7 zillion years ago (Internet time) – aka 2002 – I attended the Contact Conference at NASA Ames. It was wonderful, made sad only by the fact that a part of it was a memorial for Poul Anderson. Niven, Pournelle, Vinge, and many others were in attendance as well.
However, enjoying a conference over 13 years ago does not excuse the email I received today:
Welcome to the [Contact-conference AT listsDOTcontact-conferenceDOTorg] mailing list! …
My reply to the list owners went something like this:
I should never, ever, ever, get a Welcome to… email from Mailman without first subscribing on my own. A *good* option would have been to send ONE email to all of the recoverable members of the old list, asking if they’d like to subscribe to the new list, and provide a URL for that purpose.
I’ve already unsubscribed myself, thanks, but you should consider sending an apology to the rest of the list, and provide clear, simple-to-understand instructions for unsubscribing to help those new list members who, like me, really didn’t want to be on a mailing list just because they attended a Contact conference a decade or more ago.
Just because it’s the Internet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be considerate.
Sigh. It’s not hard, people. Mailing list etiquette has been cast in concrete for ages…