Chat Group History

From Carol Sweeney Benson:  “I started the MHC61 Chat List in January 1996 with the thought of getting classmates in touch before our upcoming Reunion in May 1996. At the suggestion of Judy Kennedy,  Sandy Iger Kohler and I wrote an article for “The Laurel Chain” Winter/Spring 1997 (MHC publication for class officers, I think) about the e-mail list. And there is an article in the Winter 1998 Quarterly Class Notes section with quotes from list members. If you need copies of these articles for more history of the chat list, I can snail mail them to you. Or if someone wants help setting up something similar I’m available.

“As near as I can tell from my records, I think in 2001 I switched to a genuine listserv because my Juno e-mail system thought my forwarded messages were spam. I could only send to 50 addresses at once and so had three sections to the list at that time. Cumbersome and a bit time consuming. Now PagePlop/Page Planet is the current listserv. MHC61 is a closed loop with the person’s e-mail as identification to submit/receive messages. Thus, we do not receive junk mail (so far, so good.) I don’t have to worry about my computer crashing. All I do is add or delete or change addresses for our members and give instructions/help for how-to and protocol such as signing messages with full name. I want to emphasize that I do not moderate or censor or whatever any messages to the list. E-mail technology has advanced tremendously. When I travel I no longer bother with a laptop. I can log on to Mac email from anybody’s computer and then on to the web to PagePlop’s list administrator section to make changes to the Page Plop list if required. Wonder what will be next.

“For me personally the MHC61 Chat list has been a marvelous resource for my acting career. Many of you have steered me in the right direction to find info on songs, Shakespeare, Dickens, etc.”

3/30/2020, an update from Carol:
Good Morning, All MHC 61ers

First, to Liz Webfoot, many, many thanks for the time and energy you devote to maintaining our website. You are the best!

Next, my job as list manager, does not require much time now. Since December 2011, my choice, the listserve is handled by PagePlanet physically located in North Carolina at an annual cost $81 ($9.00 discount for paying annually not monthly) that is paid from our class funds. Currently we have 80-something members. When requested by a member I change email addresses and add new members. Your email address is your identification to receive and send messages. Awhile ago PagePlanet support notified me that gmail/Google would no longer send copies of messages back to senders which is why when we receive a message headers no longer contain their email address. (might not be the exact explanation, but neither myself or PagePlanet can change the situation). As I compose this message I see From: Carol Benson, but you all the recipients, do not.

Thus, necessitating every message must be signed with full name such as Carol Sweeney Benson . The support staff at PagePlanet are most helpful when I have questions.

So nice to see some classmates on the list who rarely contribute, doing so now.

In January 1996 when I started the chatlist I expected we’d discuss our upcoming reunion. That we did.
But now, a pandemic?

Stay healthy and safe!

Carol Sweeney Benson
802 888 3863

P.S. changing listserves
You may notice our address says “talklist”. That was the first listserve I used. The actual computers and staff were located somewhere in NJ. In Dec. 2011 they abruptly went out of business – probably financial reasons. So, the folks at PagePlanet already in business drove a truck from NC to NJ, took all the talklist computers back to NC, hooked everything up, and we, the MHC61ers were again connected in a very short time.
When a hurricane threatened NC, PagePlanet notified all their customers of the precautions they were taking to be able to continue with their services.