Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(June 1996)

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Subject: Re: ALL: and
From: cubabe @ netset . com (Dana Katherine Kressierer)
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 1996 07:23:23 -0400 (EDT)
To: Brad Knowles <brad @ his . com>
Cc: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM

At 12:04 AM 6/28/96, Brad Knowles wrote:
>        I won't comment on anything else, but I can say that allowing
>users to have a several hundred message backlog (totally multiple MB
>in size) is actually quite unusual, at least in my experience.  I
>don't know about CompuServe, but this kind of system gets massively
>abused by users on AOL.

I am the first to admit that I don't run an ISP, and that I don't
know the technical details about it.  What I do know is that I've
yet to run into a local ISP here in Columbus, OH who limits the
amound of mail that I can receive.  As long as it is all downloaded
on a regular basis, what do they care?  Memory is cheap.  One of my
ISPs, though it doesn't have a limit per se, does charge for bandwidth
over a certain level...  this allows me to still get *all* my mail
but makes me pay for anything over a certain level per month (I've
yet to hit that level, despite the fact that I receive hundreds of
messages per day).

My problem with AOL/Compuserve/Wow is that their limit (100 or so
messages) is so low!  If a member of AIML, which generates over
70 messages per day, is using Compuserve/AOL/Wow he or she is set
to nomail quite often due to "full mailboxes."  This problem
certainly does not occur as frequently with any other ISP through
which our members subscribe to AIML.  It's definately, in my
experience, a problem unique to those three services.

>        Complaining about improper handling of bounces is 100% kosher,
>but a user having a full mailbox and causing mail to bounce because
>of it seems to be mostly a user problem, and one they need to take
>responsibility for themselves.

I do agree, at least in theory.  But I also think that A/C/W contributes
greatly to this problem by setting such low limits.  Do they have
any justification for their ~100 message limit?  I guess I just don't
feel that ~100 messages/day is all that unusual for a lot of users,
especially those on AIML.  But, as stated above, I'm no expert on
the maintenance of an ISP.

 And decent mailing list management
>software should automatically handle detecting these kinds of bounces
>(assuming the bounce message is handled properly) and deal with the
>offending users without needing your intervention.

We use listserv.  What it is currently set to do is send the bounced
mail to one of our list managers who, at her discretion, sets the
offending account to digest or nomail.  In extreme cases, the user
is dumped altogether.  If you know of more automatic ways to handle
this, I'd appreciate your comments (off-list would probably be
better).  I don't deal with our bounced mail unless it's from
Compuserve/Wow and, as such, directly effecting our list members
or list management.

I might be missing the boat here, and not really understanding the
need for a ~100 message limit.  All I do know is  that the majority
of our user problems stem from Compuserve and Wow, with AOL heading
up the rear.  The problems are mostly due to bounces, but the mail
limits are an annoying secondary issue.

Thanks for your comments, Brad!  :-)


Dana Katherine Kressierer,
Co-Manager, Adoptees' Internet Mailing List
Dana's URL:

I'm so glad that you came tonight.  I sometimes worry that
no one will show up, and without you, there would be little
point in my being here. - Jane Wagner

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