Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(July 1994)

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Subject: Re: Attitudes, Service, and Mailing Lists
From: Nigel Whitfield <nigel @ stonewall . demon . co . uk>
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 1994 12:00:00 BST
To: List-Managers @ greatcircle . com, List-Managers-Digest @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: List-Managers-Digest-Owner @ greatcircle . com's message 'List Managers Digest V3 #119' of Thu 7 Jul
Reply-to: Nigel Whitfield <nigel @ stonewall . demon . co . uk>

> From: Grayson Walker <gwalker @
 rtfm .
 mlb .
 fl .
> Date: Thu, 7 Jul 1994 15:32:08 -0400 (EDT)
> I recognize this as mildly polemic. Your position may have been defensible
> in the Arpanet and early Internet days, but not today. Today we have lots
> of mailing list members who pay for access to our 'Net. Some of them
> pay non-trivial fees

And guess what? Some of the list maintainers spend a lot of money to
access the net to run things.

> We're also talking about an orientation towards service, and, yes plain
> courtesy. I know you've seen the (fortunately) occasional arrogance that
> some self-styled experts dump upon the neophyte. This must end. 

I've seen the arrogance of people from nicely connected sites who
assume that I must reply to their messages within a few hours, and
complain vociferously if I won't run up my own phone bill to sort out
their problems. Perhaps that ought to end too.

> > This "customer" expectation you have described is only valid if these
> > folks were indeed paying a list maintainer for the service.  Then they
> I disagree. If they paying somebody for a service you provide without
> compensation, I think you're undervaluing your service. Regardless of the
> prices, there is a service-customer relationship here.

Nice bit of psychobabble there. I value the service I provide very
highly, and I'm sure many other people here feel the same about their
lists. I've seen nothing in this thread that makes me feel I have some
extra duty to list members because they're paying someone else for net

If there's any duty to the subscribers of a list, it's solely a duty
of goodwill, much as with any voluntary organisation. I already spend
far more time administering the list than people will downloading it,
and while I do my best to make life easy for the poor souls who pay
for access, there's a limit, and that's very much determined by what I
pay, out of my own pocket, to handle administration.

It would be great to provide people with instant, polite responses to
even the most ludicrous requests, or to manage everything so that no
one receives too many costly messages, but it's not possible outside a
completely commercial environment, and no matter how much people pay
to their service providers, it makes not one jot of difference to the
communications bills that I receive.


[Nigel Whitfield                                 nigel @
 stonewall .
 demon .
 co .
[For details on the uk-motss mailing list mail uk-motss-request @
 dircon .
 co .
[******  All sites are independently run internet hosts   ******]

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