On Mon, 17 Dec 2001, Beartooth wrote:
> Subject: Is there a FAQ?
> I couldn't find one on the web site
I don't think that there is a general list management FAQ. One thing that
is absolutely essential though, is that you understand how mail transport
works. I believe that there are a coupld of mini HOW-TOs about that, but
I don't know a location.
There is an O'Reilly book titled "Managing Internet mailing lists" that
contains a good introduction. Most of the software it describes for list
management is now a bit dated. But the essential concepts and philosophy
remain the same.
> [...] I want to ask about purging, and I suspect that's been hashed
> well-nigh to death on this list before.
Just to let all know what you mean by "purging" (in case someone was going
to recommend salt and vinager or a finger down the throat), your concern
is about keeping addresses on a (manually mantained) list current.
A typical practice is to periodically send mail to each list member
individually and specifying their subscribed address explicitly, so that
if it bounces you know which address bounced. That periodic message
(0) Explain itself.
(1) Let them know what their subscription status is (what lists they
are subscribed to under what addresses).
(2) Provide information about how to change their subscription status
(3) Request that if they are subscribed under an old address, that they
update to their current address.
Typically, because sites and needs vary so much for this sort of thing,
people write their own scripts for doing this sort of probing, but some
systems do come with configurable options to do stuff like this (mailman
Note that there are other uses of the word "probe" in this context. Some
systems call "probing" connecting to appropriate mail servers and trying
to validate addresses without actually sending mail. Some versions of the
commercial listserv MLM do automatic probing that way.
Jeffrey Goldberg http://www.goldmark.org/jeff/
Relativism is the triumph of authority over truth, convention over justice