Aug 142014

Electronic mailing lists are a somewhat old-fashioned way to let a group of people stay in touch and communicate about a topic of interest.

Many mailing lists these days offer a “digest” service: instead of sending out each message individually to the list recipient, they receive one message a day, a week, or some other set interval, containing all the traffic from the mailing list during that time period.

Tonight, on a mailing list to which I subscribe, I saw yet another request to delete the original message from any replies, for the benefit of digest readers. I have seen such requests many times in the past, and every time I come across one, I get rather annoyed.

Including the original message is of course redundant for “digest” readers, as they probably have a copy of the original message right there, as part of the same digest. But for non-digest readers, including the original saves the time it takes to look up the earlier message.

In other words, what these helpful volunteer “list police” folks are really saying amounts to this: If you are one of those idiots who actually bothers to read messages individually, your time is less valuable than the time of those who already decided that the list is not worth that much attention in the first place.

Why, thank you for putting me in my place.

 Posted by at 10:49 pm