Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(March 1995)
 

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Subject: Re: Please read and heed
From: Eric Thomas <ERIC @ SEARN . SUNET . SE>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 1995 16:49:17 +0200
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM

Having had to deal with (involuntary)  user support for about 10 years, I
can safely  say that  there are  only two ways  to make  users not  use a
service that  they find  useful but are  not supposed to  use. One  is to
prevent them from accessing the service altogether, which in this case is
not possible. The other is to make the service unuseful to them, in other
words, stop  answering Majordomo  questions on  this list.  Educating the
users is always  a good idea, but  they are so numerous that  even if 10%
ignore the  warnings, it will be  10 times above the  pain threshold. And
then you  have the "why  not me?"  syndrome, the 75%  or so of  users who
reluctantly heed  the warning see Joe  Bloke use the list  anyway and get
the answer he  wants, and after 3-4 occurrences they  figure that if it's
ok for Joe, there's  no reason for them not to do the  same thing. Now if
instead of  answering the questions,  you always  reply that this  is the
wrong list and people should use list XYZ instead, users will get used to
the fact that you don't get answers from this list, and quit polluting.

  Eric



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