Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(June 1994)

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Subject: Re: Monthly Reminders
From: Michelle Dick <artemis @ rahul . net>
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 94 02:25:30 -0700
To: List-Managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <0A75AF23F13F013647 @ hamp . hampshire . edu>

mmurrain @
 hamp .
 hampshire .
 edu wrote:

> Do most of you have monthly reminders that you send to the list, and
> does it help to cut down on the "unsubscribe" etc, and stupid
> question traffic? Is it worth doing? 

No to the "unsubscribe" traffic, yes to the stupid question traffic.

I have admin instructions at the top of every cotton pickin' digest,
and yet I *still* get digest users sending unsubscribes to the wrong
address.  I used to post reminders periodically and while they would
generally be followed by several correctly sent unsubscribe requests,
it didn't seem to really make an impact longer term (i.e. more than 12
hours).  There were even folks who followed up that very same reminder
with an unsubscribe request posted to the list! (and no, I don't have
the reply-to set to the list address).  I gave up.  I now just ignore
all incorrectly sent subscribe and unsubscribe requests.  Several of
my members have taken on the task of informing these wayward souls.

This is one reason I am switching to a mailing list handler like
SmartList that tries to catch most of these messages and divert them
to correct place.  I surrender.

As for stupid or FAQ questions, yes, I do find that a periodic posting
helps.  Folks who ask such things generally are reading the list.
(unlike those who just want off).

BTW, one thing that DID work on reducing errant add/drop traffic was
to capitalize the word request in my directions.  I.e. I would say:

 To get on or off the list, you MUST send email to:
	fatfree-REQUEST @
 hustle .
 rahul .

This did noticably reduce (but nowhere near eliminate) wrongly sent
email.  I picked up this little trick from one of the readers of my
list who advertised my list elsewhere and being fed up with having to
read unsubscribe requests on the list, used this techniqe.  I noticed
that some of the admin requests came in with request capitalized and
noticed that folks from that source seemed to rarely send it
incorrectly.  I started doing this myself and found it helped.

Aside: I am always tickled when non-digest readers helpfully suggest
to me that I put an admin notice at the top of the digest to help cut
down on posted unsub requests.  They are always shocked to learn that
I already do that.

While I'm griping, I might as well mention another pet peeve: digest
readers who quote the *entire* digest to the list.  Unbelievable and
really annoying.  I do set the reply-to on the digest to the posting
address, but I'm not sure where else I could set it.  No way am I
going to set it to the request address.  I supposed I could set it to
foo @
 bar .

Michelle Dick       artemis @
 rahul .
 net       East Palo Alto, CA
          Owner, FATFREE Vegetarian Mailing List

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