Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1998)

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Subject: Re: Prevalence of mailing-list bombing
From: Jason Rasku <jrasku @ ArmispianSystems . Rossland . bc . ca>
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 17:15:48 -0700 (PDT)
To: Rich Kulawiec <rsk @ gsp . org>
Cc: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <19980430182641 . A8120 @ gsp . org>
Reply-to: Jason Rasku <jrasku @ ArmispianSystems . Rossland . bc . ca>

On Thu, 30 Apr 1998, Rich Kulawiec wrote:

> On Thu, Apr 30, 1998 at 12:03:55PM -0700, Jason Rasku wrote:
> > On Thu, 30 Apr 1998, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:
> > > Name three.
> > 
> > I know you only asked for three, but I gave
> > you aproximately 20 that I know for sure, and, probably close to a
> > thousand other lists.   [...]
> Yes, you did.
> However, you did not answer the question.  (It's a flip question,
> but I do see Ron's point, and would like to see a real answer to it.)

	I did not answer the question?  Please tell me what the question
was again.  If I recall correctly it was ``name three mailing lists that
provide good information, that are not run by cmopetent people,'' If I am
not mistaken, that is PRECICLY what I did.  Okay, I did not name them per
se, but I DID list them in terms of groups.  

> > 	Most of us, have picked up our list admin skills not from some
> > technical manual, but from actualy admininstrating a list.  Quite often
> > this is a matter of having some limited technical background in computers,
> > and some knowledge that is worth having a mailing list for.  What you
> > apear to be sugesting is that only people with a ``cectificate of list
> > admininstration'' be granted the right to run a list.  
> I don't think Ron is suggesting any such thing.  I think what Ron is
> suggesting is that people who do not know the difference between "listserv"
> and "a mailing list", what an MX record does, what EXPN and VRFY are
> and what they do, and similar bits of information are simply not
> competent to run a mailing list.

	Are you then sugesting that I not run a mailing list?  I don't
have a clue what you are talking about, I don't know what a MX record
does, I don't have a clue what you mean by EXPN, or VRFY.  Maybe if you
did not insist on using jargon, then people would be able to understand
you.  I have a ROUGH idea of what an MX record does, but other than that I
do not need to know that to run a mailing list, or for that matter an
e-mail server.  As for EXPN, and VRFY, I realise that they most likely
refer to expresion, and verify, but I don't know anyting about the context
that you are using them in, and they are entirely meaningless out of that

> This does not make such people Bad People, simply incompetent in one
> particular area of life.  The remedy is to either (a) convince them
> to achieve competency or (b) get them to turn the reins over to
> someone who is.

	Does a person need to pass a competency exam in order to have
achieved competency, or is it good enough that their list runs well?  I
would say the latter.  Many lists that I am on are not run according to
what some people on here seem to think is absolutely esential, but I have
seen very little in the way of problems with the list.  I get people on
lists that are run by the standards that you have set out, that people
post inpolite messages to ``unsubscribe me or else.''  The problems have
NOTHING to do with the list, but to do with the person posting the

> The problem is that many of these newbie list managers don't recognize
> their own incompetence and stubbornly insist on inflicting it on themselves,
> their subscribers, and (and here is the key) *the rest of us*.

	I have not run into this.  I have at one time been subscribe
bombed, but I had NO intention of blaming the list owners if I happened to
be subscribed to their list, I would quietly sugest that they secure their
list, and quietly unsubscribe.  I DID ask if they were able to trace the
subscribe request, which they were unable to do.  
	What we have been talking about is the incedences of subscribe
bombings, and my feeling is that this tends to happen only if you upset a
person.  If a person wishes to use a denial of service attack on your
mailbox, and honestly wants to be malicious about it, they will subscribe
a list that they have control over, to the lists, and then distribute the
job out to you.  It has NOTHING to do with the typical reasons for
recieving SPAM, which are that they want you to buy into their scheme.

> You wanna be on a badly-managed, screwed-up, hosed mailing list?  That's
> fine.  I have no problem with that -- really, I don't.  But when said
> mailing lists' screwed-up state impacts *me*, I have a huge problem
> with it.

	And does that include allowing idiots to subscribe to it?  If I
don't like what is happening on a list, I don't go around jumping up and
down swearing like a bat out of hell.  I just quietly unsubscribe.  If I
can't do that quietly, I do so with a polite request explaining the
situation on the list.  So far I have not had a single problem with this
aproach.  What I HAVE had a problem with is some people who feel that they
have some right to invade my mailbox without getting a responce from me.  

> And this is starting to happen -- to me, and to other third parties --
> far more often than before.  Hence the need for list managers to either
> know their stuff *or* get someone who does to handle the mechanics
> of their list(s).

	This may be a good idea, but many of the lists that I am on would
not exist if they had to pay for list management.  Just as a rough idea of
what I THINK that a mailing list manager is likely to be charging, I think
that for me, I would charge $20/point to mannage a list.  This point is
the point that Lsoft uses to handle pricing for Listserv.  And the table I
have looks like this

  Subscribers        Points
   Per List         Per List
  -----------       --------
      0-150             1
    151-300             2
    301-500             3
    501-1000            4
   1001+                5

> Unfortunately, various software vendors/web sites/etc. are exacerbating
> the problem by propagating the myth that Anyone Can Run a Mailing List (TM)!
> And with their point-and-drool interfaces that make Setting Up a Mailing
> List a Snap (TM) they are responsible for some of the worst dreck out there.

	I would tend to agree with this point.  I have encountered it in
areas other than list mangement software.  Quite a lot of the time I see
badly produced printed material, because a person does not understand
design principles.  But in no way, would I wish to deny them the right to
produce bad advertising, or for that matter a badly printed newspaper.

							Jason Rasku

Jason Rasku, Box 270, Rossland, B.C., V0G 1Y0, (250) 362-5701, 
LinuxBox: (250) 362-9668.

Web pages of Interest:
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ICQ 6375239

"I went to the hardware store and bought some used paint.  It was in
the shape of a house.  I also bought some batteries, but they weren't
		-- Steven Wright

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