OECN Distribution Lists - FAQs

 

	 OECN Distribution Lists - Frequently Asked Questions
 ====================================================
 Table of Contents
 -----------------

 1.0  Introduction

    1.1 Purpose of this document
    1.2 How to get the latest version of this document

 2.0  OECN Distribution Lists
 
    2.1  What are they?
    2.2  Why do they exist?
    2.3  Why am I on one?
    2.4  How do I get off the list?
    2.5  Why do I get so much "junk" from the list?
    2.6  Does the OECN or ODE filter "spam" and viruses from the list?
    2.7  How do I report abuse of the lists?
    

 3.0  Using the lists

    3.1  What are the names of the OECN distribution lists?
    3.1  When should I send mail to an OECN list?
    3.2  What are some things I should never do?
         3.2.1  Never do "Reply All"
         3.2.2  Don't use the OECN lists for "Position Vacancies"
         3.2.3 Don't send large attachments to the list
         3.2.4 Do not send image attachments
    3.3  You're telling people not to use the lists for position
         vacancies. But how do I get "position vacancies" if I want them?
    3.4  I tried sending to the list and says I'm "blocked" from using
         them. What's up with that?

    
=========================================================================

 1.0  Introduction
 -----------------
 
    1.1 Purpose of this document

        This document describes the OECN (OECN_xxxx) lists operated by
        the OECN and ODE.

    1.2 How do I get the latest version of this document?

        Updated versions of this document can be found at:

            http://ssdt.oecn.k12.oh.us/faq/oecn-lists-faq.txt

        This document is also mailed to a subset of the OECN lists on a
        monthly basis.

    1.3  Questions/Comments

        Questions or comments regarding this FAQ should be sent to
        postmaster@oecn.k12.oh.us or posted in the OECN Public Discussion
        Forums at http://forums.oecn.k12.oh.us/forums/oecn/

 2.0  OECN Distribution Lists
 ----------------------------
 
    2.1  What are they?

        The OECN distribution lists are a collection of lists intended
        primarily to allow ODE, OECN and others to communicate state wide
        or regionally with various groups of people.  For example, there
        are lists for teachers, superintendents, treasurers, etc who have
        email accounts with an OECN site.

        The lists are managed collectively by the OECN ITC Sites.  Each site
        manages its part of the list.  This allows management of the lists
        and  delivery of mail to the lists to be distributed across
        multiple servers.

        The list are not standard "LISTSERV" lists.  You can't subscribe or
        unsubscribe by sending mail to the mail server.

    2.2  Why do they exist?

        The OECN ITC Sites and ODE built the lists to allow ODE and the OECN
        to communicate information to various types of people on a
        state-wide or regional basis.  ODE sometimes uses the lists to
        communicate with large numbers of people instead of large paper
        mailings, thus reducing ODE's mailing costs.

    2.3  Why am I on one?

         Almost certainly, you are on the list because you have an email
         account with an OECN ITC Site, your schools mail server is part
         of a OECN network, or your school receives other services from
	 an OECN ITC.

         Virtually all OECN email users receive "free" mail from their OECN
         ITC site and school district.  Some of the network and equipment
         costs for transferring your mail is funded by ODE.  So one way to
         think of this is being on the OECN lists is part of the "price"
         you pay for receiving free (or cheap) email accounts.

         For example, if you have a "hotmail.com" or Juno account you have
         to see advertising.  If you have an OECN account, you get some
         "junk mail".

    2.4  How do I get off the list?

         You can't unless you are subscribed to the wrong list.  That is,
         if you are a teacher with an OECN account, you _should_ be
         subscribed to the teachers list.  Although your OECN ITC Site is
         capable of removing you from the list, they are not suppose to do
         so.

         In any case, you can't get off the list by replying to it.  Only
         your ITC Site can remove you from a list.

    2.5  Why do I get so much "junk" from the list?

         The lists are sometimes abused or misused, sometimes
         intentionally, sometimes accidentally and sometimes by spammers. 
         It is hoped that this FAQ will help reduce the misuse of the
         lists.

         The OECN postmaster aggressively filters the lists for viruses,
         spam and other bulk email (see below). As of March 2007, 98% of
         the attempted deliveries to the lists are being blocked as bulk
         email.  However, due to the nature of spam, it is very difficult
         to accurately detect every instance of spam.  Therefore, some
         junk mail will be delivered to the lists. 

    2.6  Does the OECN filter "spam" and viruses from the list?

         The OECN mail systems do scan the messages for viruses. We make
         every attempt to ensure that viruses are not transmitted via the
         OECN lists.   However, due to the nature of email viruses we can
         not guarantee that all viruses, specially new viruses, are caught.  

         Furthermore, beginning in March 2002, the OECN began more
         aggressively filtering the lists for content.  Messages will be
         blocked if they apparently contain commercial "spam", adult-only
         content, virus hoaxes, chain letters, etc.  Although we attempt to
         filters as much junk mail as humanly and technically possible, the
         nature of spam makes it very difficult to filter completely. So
         you will occasionally receive some junk from the list.  

