Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1994)

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Subject: Re: Superhighway Growth
From: pmdatropos @ aol . com
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 94 09:23:43 EDT
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM

Michelle Dick wrote:

> (Jailbait) wrote:
>> I must say that I disagree with the plan to feed mailing lists into
>> newsgroups. For a great many of the mailing lists out there, I think
>> that if the list maintainters /wanted/ a newsgroup, they would have 
>> started one already. Most of the lists I know /like/ having some 
>> control over the readers of their lists that is not given by a 
>> newsgroup.

I'm surprised at the level of dislike evidenced by list owners -- I guess it
just goes to show that one should never assume what one sees as a solution
will be perceived as such by others.

I also get the impression that there is a misunderstanding about our ideas.
America Online is not going to simply move lists to our internal news
hierarchy without warning, nor are we trying to force list owners to
acquiesce. Providing access to a mailing list via our -local distribution-
newsgroups would (a) diminish the inbound flow of mail from lists with large
numbers of America Online subscribers and/or high traffic; (b) eliminate the
problem of users signing on, deciding they don't want the list, then signing
off (a large problem on human-administered lists); (c) eliminate the "no such
America Online member" messages; and (d) provide our subscribers with a
threaded interface to the mailing list traffic.

In a sense our plan will be similar to that provided by BITNET sites using
the GRAND product to locally distribute mailing lists (and news). Responses
to list articles will be transmitted over mail, and (assuming all goes well)
will arrive at the list processor appearing as though they came from our
subscribers, not the America Online distribution mechanism. Although America
Online members will be encouraged to participate in those lists we carry over
our internal news reader via that product, they won't be prevented from
subscribing to and participating in the mailing lists over e-mail.

For myself, I'm looking forward to being able to read the lists I run in this
fashion -- it will help me handle the volume of the lists more effectively
and will cut down on some of my administrative tasks.

>There's nothing wrong with newsgroup option, because it remains just
>that, an option.  If AOL or other service offers it that way, they
>still need an internet email feed to provide the list.  List owners
>can easily refuse to send the list to such an address-feed.  

The whole idea is that we will work -with- list owners on this project. If
carrying the list over news becomes a problem, then we work on a solution
-with- the list owner(s).

__ David B. O'Donnell (,
\/ System Administrator, America Online, Inc.
   Tel.: +1 703/556-3725

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