Subscriber list posting

David Dyer-Bennet dd-b at dd-b.net
Wed May 29 16:28:58 PDT 2002

A couple of people have inquired about (or asked that we stop) the
subscriber list posting.  I have not done that, but I thought I'd post
a couple of comments on it.

First of all, we did discuss this before starting the list, and while
we recognize that it can result in people receiving spam, we also felt
it had a lot of benefits.  My personal position is that community
discussions work better if people feel like they know who's around.  

We did realize this would be an issue, so we made sure to note it in
the official rules, available on the web and mailed to each subscriber
when they sign up.

I've made a multi-year trial of spam coming to addresses harvested by
web-crawlers, and it took over a year for the first spam to show up,
and after that first batch, no more has shown up for over half a year
so far.  Obviously there's going to be at least some randomness in
where they look for addresses.  Also, this mailing list (and most
mailing lists) has an archive on the web, so crawlers can find the
addresses there anyway. 

However, I realized there was an easy thing I could change that
wouldn't hurt the good parts a bit so far as I can see, and would make
it at least a little less possible for spammers to pick up the list.
I have changed the script so that it changes the "@" in each email
address into " (at) ".  The next time it appears, it should be in the
new format.  And the posting frequency was originally conceived to be
once a month, and I will drop it to that soon -- although I must admit
I'm fascinated to watch the fast growth of the subscriber list. 

I'd also like to recommend that people who want not to see spam
consider installing something like spamassassin or TMDA, which seem to
generally be thought to greatly cut down on the amount of spam you
ever seen. 
David Dyer-Bennet, dd-b at dd-b.net  /  New TMDA anti-spam in test
 John Dyer-Bennet 1915-2002 Memorial Site http://john.dyer-bennet.net
        Book log: http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/Ouroboros/booknotes/
          New Dragaera mailing list, see http://dragaera.info