[Mailman-Users] Re: broadcast only

Darron Froese darron at javelindigital.com
Wed Nov 29 07:10:53 CET 2000

on 11/28/00 7:34 PM, Dan Mick at Dan.Mick at West.Sun.COM wrote:

>> I would *love* to have an option to click "Announce Only" list and when the
>> user gets the welcome message it's *clearly* noted that it's:
>> 1. Not a list they or others (other than the authorized admins/company/etc.)
>> can send messages to.
>> 2. Somehow indicates the frequency that they will receive messages
>> (customizable to each list).
> Well, I guess I don't see the need for a mailing-list manager for
> such things, because it seems like they're nearly-always a
> "broadcast-only, you are subscribed because you're someone I've
> been given the right to broadcast to" list, for which normal
> aliases work *very* well.
> The trick to avoid backposts is to send the message with "To:"
> set to yourself, and "Bcc:" the alias; then everyone on the alias
> gets the mail, any replies go directly to the "To:" address
> and not the list, and no one has to know the name of the list.
> Mailman need not be involved in this; the archival, member-sub-unsub,
> and other value-adds of an MLM aren't useful for this application.
> Sometimes the tool doesn't work well because it's the wrong tool.

But it *is* the right tool.

Neither I nor my clients have time to be manually maintaining  alias lists
for the various mailing lists that our customers have signed up for. A MLM
gives us that administration time back and handles it with less manual

Ever tried to send email out to hundreds of people and have to deal with the
people who:
    a. Entered their email address incorrectly. (I am always amazed at the
        information that I'm provided with from web based forms - I'm almost
        convinced that very few users actually know what an email address
    b. Have moved from one provider to another OR have changed jobs and that
            account is now deactivated
    c. Are over their quota at their free webmail provider

Even with a fairly small list of 900 users it quickly becomes unmaintainable
and a *complete* time waster. Just try and deal with even 50-100 bounces and
you can kiss your afternoon/evening goodbye. (NOTE: That's about normal
bounce rates for one of the lists that we have that we send out to *very*
infrequently - I did it manually a couple of times and will do it manually
no more.)

A MLM also puts the power back in the hands of the end users as far as their
subscription goes. You can't forget to remove a certain user from a certain
alias file because it's within their power to change their subscription
status. They've signed up because they want the info - there's easy unsub
information at the bottom of each email (and in the headers too if they are
smart enough to look there). They can also sign up at any time and there's
no human to screw up/delay the process.

Either way you look at it, you have to track those email addresses *somehow*
(database, flat files, shoeboxes, etc.) - why not let a MLM take up the
tedious tasks so there's more time in the day?

I guess what I'm really wanting with Mailman and the "announce only" type of
list (because they are useful) is just the consistency of being able to
clearly note in the welcome message that this is NOT a list they can post
to. That's really all. I don't want them any more confused than most of them
already are. Some sort of method of using a different
"templates/subscribeack.txt" for different types of lists would be a

And I can't see a way right now where I can have both types of lists on the
same mailman installation without being inconsistent in the subscribe
message on at least one type of them.

Don't get me wrong - I *love* Mailman and think it's a great piece of
software - it ties everything together quite nicely, but this is one
limitation that I have come up against.

If only I knew Python. Maybe I have some incentive to learn it now...damn.
darron froese
new media technologist
sutton javelin corporate communications
t  403.265.9980
f  403.265.7662
e  darron at javelindigital.com

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