>How nice. Let's tar ALL AOL members as idiots. There are problems with AO)L
>just as there are problems with newbies from all servers. Since AOL just
>dropped their rates, you will, of course, see many more inexperienced newbies
>coming from AOL. It's too bad that you can't be bothered being a helpful &
>generous person. I am glad your lists won't be on AOL.
I do not believe that you fully understand the situation.
The Internet and its components, such as the thousands of mailing lists,
the Usenet newsgroups, the Web, etc., are all built on underlying principles
of mutual cooperation.
That cooperation takes many forms, starting at the protocol layer --
if we'd didn't all agree on SMTP, or HTTP, or NNTP, or whatever,
we wouldn't be able to talk to each other. If we didn't all agree
that "-request" was the standard place for mailing list administrivia
to go, we'd have other kinds of problems. And so on.
But AOL, and listen carefully, DOES NOT COOPERATE. AOL, in its attempt
to co-opt the content and services of the Internet for its own ends,
frequently causes great inconvenience to the very people who have made
the Internet as valuable as it is -- the people who run mailing lists,
moderate newsgroups, etc. This non-cooperation takes many forms; in
this most recent case, it's an ill-considered attempt by AOL to allow
its users to block email from certain originating addresses/networks.
But this is hardly the first time -- it's only been a little while since
AOL blocked thousands of web sites running what AOL unilaterally decided
was an unacceptable version of HTTP. And there have been previous problems
as well; for instance, I'm told that some of the Usenet FAQs have
had their authorship and copyright information removed and are presented
to AOL members as AOL's material. And so on. The Big Picture is that
this is *not* an isolated incident. So forgive us if we're a little
tired of the AOL song-and-dance.
And the point is, Anne, that AOL has behaved like an unruly leech on the
back on the Internet community since the day it was plugged in. AOL does
not give, it only takes. Even *that* act of ultimate selfishness and
greed might still be tolerable, but when AOL starts causing more than
X amount of grief and pain for the volunteers out there (where X
varies from person to person) like the people on this mailing list,
then those people have to seriously evaluate just how much time they
want to spend dealing with AOL's nonsense vs. how much time they
could spend providing useful services/information to non-AOL users.
Yes, that's really awful for the poor schmucks who signed up for AOL
because they didn't know any better, and just wanted to go play in
traffic on the Information Superhighway. But your ire is better directed
at the *paid* twits running AOL than at the people here, who were
providing volunteer services long before AOL came along, and I daresay,
will be doing so long after AOL is gone.