[Mailman-Users] Mass subscribe blunder

Adam McGreggor adam-mailman at amyl.org.uk
Tue Sep 1 22:35:18 CEST 2009

On Tue, Sep 01, 2009 at 02:51:45PM -0500, Jeffrey Goldberg wrote:
> I just did a mass Subscribe (288 address) for a list where I had  
> intended to do a mass Invite.

> I'm hopeful that I will be able to explain and apologize to anyone who  
> complains to me, but I fear that I won't have that opportunity and  
> will get blocked by the likes of AoL right off the bat.
> Any advice is welcome.

Be pre-emptive/pro-active and mail the people you sub'd explaining
that you meant to invite them to join the list, but human error caused
them to be subscribed; that the list is low-traffic/announcements from
the school only (or whatever). Provide a link to *their* options page,
along with something like:
    "I understand if you want to unsubscribe -- you can so do via

(It's the sort of thing I'd grep the subscribe log for, and then let
some perl/bash mail each person, giving them their customized URIs.)

If you didn't send a welcome message, a slightly cheeky option is to
unsub (without notification), and invite the folks.

(Still, it's a lot better than sending a reply about privacy policy to
a complete list of a few k subscribers, rather than the individual you
thought you were sending it to: there's a reason my external lists are
set to require all posts to be approved, even those from staff.)

``A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in
  human history -- with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.''
  (Mitch Ratcliffe, in `Technology Review', 1992)

More information about the Mailman-Users mailing list