[Mailman-Developers] Interesting study -- spam onpostedaddresses...

Chuq Von Rospach chuqui@plaidworks.com
Mon, 18 Feb 2002 23:33:16 -0800

On 2/18/02 11:17 PM, "Stephen J. Turnbull" <stephen@xemacs.org> wrote:

>   Chuq> Are there any other benefits to being googled than being a
>   Chuq> walking billboard to the list?

> Those people are
> not going to go fishing in our archives, even if we had a reliable
> search function.  So there is a lot of information in those archives
> that people are not going to be able to access without Google.

But -- I hate to be bullheaded about this, but I will be -- how does this
benefit YOUR LIST? Yes, it benefits others, and there's some value to that,
but does it actually add value to your list? Enough value to warrant handing
your subscriber list to the spammers?

See, if I'm going to expose my users to spammers, there better be value to
those users worth the hassle. So far, I've seen value in being google to
marketing the list, and value to non-subscribers. But what advantage do the
users being handed to the spammers get?

Do your users know (and understand) that the global archives make them open
season for spambots? Have they agreed to this? Have you discussed it with
them? Or is this soemthing you've hoped they didn't discover on their own?

If you "put it up to a vote" after explaining the situation, do you think
the subscribers of your list would vote to stay in google? If not, how do
you justify doing it to them anyway?

I'm not picking on you, stephen, at least not personally. But yours is a
very common attitude, one that was mostly entrenched in mailing list
philosophy five or more years ago before spammers and spambots became such a
nasty problem. I'm suggesting that it's time to rethink this on all lists
that globally expose their archives, because life has changed. And I kinow
that my users, as they've learned about then issue, have become very noisy
about not being openly distributed (in fact, to some degree, it was my users
that educated me into looking at the issue...).

I mean, years ago mail lists were open to all posters, too, and many had
usenet gateways. These days, the spam problems have forced changes to those,
also, on many (most?) lists. The only reason the archive issue has less
visibility is that the spam ends up directly in the users mailbox, so the
connection isn't as visible to a typical user. But that doesn't mean it's
not there. 

> but I've got other things to do than sink a lot of time
> into changing something that's a long established practice at my
> Organization

No offense, but "long established" doesn't mean it's still the correct
decision. Times change -- especially on the internet. Frankly, the longer a
practice is established, the more I think it needs to be rethought.

We're all busy -- but what's more important than protecting our users from
the outside world? Don't the users come first?



Chuq Von Rospach (chuqui@plaidworks.com -- http://www.chuqui.com/)
Will Geek for hardware.

The Cliff's Notes Cliff's Notes on Hamlet:
    And they all died happily ever after