[sf-lug] Possibly interesting data point on jobs postings

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Mon May 15 16:13:17 PDT 2006

Just as a reminder, I'm just the system janitor (and owner) of the
decrepit 1998 VA Research model 500 that hosts this mailing list,
whereas Jim runs the mailing list itself.  Nonetheless, I sometimes look
in and give an assist on the technical side (because I like you guys).  
Among other things, sometimes I use the systemwide Mailman admin
password to look through mailing lists' membership rosters, to spot
anything amiss.  I was doing that, this morning, with SF-LUG's roster:
As is sometimes the case, there were several subscribers showing as
having the "nomail" flag set, and with that flag having been set by an
administrator rather than the user himself/herself.  (The "nomail" flag
means "I still want to be a subscriber, but don't send me any of the
postings for now.")

Usually, this happens because someone noticed recurring non-delivery
messages for that subscriber -- e.g., his/her mail server was down, or
was out of disk space, etc.  Those non-deliverability conditions can be
transitory, or they can be permanent:  One way to find out is to switch
off the flag, and see if the non-deliverability persists.  I tried this,
and found that all four of those subscribed addresses appeared to
_still_ be non-deliverable for various reason, e.g., "That username does
not exist at this server" [paraphrased].  So, I unsubscribed them.

In the process of doing that, I found one extra anomaly:
"beau at open-source-staffing.com", whom you may recall being the extremely 
polite and clueful recruiter Beau J. Gould of NYC, is the _one and only_
subscriber who's set his _own_ subscription to "nomail".

By no means do I wish in any way to beat up on Mr. Gould:  If all
recruiters were as smart and well-mannered, mailing list administration
for LUGs would be much more of a delight, and there would be less need 
for special "jobs" rules.  (Gould, you may recall, actually was kind
enough to _ask_ before posting a job opening, here.)

My point, instead, is to call attention to why he set that flag:  Even
this minor paragon among professional recruiters isn't here to
participate.  He has no desire to teach or learn Linux; he's on the
outside of our community by preference.  Nothing wrong with that.  But
he's set "nomail" in order to preserve his ability to post here in the 
future (this mailing list being set to subscriber-only posting, like
most others these days), while not being bothered by all this Linux

To the extent that LUG mailing lists exist for interaction among members
of the Linux community, the recruiters posting directly to them breaks
(or at least dilutes) that model.  

Any metaphor will distort the truth in one way or the other.  Here's
one, and it definitely has distortive biases:  A LUG mailing list is
like a movie theatre, and Beau Gould is like a concession vendor who
asked permission to hawk hot dogs _inside_ the theatre instead of in the
lobby.  And some of us would rather watch the film.  ;->

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