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locked Special messages


 

As part of getting ready for group transfers, I'm adding the ability to send special messages, like Yahoo has. I'm a bit unfamiliar with exactly how they work, can someone fill me in? Here's what I think, please correct me if I'm wrong:

- Special messages can only be created through posting through the website and checking the special box
- In addition to the normal subscription options, there's a 'Special Messages only' option
- Special messages get delivered to everyone except people who have their subscription set to no mail.
- If a person is on digest, the special message is included in the digest
- Only moderators and owners can send special messages
- If the person sending the special message is moderated (or the group is), the special message needs to be approved first, like normal messages.

Did I miss anything?

Thanks,
Mark


 

Mark,

- Special messages can only be created through posting through the
website and checking the special box
By design yes. But someone once discovered that it was possible to include the correct X- header (copied from a special notice you received) as the first line of an email message (or in the header if your email client allows you to add custom fields) to cause a message posted by email to go out as a special notice. I don't know if that "hack" still works. You should probably ignore it, or else come up with a more user-friendly implementation.

- If a person is on digest, the special message is included in the
digest
And also sent to that person as an individual message. That was an improvement made in the last couple of years, originally members on digest would see it only in the digest.

And of course, the special notice posts to the message archive.

-- Shal


Judy F.
 

Mark, I would like a better description of a ‘special message’.  I ask this because currently, we have what I could call a special message such as a message that goes to a person that is pended waiting to be approved, when they are approved, when they leave the group, file type messages that are sent each month that have the group rules, etc. 

 

When would the special message as you mentioned be used?  All of the messages I mentioned above are in the files section of the group and have various scheduling options the owner/moderator can select. 

 

Thanks,

 

Judy F.

SW Florida - USA

 

From: Mark Fletcher [mailto:markf@corp.groups.io]
Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 7:52 PM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: [beta] Special messages

 

As part of getting ready for group transfers, I'm adding the ability to send special messages, like Yahoo has. I'm a bit unfamiliar with exactly how they work, can someone fill me in? Here's what I think, please correct me if I'm wrong:

 

- Special messages can only be created through posting through the website and checking the special box

- In addition to the normal subscription options, there's a 'Special Messages only' option

- Special messages get delivered to everyone except people who have their subscription set to no mail.

- If a person is on digest, the special message is included in the digest

- Only moderators and owners can send special messages

- If the person sending the special message is moderated (or the group is), the special message needs to be approved first, like normal messages.

 

Did I miss anything?

 

Thanks,

Mark


Duane
 

On Yahoo, a Special Message was (is?) a very important item that all members need to be aware of.  The only time I used it was on a group that I was moving to another site.  I wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of it.


Which brings me to another suggestion.  Instead of a "No Email" option, make it "Special Notices Only".  On the group I moved, I had to go in and change everyone on No Email to Special Notices to make sure everyone saw it.  If the feature is used properly, it should amount to almost the same thing.  The other option would be something similar to what is used on BigTent.  There's a feature named Blast that sends the message to everyone, regardless of their message settings.  Either should only be available to Owners/Moderators.  Making it an option for the Moderators might not be a bad idea either.


Duane



 

On 1/14/2015 5:17 PM, J. Faulkner wrote:
When would the special message as you mentioned be used?All of the
messages I mentioned above are in the files section of the group and
have various scheduling options the owner/moderator can select.
Administrative messages. Check your group setting for how you get your
email - there are 4 options:

Individual messages - you get one message in your email for each message
posted to the group (meaning - you're using it as a mailing list)

Digest - you get a collection of messages - either 1 day's worth, one
week's worth, or after some quantity of messages has accumulated (I
don't remember which option YG uses because I do not like digest).

No Messages - nothing from the group appears in your email - you have to
go to the group web page to read any posts

"Special Notices", also called Admin Notifications, which are only able
to be sent by an owner or moderator, and go to everyone who has not
chosen "No Messages" (at least that's how it used to work - it may be
that Special notices now go to everyone, even those on NoMail).

Special Notices are for things like reminding people to keep on topic,
letting the list know about a shutdown, or a re-name of the group, or
anything "administrivia".

dg


Judy F.
 

Dg, I'm aware of the various mail delivery options, but I didn't realize that's what Mark was referring to. I guess it was the terminology.

Thanks,

Judy F.
SW Florida - USA

-----Original Message-----
From: CatWoman [mailto:@CatWomanDiana]
Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 9:28 PM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: Re: [beta] Special messages

On 1/14/2015 5:17 PM, J. Faulkner wrote:
When would the special message as you mentioned be used?All of the
messages I mentioned above are in the files section of the group and
have various scheduling options the owner/moderator can select.
Administrative messages. Check your group setting for how you get your email - there are 4 options:

Individual messages - you get one message in your email for each message posted to the group (meaning - you're using it as a mailing list)

Digest - you get a collection of messages - either 1 day's worth, one week's worth, or after some quantity of messages has accumulated (I don't remember which option YG uses because I do not like digest).

