First, a reminder of some important principles:
Principle 1: Use Lochac Mailboxes
For Australian groups, we really want Seneschals, Reeves and Kingdom Officers to use lochac.sca.org mailboxes, so that there is a permanent, SCA-available and easily-transferrable archive of correspondence. These mailboxes are super-easy to get – just ask Masonry. Even better, they are fairly easy to integrate into your own mail clients so that you can use them seamlessly, i.e. without logging in to a website to use them. (For more info, see Masonry’s Email and mail forwarding guide).
Specifically: we prefer that you don’t create and hand on third-party mailboxes instead, such as a gmail account. That approach creates a
noticeably-higher risk of loss of access and hence records. And that
matters – it causes problems for us regularly.
So: if you are using something like gmail because you feel you must for some reason, please contact Masonry so we can better understand your reasons. If you’re simply doing that out of habit, please make the shift to a Lochac mailbox now.
For offices below group Reeve, or for deputy offices at Kingdom level – you can certainly have Lochac mailboxes if you want, and you may even want to create policies in your local group about it. The more official business someone in a given office is likely to transact, the more we’d encourage them to have one.
Principle 2: Standard public-facing email addresses
For all groups, we now insist on standardised public-facing email addresses. That is, if you use Regnumator to generate your Regnum, the standard public email addresses will be used. And even if you hand-maintain your online Regnum, Regnumator itself will be working hard to ensure that the standard email addresses will always work for all your offices. You’ll see this in action whenever you work with warrant records in Regnumator.
Standardisation doesn’t force you to lose older/local addresses, because aliasing will always allow those to keep working. For example, for people who send to them out of long habit – or get them from (say) old paper promotional materials. But we strongly prefer that you adopt and stick with the standard forms in all public uses and for all officers from now on.
Principle 3: “Manage Group Email Aliases” in the Seneschals Database is for non-officer addresses
From now on, for specifically standard officer email addresses, we don’t want AU Seneschals to use the Manage Group Email Aliases feature of the Seneschals Database any more. It remains fine to use it for non-standard addresses, such as bookings@ or eventname@ or oldofficeaddress@.
This change is because Regnumator now supports those settings in a very user-friendly way and with a lot of background logic and checking. It even allows an officer to set or change their own forwarding alias if they need to.
So, the golden rule from now on: if it’s a standard officer email address, use Regnumator. Otherwise, Manage Group Email Aliases. (We’ll be adding some logic to the latter to at least remind and discourage you from doing this for standard office addresses).
Sep ’21 note for NZ Seneschals and Webwrights: for now, keep using your normal forwarding/alias management system as Regnumator will not be making those updates. But please do add support where needed for the new standardised public office addresses.
Dealing with Various Email Forwarding Scenarios
Given the above, here’s a few specific situations that may arise as you check things out and add officer records in Regnumator, with hints on how to deal with them:
a) The office doesn’t have an existing Lochac mailbox and you don’t want to set them up with one: All good – when you create or update a warrant record for this person in Regnumator, put in a forwarding email address for them. Two seconds work, especially if you use the Details button to get their personal email address from Registry.
b) The office doesn’t have an existing Lochac mailbox, and you do want to set them up with one: Leave the forwarding email address field blank. Regnumator will send a message to Masonry asking for a mailbox with the standard name to be created and the login details to be sent to that officer. Masonry may contact you for confirmation before this happens.
c) The office has an existing but non-standard Lochac mailbox which you want to keep using (example: you want to continue using email@example.com rather than create an entirely new but standard firstname.lastname@example.org mailbox). Easy: in Regnumator, just put the existing mailbox address in the forwarding email address field, and this simple forward can remain there for all subsequent officers in the role, forever – so long as they hand on the keys to the arts@ mailbox each time the office changes hands.
d) The office has an existing non-standard Lochac alias (not mailbox!), such as email@example.com, which is set to forward to firstname.lastname@example.org: A subtle change is needed, but still easy. Using Manage Group Email Aliases in the Seneschals Database, set email@example.com to forward to (the new standard) firstname.lastname@example.org. In Regnumator, set the forwarding address for the office to be email@example.com. After that, any email sent to rapier@, forever, will go to fencing@, and emails sent to fencing@ will be sent on to whereever it is forwarded to over the years as the office changes hands.
e) The office has an existing non-Lochac mailbox which is handed on, such as firstname.lastname@example.org: if this is a Seneschal, Reeve or KO, see #1 above. Otherwise, simply set this as the forwarding alias for that office in Regnumator, and it can remain in place each time the office changes hands.
f) The office has an existing personal address and isn’t a Seneschal, Reeve or KO. This is actually scenario (a) again. Set the personal address as the forwarding address for this warrant, expect it to change it for each successor.
The scenarios that aren’t rather obvious in practice are (c) and (d) – but once set up, they need no more attention than the rest.