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what really counts

About the mailing list thing where replies to the email are discarded: How is that not a major, major showstopper? That means you have to mention in every single email not to reply, and even then a lot of people will still reply either:

a) before they read the warning, if it's at the end of the email.

b) after they've already forgotten the warning about replying.

I know this quite well because at my work I get email every week or two from people saying "don't reply to this address, it's my wife's. Reply to ..." and I 100% of the time forget and just hit reply, even when they are short emails.

So, in short, I can't see how whatcounts is a great solution when there are better products out there which will do what you need and which will allow you to send mail as being from your real address.

Friday, December 28, 2001

i bet for joel its a feature considering all the people that probably send him mail which he doesn't have the time to read...

in fact for any mailing list I'd consider this a feature, not a bug.  i wouldn't want people clogging up my personal email box with their rants about how I misspelled something..

Friday, December 28, 2001

I was on a political mailing list.  Every week I would get a multi-page e-mail.  At the very bottom was, "don't reply to this email, reply to this address instead."

I'm sure only 1 out of 10 folks ever read to the bottom.  I ususally hit the reply button long before I read the message.

Why irritate users with such nonsense?  Folks expect the reply button to work.  It's like breaking the "back" button.

Friday, December 28, 2001

I agree. Sometimes it's extremely difficult to tell the difference between a bounce (which might be an autoresponder written in Icelandic that says "I have left this job") and a genuine reply.

Apparently whatcounts has a way to divert replies that aren't unsubscribes or known bounces to an email address I designate. I'll try that for a while and see what they look like.

Joel Spolsky
Friday, December 28, 2001



Leo Stern
Saturday, December 29, 2001

Hey folks - WhatCounts is 100% capable of allowing any of its customers, including Joel, to use their own addresses and have individual readers reply directly to him. We can also allow him to specify different "from", "reply-to" and "errors-to" addresses.

The current setup, for him, is in place "by design." But that's not to suggest it won't change. I'm sure he takes all these comments into consideration.

The current setup, for Joel, utilizes our platform to handle bounces - automatically. Soft and hard bounces are handled. We can also forward on to him, or someone of his choosing, messages that our systems believe to be "human" replies - and it's this feature that Joel may decide to try. He and I have talked about that.

The fact that you've received Joel's recent mailing is great - and it is also fantastic that Joel so kindly mentioned our product on his site. I welcome any opportunity to discuss our product and its features - and listen to suggestions from people like youself - motivated, like myself, to make this medium better, easier and more useful.

David Geller
Saturday, December 29, 2001

Joel, did you ask the Mailman team to add what you need? My guess is that they'd consider it and likely write a quick hack for it. Shouldn't be anything terribly difficult. Perhaps an even more elegant solution (for them, anyway) would be to specify a single return address and then allow you to apply "filters" to that return which bounces it wherever you need it to go, on a person by person basis. You could probably do that with procmail already, come to think of it...

Just a thought.

Alex Russell
Tuesday, January 1, 2002

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