No Messages - nothing from the group appears in your email - you have to go to the group web page to read any posts

"Special Notices", also called Admin Notifications, which are only able to be sent by an owner or moderator, and go to everyone who has not chosen "No Messages" (at least that's how it used to work - it may be that Special notices now go to everyone, even those on NoMail).

Special Notices are for things like reminding people to keep on topic, letting the list know about a shutdown, or a re-name of the group, or anything "administrivia".

dg


Judy F.
 

Hi Mark, now that I understand that a special message is the equivalent to a Special Notice in Yahoo, I agree with all of your bullets. 

 

Thanks again for all you are doing on this.

 

Judy F.

SW Florida - USA

 

From: Mark Fletcher [mailto:markf@corp.groups.io]
Sent: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 7:52 PM
To: beta@groups.io
Subject: [beta] Special messages

 

As part of getting ready for group transfers, I'm adding the ability to send special messages, like Yahoo has. I'm a bit unfamiliar with exactly how they work, can someone fill me in? Here's what I think, please correct me if I'm wrong:

 

- Special messages can only be created through posting through the website and checking the special box

- In addition to the normal subscription options, there's a 'Special Messages only' option

- Special messages get delivered to everyone except people who have their subscription set to no mail.

- If a person is on digest, the special message is included in the digest

- Only moderators and owners can send special messages

- If the person sending the special message is moderated (or the group is), the special message needs to be approved first, like normal messages.

 

Did I miss anything?

 

Thanks,

Mark


 

On 1/14/2015 6:59 PM, J. Faulkner wrote:
Dg, I'm aware of the various mail delivery options, but I didn't realize that's what Mark was referring to. I guess it was the terminology.
Glad to be of help!

I kinda think that I agree with whoever said that Special
Notices - "administrivia" - should be like a blast - goes
to everyone in the group. And that it is reserved for
that specific purpose - something that really impacts the
entire group, no matter how they usually access the group.

I'm also of the opinion that there should be an annual
"blast" message the way LSoft does for ListServe lists.
It just sends a test message to every email address on
the list. If it doesn't bounce, it just says "ignore
this message". If it does bounce - that email address
is no longer working. Setting it to NoMail, or deleting
it completely - not sure what LSoft does. I think
MailMan does the same thing - all it wants to do is
make sure that the email address it is trying to send
mail to is valid - even for those who don't receive
messages via email.

I know Yahoo doesn't do that - it just relies on
bounces - but that only hits those that have signed
on to get messages via email.

dg


ro-esp
 

No, doesn't look like you missed anything.

I just want to add that it seems more practical if special notices are sent *separately* from the digest - especially on busy groups.


As to Shal's suggestion, yes, it would be useful if the creator/owner of a group could block the "nomail" option.


                                      groetjes, Ronaldo


 

dg,

I know Yahoo doesn't do that - it just relies on
bounces - but that only hits those that have signed
on to get messages via email.
That's sort-of the point.

If they elect "No Mail" there's no point in probing that email address - they can only be reading the message via the group's web pages. And if they are, it is unfair to them to remove their membership just because the listed email address is bogus.

-- Shal


 

Ronaldo,

As to Shal's suggestion, yes, it would be useful if the creator/owner of
a group could block the "nomail" option.
That was Duane's suggestion, not mine. I actually disagree.

"No Mail" is a feature that perennially generates heated commentary on the various Yahoo Groups moderator forums. Some moderators are adamant about preventing members from choosing the option, some members are equally vehement in asserting that messing with the member's delivery choice is a violation of the member's prerogatives.

Personally I think both sides in this argument are a bit foolish.

On the "prohibit No Mail" side, their arguments remind me of a scene from _A Clockwork Orange_. What, by sending a Special Notice do you think you've strapped the member down, forced open their eyelids and forced them to read the message? Get real: the member who selects No Mail probably did so for a reason, otherwise they would have selected Special Notices. They may never check that Inbox. Or they may have complied with your silly rule but secretly added a filter to their email to trash any message from Yahoo Groups (or just your group).

On the "No Mail is my right" side, the argument is the flip side of the coin. Why do you insist on listing that address for group delivery, then set it no No Mail? Ok, I get it, you read the messages only on the group's site. But if having a moderator change your setting and force through a message causes some harm to you that's sort-of on you: don't use your work email, or a metered email for a Yahoo Group subscription - that's what a free webmail account is for.

