Feedback? Hints? Mail pbms. LO202

Richard Karash (
Wed, 22 Feb 1995 21:24:22 -0500 (EST)

Hello all -- I'm the host for the learning-org list.

1) Feedback -- I periodically ask for your feedback on any and all aspects
of the mailing list operation. The list has grown considerably (now 800+)
and this seems like a good time to ask. Content, operations, my role,

Please send comments to, the usual list
address, with the subject = "Feedback" (you can just reply to this); I
will collect and summarize all responses and post to the list. This will
be without attribution, unless you specifically request.

2) Hints, tips, how to -- Each of us finds our own ways of coping with the
flow of messages and the limitations of email in our specific environment.
I'd like to collect your hints and tips; I'll collate these by system type
and make them available. Please send as usual with the special subject

Subject: Tips -- (system type)

For example

Subject: Tips -- AOL
Subject: Tips -- Prodigy
Subject: Tips -- Compuserve
Subject: Tips -- Unix

3) Mail Delivery Problems -- I now have excellent data that internet email
is 98.5%, not 100%, reliable. With 800 subscribers and an average of ten
list messages a day, I receive (honest!) about 100 "non-delivery" notices
a day! There are learning-org messages every day, and if you don't receive
any for a couple of days, there is something wrong. You may see a gap in
the message numbers as another clue.

If our mail stops coming to you for a few days, please contact your system
administrator and ask if something is wrong. A gateway may have crashed,
or they may have changed something. Don't contact me because, until you're
getting the list messages again, you won't be able to get email from me,
either. And, there's not much I can do about mail problems.

After the episode, then please do let me know. I would like to be aware
of the reliability of this channel.

Internet mail seems to work in this way: It's forwarded from one system to
another in a chain from to you. If your system (last in the
chain) is backed up or down, then the previous system will keep trying,
usually for three days. Then it deletes the message intended for you and
sends me a note. I would have thought that the large commercial vendors
would be more reliable, but there have been three instances at AOL and one
at Prodigy in which all our mail for a couple of days was deleted by
intermediate systems because of the vendors' backlog.

I skim the "non-delivery" notices. If I see an address repeatedly for a
week, I'll assume that it's owner has moved and I'll drop it from the

If your email address changes, or you change your internet provider, it's
much easier if you unsubscribe (from the old address) before you change
and subscribe anew from the new address. If you have any problem, email

If you miss some messages, or want to find an old message that you haven't
kept, try the archive via gopher. Instructions are in my monthly "How to"
posting and in the "welcome" message.

Please email me at with problems or
comments any time. These addresses also appear in my monthly message.

I hope you're enjoying the list -- I certainly am!

Richard Karash ("Rick") | (o) 508-879-8301 | Mac * Flying
Innovation Associates, Inc. | (fax) 508-626-2205 | Systems Thinking
3 Speen St, Framingham MA 01701 | | Std. Disclaimer