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Home :: Archive :: 2009 :: July ::
FYI -- The Future of listserv Technology
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 20.0370  Monday, 13 July 2009

[1] From:   Steve Roth <
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     Date:   Friday, 10 Jul 2009 07:46:13 -0700
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0360 FYI  --  The Future of listserv Technology

[2] From:   Mari Bonomi <
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     Date:   Thursday, 9 Jul 2009 18:26:12 -0400
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0360 FYI  --  The Future of listserv Technology

[3] From:   Ron Severdia <
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     Date:   Friday, 10 Jul 2009 12:01:31 -0700
     Subj:   Re: SHK 20.0360 FYI  --  The Future of listserv Technology

[4] From:   Hardy M. Cook <
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     Date:   Monday, July 13, 2009
     Subj:   The Future of listserv Technology: Update


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Steve Roth <
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Date:       Friday, 10 Jul 2009 07:46:13 -0700
Subject: 20.0360 FYI  --  The Future of listserv Technology
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0360 FYI  --  The Future of listserv Technology

I would only like to respond to one comment here, from Thomas Le:

 >Blogs are musings of individuals who know they do not have to exercise
 >restraint and self-control or caution that an academic lister does. There
 >is no control of topics or participants.

This simply isn't true. There are thousands of academics using blogs in 
an extremely responsible and illuminating manner, there are very 
high-level discussions ongoing in many blogs' comment threads, blog 
software provides all the control over topics or participants that a 
moderator might wish to exert, and I would add that blogs provide 
advanced, well worked-out tools to manage the whole process without the 
many technical difficulties that I, at least, find it quite painful to 
see Hardy dealing with quite constantly.

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Mari Bonomi <
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 >
Date:       Thursday, 9 Jul 2009 18:26:12 -0400
Subject: 20.0360 FYI  --  The Future of listserv Technology
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0360 FYI  --  The Future of listserv Technology

Hardy comments sadly,

 >If listserv technology is dying as a means for delivering worthwhile
 >content is it in part because of overzealous anti-spamming technology
 >whose protocols are falsely "blacklisting" mass mailings from listserv
 >servers.

Perhaps it is time for several key SHAKSPER people (certainly Hardy and 
Eric but possibly 1-3 others who serve on one or more of the "editorial" 
boards noted in Hardy's post) to request some sort of real or virtual 
meeting w/ the honchos from Trend Micro and the other major perpetrators 
of the "we won't bother verifying; we'll just block this listserv" 
attacks. They need to hear directly from you folks about why they're 
doing something so egregiously wrong.

In fact, a starting place might be to determine a contact person at each 
of these companies and send to them copies of several of your essays 
about SHAKSPER and the internet, Hardy. I'm guessing these people are 
intelligent and educated enough actually to process and grasp what 
SHAKSPER is, if given the information.

It can't *hurt* and it might help.

The other thing that might help is if you still have the email addresses 
that were deleted because of bouncebacks. Establish a GMail account in 
the name of SHAKSPER and Hardy Cook (like SHAKSPER-HardyCook!) and send 
out emails to these people explaining the bounceback and letting them 
know you want to get them back to our listserv conversations. Such 
emails can be sent in batches of 4-5 by several people connected with 
SHAKSPER who can be given the password to the GMail account. I say GMail 
b/c I've never had my emails from GMail blocked, so far as I can determine.

Mari Bonomi

[3]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Ron Severdia <
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 >
Date:       Friday, 10 Jul 2009 12:01:31 -0700
Subject: 20.0360 FYI  --  The Future of listserv Technology
Comment:    Re: SHK 20.0360 FYI  --  The Future of listserv Technology

The days of listserv are numbered. The social networks are only one 
element of many that has already replaced it. The others are discussion 
groups and forums like Google Groups and Yahoo Groups, which allow for 
online discussion as well as the same email exchanges listserv provides 
(not to mention any modern forum software will do the same, allowing 
users to subscribe to specific topics of interest). Users are demanding 
more and more that their preferred content be served up when, where, and 
primarily HOW they want it. They want to customized the frequency and 
depth of their involvement (usually due to time constraints in this busy 
world of ours)-not to mention the ability to apply various "noise 
filters" to reduce or eliminate "junk." I don't mean that in the sense 
of spam, but in unwanted content-increasing the signal to noise ratio, 
so to speak-where the users get to set that level/ratio based on their 
preferences. The inability of listserv to adapt to the way content is 
currently ingested and life's inevitable course of change is the key to 
its demise. The technology is antiquated-in some parts so much that 
certain spam-detection algorithms will always assume it's spam unless 
some very specific manual tweaking is conducted.

Those who have their proverbial heads in the sand should consider 
embracing change as an evolution and progress, rather than an 
inconvenience. I've made several offers to help this list overcome these 
challenges and make it competitive with current technologies, but my 
offers haven't shown any interest. With our site rapidly approaching 
3,000 registered users from all walks of life-university professors, 
high-school students, directors, actors, etc.-it's an example of how a 
Shakespeare resource can grow larger than a 20-year old resource in just 
2 years.

