Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(January 1999)

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Subject: Re: Un$ubscribe Requests
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 16:53:29 -0800
To: Tim Bowden <tcbowden @ nerdnosh . org>, list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <H3km2e1w165w @ clovis . nerdnosh . org>
References: <Pine . GSO . 4 . 05 . 9901050749490 . 18767-100000 @ katie . vnet . net>

At 11:52 AM -0800 1/5/99, Tim Bowden wrote:
I wonder how someone who has thousands and thousands
of visiters to their well-kept plantations can take the time and
spend the energy educating all the lost, lorn lusers who pass his
way?  And, again, what are the results?  Roses and sunshine and
a bounce in the Net IQ of twenty points?

I come pretty close to this ideal. And my results are pretty good. The number of users I have to write of as the kind of luser people are complaining about is much smaller than the number of users who get into problems and help figuring things out by a large percentage. Good tools goes a low way towards keeping people from becoming lusers or trolls in the first place. So does a good attitude.

My *job* is building systems that net-naive people can figure out. I have a ways to go, but we've made great strides. Ask me again in january 2000, and we'll see how my next couple of generations of improvements go.

I think someone without direct hands-on duties may perhaps be promoting
ideals instead of publishing history.  Polemics and platitudes in place
of performance.  I don't know, but I suspect strongly.

While Murr is too busy and other people guess, I research this stuff. and if I try something that doesn't work, I throw it out and try something else. I don't blame the users.

We've put a lot of custom work in around majordomo in terms of documentation, issue-directed help files, content filters and the like, things that specifically deal with issues users see, in ways users can use to resolve them. I'm not guessing when I open my mouth and start babbling. and no, none of this is written up yet. But once I get my staff, I'll make sure as much of it as I can does get out where others can chew on it. Unfortunately, right now, I'm still stuck in too-busy-writing-it mode.

I spent the latter part of December building a list system that handles volume in the mid hundreds of thousands of subscribers, and is expected to triple its size this year, at least. These things might be rhetorical or philosophical issues for people like Murr. For me, it's the difference between doing my job right and drowning in the anguished screams of the users my systems screw over...

Because I *do* read every piece of postmaster mail that comes in, and if it needs an answer, I answer it. And my systems are set up to cater to new users -- as Apple noted today at Macworld, hundred of thousands of iMacs are being sold by Apple to people who've never used the Internet before, and using them to get on the internet. And those are a key part of the audience of the lists I run for Apple. I can't afford intellectual snobbery, IQ tests before allowing these folks to sign up, or telling people to stick it if I don't like their attitude. They're customers, and this ain't a hobby.

Chuq Von Rospach (Hockey fan? <>)
Apple Mail List Gnome (mailto:chuq @
apple .
Plaidworks Consulting (mailto:chuqui @
plaidworks .
com) <> + <>

Featuring Winslow Leach at the Piano!

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