> Because of the volume, the fact that I don't always read all the
> traffic on the list, and because I don't wish to condone improper use
> of the posting address, I do not process requests sent to the posting
> address. All new members are sent explicit instructions when they
> join the list.
This is a human problem and can only be taken so far with software fixes and
Since you don't read the list, how about asking for volunteers who do
read your list to be 'deputized' as list.cops? These junior G-men could
take several form letters (possibly just the welcome instructions or FAQ
written by you) and send them out to people who are 'having difficulties.'
I think this would be very appropriate for a high-volume list: there's no
reason to do it all yourself. Some problems to avoid:
have only one or two 'deputies', since you want to avoid FAQ-bombing the
person who may already be overloaded with mail from the list
the letters they send should explicitly state who's in charge (you) so
that the helpers don't get asked to unsubscribe, retrieve files, etc.
if the helpers shouldn't act like moderators and discuss content and
appropriateness of letters unless they want to be treated like
you probably want to avoid too much formality (rotating shifts, who's
'on call,' etc.), since you're trying to save yourself work, not make
more of it.
caveat: I haven't ever actually tried this, so I don't know if it would
work. But these kinds of volunteers naturally arise in many lists and
newsgroups (I know I have sent out FAQs to people), and I don't see why
formally asking someone to do it would be any different.