PMDAtropos@aol.com (David O'Donnell) writes:
> >So, are my AOL problems unique to my site? I know that many of the larger
> >list management programs like majordomo can filter out a lot of the
> >extraneous messages and bounces and such, so am I perceiving more of a
> >problem because I don't have such a system? Or, are others having similar
> >problems dealing with AOL management?
> For those list packages which dump Precedence: bulk mail, our mail system is
> being changed to include that header on all mailbox-full mail. I'm hoping
> that the mail system we are moving towards will be able to remove limits
> altogether. Any suggestions list owners have on how to encourage members to
> intelligently manage mail are *most* appreciated, especially as I am working
> on revising our mailing list area online.
In my experience, AOL admins have always been responsive. Errors in the
database had apparently been corrected on request and couple of lists I
had closed were deleted promptly on request.
In my lists, there is a fair mix of aol users who contribute good stuff
and aol users who shoot bizarre off-topic mail. AOLers tend to be the
ones posting off-topic mail often - especially new subscribers. My lists
are moderated, however.
I get my share of mailbox-full mail from AOL. As my policy is "no
tolerance" for bounces (except communication errors), such users get
signed off and I have not heard of any complaints so far.
The problem I have with AOL users is that they have a database to
consult. They use this to subscribe, but for some reason they cannot
seem to be able to use that to sign off. Perhaps AOL needs a mailing
list how-to document for them to refer to to solve problems they face
with list mail. They start by sending mail to the list to take them off
or send mail to the owner saying "Take me off *this* list". Owners
running many lists are clueless as to what *this* list is.
Secondly, they don't read and interpret the internet mail headers. I
believe AOL tacks on the entire header list at the end of the message.
They should be told as to what the headers mean and that sometimes, the
headers do carry information such as how to get help, how to sign off
etc. They also should be emphatically told that most lists are volunteer
owned and labor of love. List owners are not to be treated like a
commercial provider, but as hosts of the places they are visiting as
guests. Some AOL members seem to think that it is all the list owner's
fault that they are drowning in irrelevant mail.
Here are some suggestions re the database. I have no personal objection
to AOL maintaining a list database. But..
1. Ensure that the database is accurate by periodically sending out
confirmation request to the list owners as to the correctness of
information. Even once a year.. may be.
2. Please do send a notification to the list owner if you are adding a
new entry prior to making it active and honor the list-owner's
I think that list owners should realize that there is going to be a
great influx of newcomers as the commercial services open up to the
Internet and the associated problems/benefits because of this. One
should be prepared to deal with it.
Gess Shankar |<><>|Internet: email@example.com.ORG |<><>|
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