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Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
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Registered: 04-04-2007

Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

Morning all,
I am about to send an email notice to roughly 300 customers advising them that we will shortly be decommissioning our mailing list service. A copy of this email can be seen in the Announcements forum here.
Please note that this notice refers to our mailing list service only and *does not* apply to either the Net Announce or My Circular services that some customers have access to.
Mailing list functionality was removed from all but around 1000 customers back in 2008 when we changed our anti-spam solution from Postini to IronPort. During the last year, only 300 or so of these customers have actually made use of the service.
I'm going to ask the mods to sticky this thread, so that anybody receiving this email can use it to ask any questions they may have.
If you're looking for help moving to an alternative list supplier then you could do worse than look at Google Groups. townman of these very forums has kindly created a handy guide to doing this that you can see over on our Community Site Library.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

11 REPLIES
glloyd
Rising Star
Posts: 1,666
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Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Notice of mailing list decommission

Yet another service hits the dust Angry
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,598
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Registered: 22-08-2007

Re: Notice of mailing list decommission

George,
A true statement, but a service which is old, unsupportable and consequently unreliable is not a service at all.  I have loved and toyed with this email service and its failings for quite sometime, but I have had a lot of grief from my users when it has failed - as it has done from time to time.  Indeed on occasions it appears to have been broken for several days at a time and it also appears that I have been the only one to notice it.  Therefore I conclude that the service has limited use; consequentially PN's decision is (commercially) quite understandable and allows PN to focus its resources on supporting the wider user base.
There are alternative services available and a change does not have to be painful - indeed I moved all of my mailing lists to Google groups in a few hours.  My subscribers have seen no difference - they use the same email address as they did before.  Strangely I have seen more activity on the migrated lists in the 4 days since I moved them than I have in the preceeding 4 months.  It might just be a coincidence in that the group have something very important to discuss... which means I need a dependable service.
Do take a look at my 'how to move to Google Groups' tutorial referenced above.  The first time through it looks a little complicated, however after you've done the first migration, you'll do each of the reminder in under 10 minutes each.  After that Google Groups gives you many more facilities than did the PN service.  I particularly like the facility to add a tail to all emails passing through the service.  You can put whatever you want in there - for example your group's website address.
Good luck with your move.
Kevin
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,136
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

Quote
We are currently in the process of upgrading parts of our email platform, which includes migrating from one file storage system to another. The reason we're doing this is to ensure that the platform remains scalable as customer numbers increase.
Unfortunately this new architecture is *not* compatible with our current mailing list implementation.

Why does moving from mbox to vmaildir (or whatever mail storage migration is taking place) affect something like majordomo or mailman?
Or was this another in-house development which is full of nasty little hacks and work-a-rounds?
Unless of course you are migrating everyone over to Exchange 2010 then I can understand why the software wouldn't work any more. Grin
F9 member since 4 Sep 1999
F9 ADSL customer since 27 Aug 2004
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Look at all the pretty graphs! (now with uptime logging!)
ddixon
Newbie
Posts: 5
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

Quote from: Bob
Morning all,
I am about to send an email notice to roughly 300 customers advising them that we will shortly be decommissioning our mailing list service.

Not a huge surprise I suppose, but I'm nevertheless disappointed.  The ability to set up mailing lists was one of the bells-and-whistles that originally attracted me to Force9-PlusNet and this loss joins the lengthening list of value-added features that have been discontinued or are no longer available to new sign-ups. 
Quote
Mailing list functionality was removed from all but around 1000 customers back in 2008 when we changed our anti-spam solution from Postini to IronPort. During the last year, only 300 or so of these customers have actually made use of the service.

I'm one of the ones who have persevered with the often flaky mailing lists, and this unreliability is probably one reason why more people weren't using them.  If there was a good business case for keeping and improving mailing lists I'm sure they could be part of an updated mailing system - clearly that's not going to happen and that's a shame.  The relentless march towards full BT integration continues, and I'm off to sell my soul (and give away my privacy) to Google groups.
David
Community Veteran
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Re: Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

If I had enough red bull and Glenfiddich (not in the same glass!) I could set up a system where someone could set up a new forwarding address which went off to a system which then distributed the mail.
Actually, I could probably do that in half an hour, as long as it didn't need to look pretty.
F9 member since 4 Sep 1999
F9 ADSL customer since 27 Aug 2004
DLM manages your line the same way DRM manages your rights.
Look at all the pretty graphs! (now with uptime logging!)
Community Veteran
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Registered: 29-06-2010

Re: Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

Quote from: ddixon
I'm off to sell my soul (and give away my privacy) to Google groups.

Why not try Freelists instead?
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,425
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Re: Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

Quote from: avatastic
Why does moving from mbox to vmaildir (or whatever mail storage migration is taking place) affect something like majordomo or mailman?

We're upgrading the network file system from NFSv3 to NFSv4. We need to do this so the platform will scale as we continue to grow.
Quote from: avatastic
Or was this another in-house development which is full of nasty little hacks and work-a-rounds?

Even if we were able to do it, implementing mailing lists under the above set up would prove to be an absolute nightmare. We would have to maintain legacy architecture, undergo a *lot* of head-scratching, create something that would probably break all the time anyway, and to be brutally honest the cost just can't be justified Sad

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

Ellis
Grafter
Posts: 213
Registered: 04-02-2011

Re: Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

I can't really see the point of this, if I want to send bulk mail I put all the relevant addresses into one folder, do "Select all" and "write" (in Firefox), It gets a bit more tricky if you want to BCC the addresses.
itsme
Grafter
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Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

There are many reasons to use PN mailing list service and one of them is to keep email address confidential. You may believe that doing Bcc will keep them confidential but it does not as it rely on email server to strip the email addresses out.
Superuser
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Re: Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

Mailing lists really come into their own in providing a shared 'community' email distribution list.  Individual subscribers do not need to know who all of the members are, nor their personal addresses.  Disperate people sunscribe, email to the list and everyone gets a copy.  Such lists are also useful in circumstances where a member chanegs their ISP and consequently their email address - the change only needs to be notified to the list manager, not to evey user of teh list.
Personal distribution lists are better facilitated through the use of email 'contacts and address managers' built in to most email clients - e.g. 'category' in Microsoft Windows Live Mail contact manager.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,425
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Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Mailing list decommission - 19th April 2011

Hi all,
Heads up that a reminder email will be doing the rounds later on this afternoon.

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