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Majordomo List Conversation

Chuck, you have hit the nail on the head. I believe that many people don’t understand how a mail list subscription works and when activity is brisk, they find that they really don’t want to receive a steady stream of messages and replies.  Those individuals would be better off to un-subscribe from the majordomo and simply browse the current archive periodically for items of interest. They would lose the ability to post though.

The dilemma with a list-based forum like a majordomo, in my experience, is that the benefit of an information exchange between members is compromised if members begin replying only to a few members by direct e-mails outside of the list, rather than to the entire group. This is a valid way of reducing list traffic if the discussion is about something that would probably not be of interest to the group at large but that is often a difficult determination to make. Who can tell what might be of interest to others? Replying is also made more complicated since the member has to manually address the reply to the desired member(s) and delete the list address before sending the reply.

I highly value information exchange between people with interests that I share. Until recently, I subscribed to several sailing-oriented lists and forums but have un-subscribed from most of them because my inbox just became packed with the large volume of individual e-mails that a successful list generates. Success becomes its own worst enemy with a large list!

For this reason, I have developed a preference for lists, forums and news groups that allow me to elect not to receive individual e-mails. For example, Yahoo Groups allow members to elect delivery of a daily digest (a single e-mail containing all posts for that day), or to receive only “Special Notices” from the group moderator, or to receive no e-mails at all. Members who elect these options instead of individual e-mails can still post messages and replies to the group.

I suggest that we consider whether the majordomo list can be enhanced to include similar functionalities or consider switching to another format. It is important that we not lose members or limit interaction simply because of the volume of postings. More postings, indicating an active group, should be encouraged, not limited. Anyone who would like to see how Yahoo Group messages function can visit either the new San Juan 23 group at or the much longer established San Juan 24 group at .

Thanks again for your active efforts in support of the Internet Fleet!

Raleigh Martin



I have really enjoyed seeing the sj23 e-mail exchange come alive this week. It really validates what Hal Mueller,Bob Schimmel, and I do in maintaining the SJ23 Internet Fleet WebPages, Techtips, and the e-mail list. A couple of people always ask to be removed from the list after a lively exchange. Does anyone know if there are servers which charge by the number of e-mails one receives? I can't understand why an increase in exchanges always triggers these unsubscribe requests. Maybe some people are just realizing what a majordomo list is and don't like what it is. If so, that is their choice.


But just in case a modification in our behavior could make a difference we could be more careful to switch to a one-on-one e-mail exchange at the point that we have received a good reply  and then are ready to zero in on a two-person follow-up. The problem in making such a switch from just hitting the REPLY button is that the majordomo list is shown as the FROM address and so you have to get the individual's e-mail address somewhere. I include mine in my signature for that purpose. Most everyone else's is in the Skipper Registration on the SJ23 WebPages where you can click on it and send a message. I suggest we try that a little more often. I am sure most of you would just rather delete what you receive and are not interested in. That's how I feel.  


One last point while I am acting as Miss Manners. When you do hit the REPLY button it is a good idea to cut the bottom of the message especially if it has been passed through several forwards before getting to you. Now I feel like the minister whose church member after a very insightful message on personal sin told him "Now you have done quit preaching and gone to meddling!" 


Chuck and Barbara Vande Wetering



"We can't control the wind, but we can adjust the sails."




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