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Re: Reply to List? Sender?

From: Patrick Hoepfner <hoepfner_at_HAITI.GSFC.NASA.GOV>
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 1995 13:01:42 -0400
Message-Id: <>

> On Mon, 13 Mar 1995 09:08:23 EST,
> Chris Fahrner <cfahrner_at_OCTRF.ON.CA> wrote (in part):
> > As a newbie on this list I noticed it replaces the from id
> > with the list id so you cannot reply directly to the
> > questioner, unless they include their address in the message
> > body (I get my mail though cc-mail which strips everything
> > but the from id). The policies of other lists I am on is,
> > reply to the sender and they post a summary noting what
> > did/did not work. Is it different here? (The list welcome
> > message was not clear).

> I am active on a few mail lists and most of them use the list id as the from
> id ... only one list sends "from" the posting user. We had an on-line debate
> about this issue on one of these lists a while ago (one of SCT's "Banner"
> lists for those of you who are curious). The concensus was that since most
> of the issues were of general interest, the list should be used as the
> "from" address. In my personal experience, I have replied about 80% of the
> time to ORACLE-L and only 20% directly to the user ... people can always
> delete the issues they are not interested in without reading them and I
> would prefer to see both the questions and the answers. The Banner list
> recommendation was also to have everyone include their address in the body
> of the message ... most people do ... but not all ... :(

I am new to this list and just a lurker but I believe that the traffic is high enough to warrent limiting the mail to those that *really* intended to send mail to the list. *Everyone* knows the address of the list (they should have kept the "Welcome" message). But not everyone know the address of the sender. At the very least, the address of the sender should be in the "Cc:" field.

As someone that has a job to do (I am not payed to read mail that is *really* directed at a specific user [e.g.: Thanks Bob, your suggestion worked.] ). The default response should be the correct response, that is, sending the message to the sender who should be responsible for collection, trying and summarizing the responses...

> Since my mail program doesn't strip anything from the message, I don't really
> need the user to include their address ... therefore my opinion is probably
> suspect. IMHO (and it really *should* be humble), having the mail come "from"
> ORACLE-L makes it much easier to read. I can perform a "dir/from=ORAC" to
> select out the Oracle messages. With 50-80 messages per day, I need this to
> separate the message threads from the various lists.

It is possible to have mail from "ORACLE-L" but have a Reply-To: field with the sender's address. And then the "Cc:" field with the distribution list. That way you can reply to the sender, do a group reply to sender and list. Current users that don't have the ability to filter scads of useless mail and sort it on a useful manner are out in the cold...

Summaries are *always* more useful than dozens of identical or nearly identical messages. The questioner *should* be responsible to take all the responses and summarize them. The person posing the question is also in the unique position of being able to try the suggestions and let the others know what did and what did not work...

I believe that the 80/20% (list vs. sender) response rate to the list is the very reason that there is 30 to 50 messages a day... The signal to noise ratio of this list IMHumbleO is low...

Received on Mon Mar 13 1995 - 12:13:12 CST

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