On Wednesday, August 13, 2003, at 10:51 AM, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote:
On Wed, 13 Aug 2003 mfidelman @
personally, I don't do anything in these cases - this is not
behavior for a vacation autoresponder,
It is unreasonable.
To use geek language: Consider how well it scales.
To use environmentalist language: Consider how sustainable it is.
To use economist langauge: Consider aggregate social welfare impact.
To use philosophical language: Consider Kant's categorical imperative.
To consider the real world....
When you go on vacation, you tell your friends you're going on
vacation. you tell your neighbors you're going on vacation.
You call up the newspaper and stop delivery (or you don't, if your
neighbors grab them for you).
You do NOT call up the newspaper and leave a message for the reporters
and columnists that you won't be able to read their stories for a
couple of weeks.
In this case, a mailing list is like that newspaper. Some folks stop
mail list subscriptions while they're gone to avoid being swamped.
Others let them pile up, and their mail server acts like a friendly
neighbor and collects them for you until you can catch up (or throw
In either case, the people writing for that newspaper don't care, and
don't need to know, that you're not reading their deathless prose every
As long as the mailing list reasonably identifies itself as a mailing
list, you shouldn't be mailbotting it. There will be limited exceptions
to that, but why should the sports editor care that you aren't around?
Is your presence on that list so absolutely crucial that it won't
survive your vacation or something?
Mailbots serve no purpose responding to mail lists, unless you are the
admin, the list is about you, or you are the official, designated
expert everyone is listening to in the first place.... and in those
cases, a message "I'm gonna be missing for a while" ought to suffice
before you leave...
and personally, there are times that I post something to a list and
to know that certain people haven't seen it --
That may be the case for some small lists.
different case. This kind of small list is the community newsletter,
not the newspaper. Different realities. Yes, your writer's group needs
to know you won't be there for the next meeting, but telling them that
when they post to the writer's group list isn't the right way to do
that, anyway. They deserve advance notice.