I hope that SHAKSPER continues to grow, evolve, and prosper well into 
the future. It's a great resource. But I'm afraid that, without some 
technology improvements, that won't happen.

Best,
Ron Severdia
PlayShakespeare.com

[4]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:       Hardy M. Cook <
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Date:       Monday, July 13, 2009
Subject:    The Future of listserv Technology: Update

Dear SHAKSPEReans,

I managed finally to get in touch with a living person rather than 
playing the Internet equivalent of telephone tag with automatic-response 
computer-generated messages. Once I got to a person rather than a 
computer, I was able to convince the person that the "blocking" was a 
"false positive" and that protocols that create "false positives" are 
ultimately bad for business. This block was removed within 48 hours. So 
I was able to add Comcast subscribers and others whose IP providers use 
the Trend Micro MAPS back to the distribution list. After one headache 
was solved, I noticed that a number of UK subscribers were being 
blocked. My hope is that this blocking is related to the other and will 
not be a problem today. If not, I have to go back into response mode.

Mari above makes suggestions about methods for responding when SHAKSPER 
mailings are blocked. She will be pleased to learn that I follow similar 
procedures to the ones she suggests. However, the task of responding to 
times when the SHAKSPER mailings are block is a time-consuming and 
frustrating process. One of my hopes is that when we migrate the server 
from DSL to fiber optics and get a new static IP address for the server 
that, at least, for a while some of the methods that SPAMMER use that 
result in anti-spamming software companies "blacklisting" SHAKSPER will 
be reduced.

 >Perhaps it is time for several key SHAKSPER people (certainly Hardy
 >and Eric but possibly 1-3 others who serve on one or more of the
 >"editorial" boards noted in Hardy's post) to request some sort of real
 >or virtual meeting w/ the honchos from Trend Micro and the other
 >major perpetrators of the "we won't bother verifying; we'll just block
 >this listserv" attacks. They need to hear directly from you folks about
 >why they're doing something so egregiously wrong. . . .

 >The other thing that might help is if you still have the email addresses
 >that were deleted because of bouncebacks.

I, in fact, asked subscribers who were blocked to contact their ISP and 
let those in charge know that SHAKSPER mailings are legitimate.

Ron Severdia writes,

 >The days of listserv are numbered. The social networks are only one
 >element of many that has already replaced it. The others are discussion
 >groups and forums like Google Groups and Yahoo Groups, which allow for
 >online discussion as well as the same email exchanges listserv provides
 >(not to mention any modern forum software will do the same, allowing
 >users to subscribe to specific topics of interest). Users are demanding
 >more and more that their preferred content be served up when, where, and
 >primarily HOW they want it. They want to customized the frequency and
 >depth of their involvement (usually due to time constraints in this busy
 >world of ours) -- not to mention the ability to apply various "noise
 >filters" to reduce or eliminate "junk." I don't mean that in the sense of
 >spam, but in unwanted content -- increasing the signal to noise ratio, so
 >to speak -- where the users get to set that level/ratio based on their
 >preferences. The inability of listserv to adapt to the way content is 
 >currently ingested and life's inevitable course of change is the key to
 >its demise. The technology is antiquated -- in some parts so much that
 >certain spam-detection algorithms will always assume it's spam unless
 >some very specific manual tweaking is conducted.

 >Those who have their proverbial heads in the sand should consider
 >embracing change as an evolution and progress, rather than an
 >inconvenience. I've made several offers to help this list overcome these
 >challenges and make it competitive with current technologies, but my
 >offers haven't shown any interest. With our site rapidly approaching
 >3,000 registered users from all walks of life -- university professors,
 >high-school students, directors, actors, etc. -- it's an example of how a
 >Shakespeare resource can grow larger than a 20-year old resource in just
 >2 years.

Ron may be correct. However, for 20 years SHAKSPER has been an integral 
part of my life. I acknowledge that SHAKSPER is not for everyone. 
However, it is important to me that I have control over what I post to 
the subscribers and how that content looks. For better or whose, 
SHAKSPER is identified with me. I am not interested in being all things 
to all people; I am not interested in being large just to be large; and 
I am content that those who are interested in the features that Ron has 
to offer will registered at PlayShakespeare.com just as those who are 
interested in discussing the "authorship question" can do so somewhere else.

I will entertain ANY suggestions that Ron would like to make to me about 
ways that SHAKSPER can be improved as I do with everyone. But for good 
or bad, SHAKSPER has become the service that is associated with me and 
that has opened all of the professions doors I have walked through and 
that is responsible for my knowing the wonderful Shakespearean I have 
met and known over the years.

SHAKSPER may be going the way of the dinosaurs. And when that is about 
to happen, I will pass it off to someone else who can mine the petroleum 
products for all they are worth.

For now, I have made my choices about SHAKSPER immediate future and will 
live with those choices, accepting the challenges I have to face as a 
consequence.

Hardy M. Cook
Editor of SHAKSPER

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Hardy M. Cook, 
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