[Asrg] Teaching my boss to email politely

Erik Hollensbe <erik@hollensbe.org> Sat, 30 January 2010 00:27 UTC

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Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 19:27:32 -0500
From: Erik Hollensbe <erik@hollensbe.org>
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Subject: [Asrg] Teaching my boss to email politely
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I honestly don't know if this is the best place for this posting; I 
apologize if I have offended anyone by sending here.

Without going into too much detail, my boss, who is zealous, but 
well-meaning about his pursuit managed to get us blocked from several 
services by sending an announcement to users that we were public (users 
previously were met with a site where we talked about what we were doing 
and to fill out a form when we were live; a total opt-in process).

Anyhow, after a lot of nun-like scolding from me I want to give him a 
somewhat complete discussion of how email becomes spam, that's light 
enough on the technical end so he can understand it.

I want to do this because he's not going to stop sending newsletters, 
and I honestly think both him and I want to do our customers (and those 
interested and uninterested in our product) right, he's just a little 
more than oblivious to these kinds of things.

My searches on the internet only lead me to services that would be happy 
to *check* our emails, or teach us how to fake out the filtering systems 
(which is *not* what I want), but don't really go into techniques like 
group-flagged bayesian filtering or RBLs (content and host-based) or 
DomainKeys/SPF, etc. I'm looking for a resource which adequately 
explains the latter topics so he can digest and really understand what 
is going on without having to understand what MX records are or have a 
few months in computational linguistics under his belt.

I don't know where most of you come from culture-wise in this industry; 
but in my world it's still very much about teaching people how to fish 
instead of handing them the finished product. It would be beneficial to 
both him and us (as mail administrators) to have this information 
centrally available.

Thanks for any help you can give me; again, if this is the wrong place 
for it, I'm genuinely sorry.

-Erik