Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1994)

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Subject: Re: AOL flexing some muscle (USENET posting)
From: mingus @ summit . novell . com (Marcel-Franck Simon)
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 94 17:25 EDT
To: rzepela @ cvi . hahnemann . edu ("Anthony J. Rzepela"), list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM

My experience with AOL, their users and my mailing list has been thus:

- Received a flood of subscribe requests by people who were completely ignorant
  of the list's subscribe protocol.

- Contacted and asked that s/he rectify the situation

- Received no answer over a period of a couple months

- Got annoyed

- List-Managers list went through a what-to-do-about-clueless-AOL-subscribers
  discussion, during which I relayed the above

- Heard comments from people who *had* gotten response from

- Wrote again

- Received a *very* cooperative response within one day, explaining that
  things were just getting setup to deal with problems like mine, and saying
  that my mail had been forwarded to

- Received an *equally* cooperative response from the listmaster within 1-2
  days after that. Sent this person a couple messages explaining the process
  I wanted their subscribers to follow

- Haven't had a problem with AOL people subscribing to my list, since. Several
  of them have turned out to be excellent contributors.

I conclude that the problem was one of ignorance compounded by miscommunication.
AOL deserves responsibility for rushing their people onto the Internet without
teaching them the rules of the road, so to speak; but IMO they are doing the
right thing to correct the situation.

This message does not jibe at all with my own situation, and I'd want to
hear a lot more details, including AOL's version of the story, before
blasting away at them. Remember, AOL makes money by (a) getting more
subscribers and (b) these subscribers being connected for good long periods
of time. I would think they would *want* their people to subscribe to
as many lists as possible, increasing the fees they pay AOL....


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