Mailing list update

Mailing list update

February 29, 2008
mailing list

Folks, the mailing list approval process is officially out of control. As you may know, we do not automatically approve applicants to the list because of my severe dislike of e-mail harvesting bots and marketeers, and because of a desire to ensure that the membership list is “clean.”

Manual vetting is the only way to do this, at the present. Unfortunately, it means that I have to manually inspect every applicant’s e-mail address.

The queue of people who want to get in is – and has been for a while – about 175 deep. The queue is not getting smaller. This is officially a “success disaster.” The situation isn’t going to improve soon, either, until I get some more help with the mailing list.

In the meantime, you can significantly increase your chances of being approved quickly by doing the following:

Use your work e-mail address

When you send an e-mail to the mailing list robot, use your work e-email address. If it’s from an organization I recognize, more than likely I’ll just wave it through. I cannot stress this enough. The biggest challenge I have in investigating members is that lots of people use their home e-mail address, which might be hotmail or some random domain that you own. From the perspective of approval, random e-mail addresses stink because I don’t know whether the owner is a real organization or a random e-mail harvesting bot. Examples of non-work addresses currently in the queue: kevin at, francescofaenzi at, rybolov at Seriously, what sort of conclusions am I supposed to draw from these?

Do not submit more than one request

Trust me, I get every request that is submitted to the “discuss-request” mailing address. If you aren’t approved immediately, it’s because I did not recognize your name or e-mail address, and must investigate it manually. Do not send another one; it just means that I have to weed out your duplicate submission. Trust me when I tell you that I’ll get to it when I can, which isn’t nearly as often as I’d like.

When all else fails, send me an e-mail to my work address directly In your e-mail, tell me who you are, and who you know. The more contextual information I have, the faster I’ll be convinced that you are a real person. That address is ajaquith at The instructions on the Mailing List page specified the wrong address (arjaquith). Sorry about that.

Sorry for appearing to be cranky. It’s not so much crankiness as exasperation. This list has been wildly successful, and that’s a tribute to the membership. But the process for adding new members isn’t scaling well, and I hope you will bear with me for a little while longer.

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