Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 1995)

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Subject: Re: AOL
From: PMDAtropos @ aol . com
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 1995 13:11:42 -0500
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com

>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.

Each database entry contains information on subscribing to the list, followed
immediately by information on how to leave the list. At the top level of the
Mailing Lists area is a document titled "How to Leave a List" with generic
instructions on how to leave lists.

>or send mail to the owner saying "Take me off *this* list". Owners
>running many lists are clueless as to what *this* list is.

I get this all the time, both requests to join *and* leave my lists.

>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

This is a good idea, and something I will incorporate in my revisions to the

>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.

Also an excellent idea, and I will emphasize that more in the revisions

>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.

We do that, currently on a six-month basis. As the ability to automate the
verifications improves, I'd like to increase the frequency to once a quarter.

>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
>   wishes/corrections etc.

The only time we don't explicitly contact the list owner is if they announce
their list on NEW-LIST, since the information Marty Hoag asks for basically
covers what we include in our entries.


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