Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(October 1999)
 

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Subject: Re: spammers and list confirmations
From: John R Levine <johnl @ iecc . com>
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 02:37:43 -0400 (EDT)
To: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
Cc: Tom Neff <tneff @ bigfoot . com>, List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <v04210113b42b27607b7e @ plaidworks . com>

> > * A cookie that the server remembers, which I originally wrote for
> > soc.religion.unitarian-univ, the original robomoderated newsgroup and for
> > abuse.net.
> 
> the majordomo2 concept, and also backported to 1.93.4 (or perhaps 
> patched into... I've got the sources around here and I can't remember 
> which). Much, much nicer than auth lines. But stll fairly easy for 
> naive users to get wrong, especially new users who don't read what 
> you send them. On one list I run, we did this for a while -- and had 
> 40% dropout rates. Mostly because new users just didn't, or didn't 
> realize they needed to.

I put the cookie in the subject line, e.g.

 Subject: (wkjewk) Your subscription to the foob list

 We've received a subscription request ...

That seems to help a lot, then all they have to do is put the "yes" in the
body.  I don't just accept any response with the cookie in the subject line,
that's too easily spoofed by autoresponses, bounces, and broken vacation 
programs. 

> > * The web kind, with a URL in the confirmation message that you click to
> > confirm.  I'm moving to these,
> 
> me to. On some of my lists, soon you'll have no way to subscribe via 
> email. I expect eventually all will be that way. And so the default 
> unsub will be via web, as will confirms. I do plan on keeping an 
> email "panic button" unsubscribe, but you can make it SO simple for 
> users by going to the web and using embedded links and customized 
> email and the like... In fact, I'm soon going to modify my "welcome" 
> message to include a customized link to an unsubscribe web page with 
> the name pre-encoded.....

Well, sure.  If the URLs are compact enough, you can stick them in the 
message footers.

Regards,
John Levine, johnl @
 iecc .
 com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Information Superhighwayman wanna-be, http://iecc.com/johnl, Sewer Commissioner
Finger for PGP key, f'print = 3A 5B D0 3F D9 A0 6A A4  2D AC 1E 9E A6 36 A3 47 



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