Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(August 2003)

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Subject: Re: list policies about vacation programs
From: Tom Neff <tneff @ grassyhill . net>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2003 17:51:09 -0400
To: listmanagers <list-managers @ greatcircle . com>
In-reply-to: <3F3E901E . 9000704 @ panix . com>
References: <A3D52FF4-CDA3-11D7-A096-0003934516A8 @ plaidworks . com> <010501c36415$770ae780$21985742 @ ord351473> <310798390 . 1061043219 @ [192 . 168 . 0 . 22]> <3F3E901E . 9000704 @ panix . com>

--On Saturday, August 16, 2003 3:12 PM -0500 "David W. Tamkin" <dattier @
panix .
com> wrote:
Guess my point didn't come across.  I'll try again.

I thought David got his point across all right - I'm just disagreeing with it :)

Tom Neff wrote:
In my experience, active posting members who get dropped for vacation
autoresponses, overflowing inbox quotas etc, almost always rejoin.

In my experience, actively posting members, or even actively reading
members, don't end up sending vacation autoresponses to the list, nor
letting their inboxes fill, so they don't get suspended in the first
place.  Those who get suspended reasons tend largely to have little
interest and not to miss the list any more than it misses them.

I am saying that active members who do get dropped usually rejoin; you are saying that active members don't usually get dropped. We can actually both be right on this! Usually the actives aren't dropped, but when it does happen, they usually rejoin.

In the previous message you listed "constrained by clue-proof sysadmins" as one of the causes for vacation bounces. In my world this is a big factor, and not one you can easily blame on the member. Lots of folks take one vacation per year. Between the last one they took and this one, the Information Systems elves have made one or more policy changes, often without telling employees or explaining the consequences. If you're marked out in the personnel database, the company mailserver sends an autoresponse for you and you never even see it. Or they've reduced your inbox quota to 512K, which you never notice as long as you're actively at work reading and deleting, but when you go away, a week's worth of list messages that used to queue up just fine now bust the quota.

Also, there seems to be a high (but certainly not 100%) correlation between active posting membership and knowing how to get yourself back on. Probably two-thirds of my rejoining users do so without my intervention.

In the end, I kept a record of suspension dates and, if the reason for
the shut-off didn't merit a permanent ban but the subscriber didn't get
in touch within twelve months to reactive, I'd purge the record. Examples
of such reasons might be (1) bounces for a full mailbox, so long as they
were sent to the list's error address on the envelope instead of going to
posters; (2) going to no-mail and just staying there; or (3) being an
innocent user of a badly configured provider to which I would no longer
send the list, but who declined my suggestion to get an additional email
address somewhere less poisonous.

As for the going to "nomail and staying there," you have to be careful, because with some listserv systems and settings, the only way you can post from more than one address is by having a ghost membership with the second address set to nomail.

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