    2.7  How do I report abuse of the lists?

         If you wish to report abuse of the lists, please send mail to
         postmaster@oecn.k12.oh.us.  Please forward the complete message
         (as an attachment with complete headers).

         DO NOT EVER REPLY ALL to the list to report abuse.  That just
         makes the problem worse!


 3.0  Using the lists
 ---------------------

    3.1  What are the names of the OECN distribution lists?

         The OECN tries not to put the names of the distribution lists on
         publicly accessible areas to reduce the number of "spammers" that
         use the lists.  Therefore the names of the lists are not included
         in this document.  If you have a clear need to use one of the
         state-wide or regional lists, then contact your ITC Site and they
         can give you the address for the appropriate list.
 
    3.1  When should I send mail to an OECN list?

         You probably shouldn't unless you are very certain that your
         message is useful to a large number of people.  Depending the list
         in question, there are between 2,000 and 10,000 addresses on the
         list.  This is a lot of people to make angry if you send garbage
         to the list.

         If you think you want to send mail to one of the OECN lists, we
         suggest you sit down for a while and wonder if there is some other
         way to get your message to the appropriate audience.  Your ITC Site
         may be able to provide advice about which medium to use for you
         message.

    3.2  What are some things I should never do?

        3.2.1  Never do "Reply All"

            If you receive mail from one of the OECN lists, do not use your
            mail client's "Reply All" or "Reply to Sender and All
            Receipents" unless you are very, very certain you want the
            message to go to several thousand people.

            For example, if you do "Reply All" and say "UNSUBSCRIBE" to the
            teacher's list, approximately 50,000 people will receive the
            message.  Probably not one of them can actually remove you from
            the list.  So don't do this unless you're looking for a very
            quick way of getting a large number of people mad at you and
            calling you bad names.

            If you want to reply to a message from the OECN list, then
            reply only to the sender of the message, not the entire list.

        3.2.2  Don't use the OECN lists for "Position Vacancies"

            The vast majority of people on the OECN lists don't care to see
            "job postings" on the list.  Don't send them to these lists.

            The OECN provides a more appropriate way to send position
            vacancies to just the people that want to see them. See
            http://listserv.oecn.k12.oh.us/archives/jobs-l.html for
            more information about the JOBS-L list and why you should
            use it.

        3.2.3 Don't send large attachments to the list

            As mentioned earlier, there are tens of thousands of people
            on the OECN lists.  If you send a large file, document
            or image to an OECN list, that message will take a great
            deal of computer resources to send and store in everyone's
            mailboxes.

            If you must make a large file available, consider placing
            the file on your school or ITC's web site and send just
            the URL to the OECN list.

            Also, keep in mind that not everyone can read Word documents
            and other proprietary formats.  So sending a Word document
            or other document will not be useable by many people.
            Furthermore, viruses can be spread through such docuemnts
            so many people will not risk reading your attachment because
            it may contain a virus.

        3.2.4 Do not send image attachments

            The OECN spam filters automatically block or sideline
            messages that contain image attachments.  Spammers routinely
            send there messages as images to circumvent spam filters.

            Therefore, the OECN list will never delivery a message with an
            image attachment.  This includes images that have a "graphic
            signature" or fancy "stationary" supported by some mail
            clients.  If you want your message to be delivered with
            less hassle, please do not use graphic signatures or
            stationary.


    3.3  You're telling people not to use the lists for position
         vacancies.  But how do I get "position vacancies" if I want them?

         The OECN operates a "LISTSERV" called JOBS-L which is explicitly
         intended for posting position vacancies.  If you wish to receive
         these mailings or want to search the list's arechives, go to:

            http://listserv.oecn.k12.oh.us/archives/jobs-l.html

    3.4  I tried sending to a list and says I'm "blocked" or
         "not allowed" to use them. What's up with that?

         If you attempt to send a message to the OECN lists and
         the message is returned stating that you are "blocked from
         using the OECN lists" or "you are not allowed to use this list",
         it means that your email address has been "blacklisted" by
         the OECN postmaster.  

         This means that sometime in the recent or distant past, you
         have sent an inappropriate message to an OECN list and the
         OECN postmaster noticed it.  The postmaster then added your
         address to a list of people who are no longer allowed to
         post to the list.

         Reasons you might be blacklisted include are (but not limited to):

            - Using Reply All
            - Sending to the list to ask to be removed (see 2.4 above)
            - Sending large attachments, especially position vacancies
            - Sending commerical Unsolicated Bulk email (spam)
            - Being infected by a virus that attacked the OECN lists

        Note: Although we discourage sending any type of vacancies to
              the OECN lists, we do not currently block vacancies
              unless they also include large attachments.

        Once blackedlisted, you will remain blocked until you 
        send mail to postmaster@oecn.k12.oh.us.


[End of FAQ]