[MOSAIC] bouncing e-mails

kmack at literacyworkshop.org kmack at literacyworkshop.org
Wed Aug 8 18:49:04 EDT 2007

We are seeing a large number of problems with member email servers  
that cause members to experience "bounces". I still recommend gMail  
<http://mail.google.com> as the best free program. I have yet to have  
any problems beetween their servers and ours.

Basically members score a "bounce" any day where at least one message  
can't be delivered. This can happen for a number of reasons, but  
mostly it's due to a member's server not responding to our server.

After a member's bounce score exceeds 7 over a period of 2-3 weeks  
they are "suspended". The system alerts members to this problem with  
at least three messages before unsubscribing (deleteing) member from  
the system.

I tried increasing the bounce score in late 2006, but ran into lists  
sucking up huge amounts of server resources. This also impacts lists  
and clients I have using this same server. So the bounce thing is a  
"survival" method that is automated and critical to a healthy server  
and happy clients.

For those interested here's a run down on continuing problems I see:

Many schools choose to perform maintenance on their servers and it's  
not uncommon for them to be down for a number of days or parts of  
days. We also see a lot of "time outs" from these servers (like not  
answering the phone). If you're not going to be checking mail almost  
daily, then don't use these for list messagesw over the summer.  
Schools also install new and (ahem) improved SPAM protection that will  
often label list messages as SPAM and prevent delivery.

We are currently unable to send any mail to Comcast users - this has  
just happened. Somehow Comcast has "blacklisted" our server's IP. I  
checked with all the major blacklists and our IP does NOT appear. I've  
tried to explain this and work with Comcast, but have yet to see a  
reply from them. All Comcast members have been "bounced" off the list  
over the last couple days. YAHOO members will often have messages from  
our list delayed for a day or two because of a problem with their  
system's ability or willingness to process list email. I frequently  
see Yahoo messages waiting for several days becuase Yahoo servers  
can't or won't process the emails. AOL is sparodic, but has been the  
least problematic of these three in the last few weeks.

OK - so a bit of venting on my part, but I did want curious people to  
know what some of the issues are. We do our best to get mail to  
members, but there are SO MANY issues that are beyond my control and  
also your control. These issues cause "bounces" which are generally  
due to "time outs", down servers, or SPAM protection filters/programs.

You can help by making sure that your ISP or email provider knows that  
you want mail from literacyworkshop.org and IP (you can  
ask for these to be "white listed").

As always, if you haved any problems with list messages and  
membership, just email me.


Keith Mack
Web Admin for Mosaic List
kmack at literacyworkshop.org

Quoting Janelle Dorr <janelle_dorr at centennial.k12.or.us>:

> I've been bouncing e-mails on this list and I'm not sure why. This
> happened with my comcast e-mail address as well so I switched it to my
> school e-mail...any thoughts or suggestions?
> janelle

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