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PICList Thread
'[OT]: Email Validation'
2000\05\26@092356 by Alan B Pearce

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try delphi tip of the day at http://members.truepath.com/delphi/

there are all sorts of tips, but am not sure if it has what you want
Otherwise try other sites on the delphi web ring. I do recall there were things
to do with email.

2000\05\26@093009 by Michael Rigby-Jones

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I really hope this list isn't a spam list, but it's difficult to know what
else a list like that would be used for.  Feelings about spam run very high
on this list, and few people would be willing to assist you unless you have
a genuine reason for wanting to do this.

Mike

> {Original Message removed}

2000\05\26@094052 by Samuel Winchenbach

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On Fri, 26 May 2000, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:

> I really hope this list isn't a spam list, but it's difficult to know what
> else a list like that would be used for.  Feelings about spam run very high
> on this list, and few people would be willing to assist you unless you have
> a genuine reason for wanting to do this.
>
> Mike
>
Oh no, this isn't a spam list.  Every year there is a technology
conference in our town.  There are thousands of people around the country
(even the world) that are potentially interested in attending.  Is is more
or less going to be used to send a news letter to all these people (who
have asked to have it sent to them) informing them on the topics of this
years conference.  It is really being used for a good purpose :)

Sam

2000\05\26@132851 by Mark Willis

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Samuel Winchenbach wrote:
> On Fri, 26 May 2000, Michael Rigby-Jones wrote:
> > I really hope this list isn't a spam list, but it's difficult to know what
> > else a list like that would be used for.  Feelings about spam run very high
> > on this list, and few people would be willing to assist you unless you have
> > a genuine reason for wanting to do this.
> >
> > Mike
> >
> Oh no, this isn't a spam list.  Every year there is a technology
> conference in our town.  There are thousands of people around the country
> (even the world) that are potentially interested in attending.  Is is more
> or less going to be used to send a news letter to all these people (who
> have asked to have it sent to them) informing them on the topics of this
> years conference.  It is really being used for a good purpose :)
>
> Sam

The problem you'd still face is validating that list.  So my suggestion
is to find a way to host a mailing list properly then use it's
"subscription verification" mechanism - Don't just Force Add people
unless you know them personally and are pretty sure they won't gripe at
your ISP!  I can get away with doing that as an Admin here, when someone
sends me e-mail asking how to get on - AND, you can bet I keep the
e-mail they send, and that I reply to their address telling them, yes,
I'll do that (in case someone forges someone else's e-mail) - No-one's
ever tried this to forge sign someone up to THIS list, so we haven't had
someone else lose their ISP access.  It definitely happens, though,
check with your ISP on what they would like to see, they'll appreciate
you for it.

BTW, Set your mailing list up to Confirm joins, to allow ONLY members to
post to the list (so Spammers don't hijack the list for their crud!),
and make sure it keeps subscribe requests etc. somewhere (the ISP
providing the mailing list probably handles that detail to cover their
behind <G>)

There are a host of mailing list providers out there, I'm sure you could
set up a "By Invitation Only" list on eGroups or any of a number of
other places - also, many ISP's will sell you the mailing list ability
for a nominal fee based on list size and expected list traffic.  Haven't
researched it lately.  You can also run a small list on a machine there,
if you have wideband outgoing capability - Figure out the list traffic
for why I say wideband outgoing <G>  Cable modem or DSL would probably
do.

The "Magic Cookie" scheme is the best way to do the verification -
That's what the PICList does now, ever since I made the mistake of
pushing the idea at Jory and was conscripted for my "sins" <G>

Quick explanation of Magic Cookies in case it's been a while since you
joined the PICList <G> - When someone submits an address to the e-mail
address for subscribing to your TechConfList, in one of several ways,
it's best if your software generates an e-mail that says something like:

At last years TechConf, you signed up for more information about the
coming TechConf 2000 - If you wish, you can be added to the
TechConfList, a mailing list for TechConf 2000 information;  Please
reply to this message with just the word "OK" (no quotes) within 96
hours, to join the list.  If you do not want to join this list, ignore
this post, no further e-mails will be sent.  Problems?  Contact Samuel
Winchenbach, the admin, at <spam_OUTswinchenTakeThisOuTspamEECE.MAINE.EDU>

(Might use the list's Admin address instead of your personal address
there, BTW.)

