On Tue, 4 Feb 1997, Brad Knowles wrote:
: If you want to try out for fifty free hours, you have to provide
:a credit-card number to sign on, period. Whether during your free
:period or not, you simply don't get on unless you've got a credit
:card. After you've been on the system for a while, we'll let you
:change your billing to direct from your checking account, but
:initially, it's credit card only.
AOL doesn't have any credit card info on me, I'm not very curious about
their service, so I never asked. But I've been getting both CDs (better I
think because they aren't writeable) and disks mailed to me. I'm
presuming the contact info is coming from the Whois database. I don't
know whether those (unsolicited) disks/CDs when used provide you with a
fully functional account, but I think so. I know other people who've been
getting them as well.
What might be workable, is AOL experimenting with a little gateway
that handles list unsubscription/subscription for its users. A little
jiggling around with the mailer (or simply an extension/plug-in to it),
some idea of what list-software is used to manage the list, and voila
unsubscribe at the click of a button (or two, just to confirm). Yes, we
may not be educating AOL users about how the Net "really works", but then
comfortable front-ends are valuable to many people, often those who don't
have an intrinsic curiousity towards these things and just want the job
done. I have nothing against a comfy front-end, especially when this is
what AOL seems to be marketing, for most lists I don't think the ability
to understand, manipulate and use list software should be a barrier to
entering discussion. This raises many issues of course, including some
that relate to list-manager's interaction with AOL. Some of the problems
may cripple the idea, but I think it may be worth a try. Or has this all
been done before?
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