[Mailman-Users] Goodmail spells doom for mailing lists?

Brad Knowles brad at stop.mail-abuse.org
Tue Feb 28 23:54:24 CET 2006

At 9:08 AM -0500 2006-02-24, Jonathan Dill wrote:

>  If you only have a few people on your mailing list, probably nothing,
>  but if you cross a certain threshhold--I'm guessing either number of
>  messages sent from you, or number of spam complaints--AOL just starts
>  rejecting your e-mail, and you have to sign up for their "Enhanced
>  Whitelist" service, which is apparently being phased out in favor of
>  Goodmail.

	They have since claimed that they won't phase out the existing 
whitelist mechanism, but I worked at AOL for two years in the 
Internet Mail Operations group, and I know how their marketing 
department works.  They may dilly-dally for a while, and keep the 
existing whitelist mechanism in place for a while, but the amount of 
money that they're going to get paid as their share of what Goodmail 
sends to their users as paid spam, that's just going to be too big of 
an attraction for them.

	So, bit-by-bit, I am convinced that they will disassemble the 
whitelist mechanism -- people will get reassigned, budgets will get 
cut, and it will wind up going the way of the Dodo bird.

>  Sometime last year, AOL just started rejecting our e-mail, and I had to
>  register them for the "Enhanced Whitelist" program so the e-mail would
>  go to AOL subscribers.  One thing that did do is that I started
>  receiving e-mail from AOL every time someone reported the mailing as
>  "spam" and then I would unsubscribe them from the list.  People sign up
>  for the list, confirm their subscription, and then turn around and
>  complain about getting e-mail from us, and then when I take them off the
>  list, they complain that they should not have been removed, I just don't
>  get it.

	I got first-hand experience as to how stupid most AOL users are 
during the time I was working there.  Believe me, you're interacting 
with the intelligent ones -- the really dumb ones can't figure out 
how to send or receive e-mail at all.

>  Since Enhanced Whitelist is supposedly being phased out and we are
>  already on that program, I am wondering if AOL will just start rejecting
>  our e-mail again unless we sign up for Goodmail.

	Maybe not immediately, but in the long-run, if you want to get 
e-mail to an AOL recipient for any reason, you're going to have to 
pay them money -- one way or another.

	This is a potential cash cow that has been ignored for too long, 
and once the advertising and marketing vampires get their teeth into 
this, it's "game over, man".

Brad Knowles, <brad at stop.mail-abuse.org>

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little
temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

     -- Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), reply of the Pennsylvania
     Assembly to the Governor, November 11, 1755

  LOPSA member since December 2005.  See <http://www.lopsa.org/>.

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list