ready for victims, I mean volunteers, we will post here.