Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 2001)

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Subject: Re: test messages etc
From: Tom Neff <tneff @ panix . com>
Date: Mon, 28 May 2001 10:48:28 -0400
To: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <200105280800 . BAA14998 @ honor . greatcircle . com>

Most 'test message' users on my lists are not Replying to a posting to begin with, but creating a new message from scratch, either because they're just curious 'does this work' or they've been dropped the previous week from DNS/quota bounces and very sensibly infer that everyone else on the list must have stopped posting for some reason. :) Either way, Reply-to munging is a non issue in this respect. No matter how piously we observe the absolute letter of an arbitrary and somewhat misapplied RFC, we are still going to get test messages.

If you want to minimize spam on your lists, allow only members to post, and disable the membership listing commands. I used to use bushels of filters, now I don't need any of them. If you don't want to force people to join before they can look up good info from your list postings, make searchable archives available on the web. If they want to post, they can join.

If you want to know what people in your topic specialty would really like in a mailing list, don't just survey the people who like what you're already doing well enough to be current members. This invariably makes you look like a genius because everyone who hated your list has already left and isn't surveyed. Instead post a Web based survey and advertise it in other forums and publications for your specialty (model rockets, Janis Joplin or whatever). By giving those people what they want (consistent with your own aims and principles) you can grow your email community rather than just patting yourself on the back.

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From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
Next: Re: test message,or reply's to, which worse?
From: "David W. Tamkin" <dattier @ ripco . com>
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