Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(November 1999)

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Subject: Re: AOL dropping mail
From: "Tom Neff" <tneff @ bigfoot . com>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 1999 22:14:44 -0500
To: <List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM>
Importance: Normal
In-reply-to: <>

Chuq Von Rospach [] wrote:
> At 10:04 AM -0500 11/20/99, Tom Neff wrote:
> > be true.  I get spammed at AOL approx. 8 times per week, versus
> > about 10-15 times per week at (for example) panix...
> And mine is the opposite, despite the fact that my aol account is not
> advertised anywhere.

Even if the numbers were reversed, the number of spams per user are
approximately in the same ballpark, which was my point.  It is not as though
AOL is burdened with a hundred spams per user per day whilst other ISP's
escape with two or three per user per day.  When measured per user day - the
unit people are billing against - AOL's target rate appears to be about

> > That is something of a non sequitur.  What I am saying is that
> > the ability to provide service, PER USER, should not degrade
> > as an ISP grows,
> Which is like saying that, on a per-user basis, a McDonalds should
> have the same caliber service as that 10 seat restaurant down on the
> wharf.

Well, first of all, lots of 10 seat restaurants have LOUSY service and if
you don't believe me, try the diner down on my corner. :)  But since 10 seat
restaurants do not actually change species and grow into McDonalds
franchises, it would be more applicable to say that when Mickey D's went
from a 24 store regional chain to a 240 store national chain, and thence to
2,400 and eventually 24,000 stores worldwide, their customers had a right to
expect the same prompt and courteous service (and lawsuit-scalding coffee
and inedible food, but hey) at each stage along the way.  They would not
have expected (or tolerated) having nobody answer the drive-thru buzzer, or
seeing mayonnaise squirted on their Egg McMuffin, and then being told as an
excuse "listen, do you realize how many locations we have to worry about
these days?!"  Their responsibility to serve YOU at YOUR chosen location
didn't diminish.  And the same is true for AOL.  I do not really care
whether a few folks have convinced themselves that this is just "nice in
theory," because I know for a fact that it doesn't have to be as bad as AOL
currently does it.  I suspect several of us here could implement substantive
improvements that would bring AOL in line with Internet standards and
expectations if we had the access and resources.  All that would be
necessary would be for AOL to really give a damn.  I do not think they do,
at the decision making level that counts for these things.

> On the other hand, it brings up a fascinating question. What is
> list-managers for?

That is not a fascinating question, it is a dismal and time-wasting
question.  List-Managers is for discussing pertinent issues of interest to
list managers.  If it's not of interest we don't discuss it, even if someone
tries to bring it up.  What List-Managers is definitely NOT for is
languorous navel-gazing and meta-commentary about other people's thread
choices.  I find useful information here and I enjoy sharing some things
I've learned.  This is probably true for a majority of members.  I am sure
that Chuq would agree that just because there is vigorous disagreement with
one of his opinions, it does not automatically follow that the list has lost
its purpose!

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