October 13 2010 Editor Assistance Newsletter
As I mentioned in message #77, I'm doing a lot of work on the mail server right now. I just implemented "round 2" of the updates.
Previously the code - which I've been turning on and off over the past few days as part of my testing - would look for "hard fails" and delete them from the system. So these would be very concrete errors like "user not found".
However probably half of the errors we get are much more vague - things like "general failure" when connecting to a mail server. Does it mean the server really doesn't exist? Maybe it means the server had a hiccup and was down for an hour or two? There's no way to know.
So what I've done is code in a second tier of processing. I use this for the vague errors like "general failure" or "user unavailable" or so on. For these errors, I trap the error so you don't see it - and I log them into a tracking database. If the user ends up in there five times, then I figure it's a long term issue and remove them. This way if the server just has a temporary hiccup, it gives them a chance to stay in the system.
Round 3 - which will come in a week or so - will be to do the same thing with "over quota" messages. At that point we should be handling most of the bouncbacks automatically!
Please continue to ignore any bouncebacks as we work through getting this all set up. The aim long term is to have the system handle those for you. You'll see after you do a newsletter send that the subscriber count will reduce by a few, as the system does that pruning for you.
Think of it as an overly bushy shrub outside your house. You love your shrub and you want it to be healthy. To keep it healthy, you prune it down with tender care. The pruning helps to ensure that the plant stays healthy. The same is true with our newsletters! A lot of times subscribers who change addresses sign up their new address and never remove their old one. We get stuck with a lot of dead old addresses in our system which no longer go anywhere. It's a healthy, happy thing that we prune the system to keep it running smoothly!
We now have new code to help forum promotions of your articles be even more easy! Adding forum promotions means you get a ton more traffic on your articles, plus you get to read comments about what you've written. This helps you learn what people love, and what they have questions about!
To see the forum promo info, go to your article list in your admin area. Click on any article you wish. Scroll down to the bottom of the article. There it is!
So when you add a new article, once it's in the system, click to edit it. Scroll down to see the forum promo info. Right click on the forum link to open it in a new window, and then start a new forum post. Cut and paste the title into the title spot, cut and paste the text into the text spot. Add in any other comments or notes you wish, and you're set! Under 30 seconds for a doubling (or more!) of traffic :)
Let me know if you have any questions about this! Promoting your articles in the forums is HUGE - it's a way to get publicity for your article across the entire network, it raises your rankings in Google, and it creates a location for your loyal visitors to give you feedback on what you've written.
Lisa Shea, owner
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