Some software generates a "more magic-er" cookie, where your joining
member has to send back a specific code like "Auth TechConfList 1A4FD20C
.....mwillisKILLspamspam@spam@foxinternet.net" (the 1A4FD20C part would be a UNIQUE hash for
each e-mail sent, BTW.)  If you run a server on your site, might be a
good idea;  It's a little more secure.

Whatever you send, keep the Subscription confirmation e-mails terse and
to the point;  JUST send ONE unless someone e-mails to the signup
address, then just send one more - You MUST save all those replies, and
the paperwork where you received the e-mail addresses from, too!  (If
someone "forge subscribes" someone else, on paper or electronically,
and your ISP comes to you telling you "We will close your account if
you're SPAMming", and you can show that you're running a mailing list
then you're off the hook and they can go track the culprit down, most
likely.)

If your mailing list of choice doesn't have any kind of "Here's a list
of e-mail addresses, please confirm their subscriptions" feature, throw
a quick Dos or Linux (or WinDoze) app together that creates a bunch of
e-mail in a nice tidy text file, then (shut down your browser first)
copy that file to the "Unsent" folder on your machine, and delete the
index for that file if one exists (In NetScape, it's the like-named
".snm" file next to the file.)  Create a message and use "Send Later"
instead of "Send Now", then you can see the file format - Pretty
simple.  If you have to do this method, though, you need to make this
e-mail a little different as the e-mail they need to send is the
original subscribe request - Something like this:

You or someone else indicated during the last TechConf 1999, that you
may want to join the TechConfList, a mailing list about the upcoming
TechConf 2000;  If you want to join that list, please send an e-mail to
<majordomospamKILLspammy.maillisting.com> with the body of the message containing
"Subscribe TechConfList .....yournameKILLspamspam.....youremailaddress.net", you will be
asked to confirm joining the list (to prevent forgery) and then will be
on the list.  Problems?  Contact Samuel Winchenbach
<EraseMEswinchenspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTEECE.MAINE.EDU>.

Good to forewarn your ISP that you are sending these out;  Best to make
each of these an individual message and send a few in the first batch
then a few more at a time;  being gentle and letting your ISP know what
it's about are really good ideas.  Overloading your ISP's outgoing
e-mail server is a bad bad bad idea <G>

If no budget, can just use one e-mail account, throw each batch of
addresses into an Address Book List (Netscape's version of this is
called that anyways), send the "If you are interested please reply" info
to List _A_ (and repeat for B..Z) then delete all those addresses
manually and make a set of new lists, A..Z, from JUST those who reply -
you don't "remove people", you have to treat the original list as if it
were a competitor's code!  Then repeat for other letters of the
alphabet.  That's a lot more work, you do then get able to send
announcements, but have to handle each "The recipient's e-mail address
no longer exists" happening manually (Ewww!) and so on.  I do that for
"mass purchases" when doing that, it makes my life a lot easier.  With
10,000 addresses, I'd definitely go for a mailing list...

Other issues are that IName.Com and other mail forwarding services can
be used to harass people, subscribe to 493 lists then set up to forward
it all to some poor person (any mail forwarder that doesn't use magic
cookies to get *approval*, before forwarding e-mail to a new 'victim',
should be "taken out & shot", IMO - IName may've fixed this by now, may
not have.)  So list posts should have regular Unsubscribe info on some
sort of regular basis, as any welcome message wouldn't get through to
the 'victim' in that case.  Pretty infrequent lately, definitely
happened here once though.

If you want more, bug me off-list <G>

 Mark

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