[Coral-List] tech tips one, vacation messages

Mike Jankulak mike.jankulak at noaa.gov
Tue Aug 9 12:44:31 EDT 2011

Sometimes Coral-List gets "spammed" by people's vacation mail messages
and as a member of the moderation team I thought I'd offer up this hint
about vacation mail options.  I am not thinking of any one subscriber so
please don't feel singled out if this has recently happened to you!
This sort of thing is actually rather common.

My own vacation mail system offers me the settings of "reply" or "echo."
 Yours may offer similar options under different names.  The "reply"
setting is preferable because it will send only one copy of the vacation
message to each individual sender, even if there are multiple messages
from that sender in a short space of time.  [Actually it may send
another automated reply to the same sender after a set period of time
(usually 7 days) if messages continue to be received from that sender.]

The "echo" setting, by contrast, sends an automated response for every
message received regardless of sender.  Sometimes when Coral-List
subscribers use this setting we can receive hundreds of copies of the
same vacation message in just a few weeks.  I would suggest that this
"echo" behavior is never good email etiquette, mailing list or otherwise.

One final point worth making is that some vacation autoresponders also
allow you to respond only to messages that specifically include you in
the To: or Cc: headers.  This is a good idea because it alerts people
who are specifically targeting you with their email but avoids
broadcasting your travel plans to everyone that posts to one of your
subscribed mailing lists.  Messages sent from Coral-List are generally
addressed to <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> so with these settings
they would not trigger an autoresponse at all.

Mike Jankulak, coral-list moderation team

Mike Jankulak, Research Associate, University of Miami / CIMAS
   NOAA / Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory
 4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149 -- 305-361-4543

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