On the whole I do side with "No Mail is my right". Even though an email address is required to establish a web-access membership, there's no reason to force the member to receive anything at that address. I just don't see any cause to get huffy about it: if you want to access the group's content but the owner is a control freak, set a filter. Done.

-- Shal


 

> Even though an email address is required to establish a web-access membership, > there's no reason to force the member to receive anything at that address. Shal, this is to address your line I've quoted above. It's just a story. It doesn't need a response. We ran into a problem with a member a year or so ago. I dont remember the particulars, but we needed to contact him off-list and he was hard bouncing because his mail box was full. We tried several times both on and off list. He'd reply to on-list comments from that same address with the full inbox, so there was no way we could get a reply back through to him. We finally dumped him from the group. He resubscribed - without ever emptying his mailbox. We finally dropped him a second time. We left a message on the list that if anybody knew him, to explain he was welcome to come back if he'd just empty his mail box. Long story short, yes there is a reason to be able to contact people. But allowing special messages wouldn't have made any difference there either. As Ron White says, "You can't fix stupid." Dano


 

On 1/15/2015 12:39 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
On the whole I do side with "No Mail is my right". Even though an email address is required to establish a web-access membership, there's no reason to force the member to receive anything at that address. I just don't see any cause to get huffy about it: if you want to access the group's content but the owner is a control freak, set a filter. Done.
In my lists, several folks have more than one email address,
and all but one are set to nomail.

I do - in Yahoo it's a good idea to have an alternate address
to get mail from if your primary is compromised.

Or if you have device-dependent email (gmail for an android
device, something else for your iPhone, and a 3rd for a
computer - some people still use the POP option).

Or if you are going to be away and don't want mail piling
up.

And some folks are more comfortable reading on the web

IOW - I agree that NoMail is a valid option - I just
wouldn't want _it_ to be a requirement.

dg


 

The system should not be too quick to remove memberships based on messages
bouncing, even for people who have chosen to receive messages either singly or
as digest. Messages can bounce for a number of reasons, such as mailbox
temporarily full or, as happened to my wife recently, because of some system
glitch putting it out of action for a few days (in my wife's case it was out
for about 12 days because of a host service mix up with the DNS system making
her email, and my web site, inaccessible - corrected today). I don't remember
seeing anything on here about how bounced messages are treated by groups.io
(may be my memory - I haven't checked archives).

Jim Fisher

On 14 Jan 2015 at 21:18, Shal Farley wrote:

dg,

I know Yahoo doesn't do that - it just relies on
bounces - but that only hits those that have signed
on to get messages via email.
That's sort-of the point.

If they elect "No Mail" there's no point in probing that email address - they
can only be reading the message via the group's web pages. And if they are, it
is unfair to them to remove their membership just because the listed email
address is bogus.

-- Shal
--
http://www.jimella.me.uk - my personal web site covering many subjects
http://jimellame.tumblr.com - My thoughts on freedom
http://jimella.wordpress.com - political snippets, especially economic policy
http://jimella.livejournal.com - misc. snippets, some political, some not
Forget Google! I search with https://duckduckgo.com which doesn't spy on you


 

On 1/15/2015 8:32 AM, Jim Fisher wrote:
The system should not be too quick to remove memberships based on messages
bouncing,
That's the issue with YG - they have a bounce list, but
unless a mod or owner checks it regularly - or someone
complains about no longer receiving mail, the email is
effectively set to nomail.

What MailMan does is send out a message the 1st of every
month - just basically a reminder to the person that they
are subbed to the group (a special notice, in effect).
Bounce notices are sent to the owner address and I think
the person is set to nomail.

LSoft sends out an annual probe - but it will remove any
email that bounces more than <X> times (Since I no longer
run any LSoft lists, I can't remember if the value of X
is set by the list owner or the system admin).

What I'd like to see is something between MailMan and
Yahoo - don't wait for the special message - but don't
just stick the email in a bounce list. Send a notice
to the owner that mail to <email> is bouncing.

This may be a place where, depending on the list, you
may want to store a phone number - or have an alternate
email address for members - so you can find out if they
know they are bouncing. We still have issues with this
on a list I own with one member and (presumably) DMARC,
because she gets some messages, but not all.

dg


Frances
 

Hi

I don’t think anyone mentioned this - but Special Messages would be rare. On our travel group, Linda (list-owner) sends out one a year.

Frances

On Jan 15 15, at 11:50 AM, CatWoman <@CatWomanDiana> wrote:

On 1/15/2015 8:32 AM, Jim Fisher wrote:
The system should not be too quick to remove memberships based on messages
bouncing,
That's the issue with YG - they have a bounce list, but
unless a mod or owner checks it regularly - or someone
complains about no longer receiving mail, the email is
effectively set to nomail.

