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st: Change is good


From   Marcello Pagano <pagano@hsph.harvard.edu>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: Change is good
Date   Thu, 11 Mar 2010 19:28:27 -0500

Dear Listers,

As Statalist has grown, so have the number of problem emails sent to Statalist that don't appear on the list for one reason or another. People try to post on Statalist who are not subscribers. Subscribers sometimes send valid email, but in HTML format. Subscription and unsubscription requests are sometimes sent to the list rather than to Majordomo. You see none of that, but we do. Some result in emails to me asking what went wrong, and I usually tell you to look at the FAQ, especially Section 2.2 etc.. In general there are 50 to 100 problem emails per day! Up until now, we've been handling them by hand.

This cannot continue. There is an alternative. I've talked to StataCorp and we can forward all the bounced messages to them and they can set up an automatic response system to send the email back to the sender along with some indication of the problem.

I want to take advantage of their offer to help, but I do not want anyone to think that StataCorp's involvement is anything more than helping with this technical issue. All emails that get posted the list will still be posted to the list without ever going to StataCorp and not subject to any censoring^1. All StataCorp will receive are the emails Statalist would have bounced anyway, and all they will be doing is using their software to analyze those emails and send back an automated response to the sender. I assume everyone is okay with that. If someone is not, I'm willing to forward the bounces to them and let them handle them :-)
Happy listing,

m.p.

^1 Of interest to statisticians. The word census and censor both find their root in the Latin censor who would count (estimate) the populace and have responsibility for public morals--if you lied to the censor you lost your property. Lesson: statistics is a moral undertaking!
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