[Mailman-Users] Re: broadcast only

Chuq Von Rospach chuqui at plaidworks.com
Wed Nov 29 19:46:34 CET 2000

At 8:41 AM -0800 11/29/00, Harold Paulson wrote:

>>"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.
>Very Large Broadcast Lists are becoming more and more common.  Every 
>web site I manage wants to add a "Sign up to stay updated about our 
>widgets" form to their site, and their users genuinely want this 
>sort of information.  A simple alias does *not* work very well when 
>you have 80k subscribers.

general aliases don't work well for any open population, because that 
implies there's a person attached making administrative changes. Your 
admin gets eaten by hamsters very quickly in that situation.

Another aspect of this is -- if you're doing marketing/broadcast 
lists, you want very much to avoid even the appearance of spam. That 
means, among other things, quick and consistent feedback to users on 
admin requests, links that work, no black holes for users to fall 
into. One of the best "I am not spam" messages you can send a user is 
to have an unsubscribe URL that exists and gives immediate feedback. 
Having them send to a person to update an alias will feel like spam 
to many users, and if that admin gets busy, backed up or doesn't 
manage his confirmations well, it can generate lots of uncomfortable 
feelings. those feelings will wander the word of mouth subnet, and 
you're asking for problems.

Using some kind of MLM is really important with this, both from an 
administrative overhead cost and from a user experience view -- it 
adds a level of profesionalism and comfort that the user may not even 
recognize, unless it isn't there.

>  I have to chime in as someone who would like to see Mailman become 
>more broadcast list friendly.

This is basically the issue of mailman getting better at scaling to 
large lists, which is a good goal. At some point, however, with 
really large systems like this there's a point where custom systems 
are going to be necessary, and no matter what you do for mailman, it 
probably isn't what you want. I run a pair of mailman installations 
as well as a pair of custom-built MLMs, and with the really large 
stuff, you eventually hit a point where  you need the ability to 
customize the system to the users instead of asking the users to 
adapt to the system, and no off the shelf system has that flexibility.

Chuq Von Rospach - Plaidworks Consulting (mailto:chuqui at plaidworks.com)
Apple Mail List Gnome (mailto:chuq at apple.com)

The vet said it was behavioral, but I prefer to think of it as genetic.
It cuts down on the liability -- Get Fuzzy

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