What MailMan does is send out a message the 1st of every
month - just basically a reminder to the person that they
are subbed to the group (a special notice, in effect).
Bounce notices are sent to the owner address and I think
the person is set to nomail.

LSoft sends out an annual probe - but it will remove any
email that bounces more than <X> times (Since I no longer
run any LSoft lists, I can't remember if the value of X
is set by the list owner or the system admin).

What I'd like to see is something between MailMan and
Yahoo - don't wait for the special message - but don't
just stick the email in a bounce list. Send a notice
to the owner that mail to <email> is bouncing.

This may be a place where, depending on the list, you
may want to store a phone number - or have an alternate
email address for members - so you can find out if they
know they are bouncing. We still have issues with this
on a list I own with one member and (presumably) DMARC,
because she gets some messages, but not all.

dg





 

Dano,

He'd reply to on-list comments from that same address with the full
inbox, so there was no way we could get a reply back through to him.
We finally dumped him from the group. He resubscribed - without ever
emptying his mailbox. We finally dropped him a second time.
Were the message archives in that group set to "moderators" or "off"? If not he might have been reading and replying from the group's pages. A full inbox (or otherwise bouncing status on the email address) isn't necessarily a problem from the member's point of view.

That wouldn't apply, of course, if he was email-only (no Yahoo ID listed for his membership).

-- Shal


 

Shal,

On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 12:39 AM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:

"No Mail" is a feature that perennially generates heated commentary on the various Yahoo Groups moderator forums. Some moderators are adamant about preventing members from choosing the option, some members are equally vehement in asserting that messing with the member's delivery choice is a violation of the member's prerogatives.

Personally I think both sides in this argument are a bit foolish.


Thanks for your summary of the arguments. I'm really torn on this. I understand the people that want 'no mail' to mean no mail. I also understand the need from time to time for moderators to get in touch with users. And we make it easy enough for moderators to contact individual users from the website, regardless of their subscription setting.

I'm tempted to make no mail mean no mail except special messages, if for no other reason than it's simpler, and we already have a billion subscription options. If anyone feels very strongly in the other direction about this, please speak up now.

Thanks,
Mark


Marlin47
 


Mark, years and years ago, when I was new at running groups, I actually paid attention to who was on "no mail".

Today, I could not possibly care less, even if I tried.

I remember back when I cared, I contacted a few people and asked why they were on no mail, I remember I had one reply that stood out, a guy told me that he was not allowed to use his computer at work for personal things.

So, he would access the web site and read the mail and post from the web site when the boss was away.

He said he could not afford to risk the possibility of getting mail from the group while at work.

I often wondered why he didn't use an online email address but, I figured that was his business, anyway he said that if he had to go to something other than no mail, he would have to leave the group.

He was one of the most active posters.

I suggest leaving the situation to where the individual members make their own choice.

I don't think it is any of the group owner's business how the member has his setting set.

Now, if you absolutely have to do something, make it impossible for the group owner to know if a member is on "no mail", problem solved.

Marlin





On 1/15/2015 7:41 PM, Mark Fletcher wrote:
Shal,

On Thu, Jan 15, 2015 at 12:39 AM, Shal Farley <shal@...> wrote:

"No Mail" is a feature that perennially generates heated commentary on the various Yahoo Groups moderator forums. Some moderators are adamant about preventing members from choosing the option, some members are equally vehement in asserting that messing with the member's delivery choice is a violation of the member's prerogatives.

Personally I think both sides in this argument are a bit foolish.


Thanks for your summary of the arguments. I'm really torn on this. I understand the people that want 'no mail' to mean no mail. I also understand the need from time to time for moderators to get in touch with users. And we make it easy enough for moderators to contact individual users from the website, regardless of their subscription setting.

I'm tempted to make no mail mean no mail except special messages, if for no other reason than it's simpler, and we already have a billion subscription options. If anyone feels very strongly in the other direction about this, please speak up now.

Thanks,
Mark


 

You're assuming special messages are extremely rare, but a group could make use of them more frequently.  Say, a group that produces a weekly newsletter.  Some people just want to get the newsletter each week, and some want to chat about it.

  • Users who want everything in mail, the newsletters and the commentary, just subscribe to all mail.
  • Users who just want the newsletter in mail could subscribe to special notices, with the rule that a moderator will always send out the newsletter as a special notice.  Only the newsletters (and really important stuff) get sent as special notices, so those users get what they want.
  • Users who don't want a weekly newsletter in their mail but want to read it online set their accounts to No Mail.

So that would be an example where No Mail and Special Notices would both be realistic settings for different users.

JohnF