October 7 2010 Editor Assistance Newsletter
I realize that the email bounceback situation has gotten a little odd in the past week. I was holding off writing you all until MailEnable (our mail software people) and I had examined the issue thoroughly but I thought I should at least give you a heads up that we are looking into it :)
It seems that part of what is going on is that some of the large hosting companies, like Yahoo, are doing a "fall cleaning" of old accounts. So for example say that Yahoo had 50,000 members who hadn't logged into their account for the past year and Yahoo decided to do a sweep and inactivate all those accounts. We would suddenly see a rash of failed addresses.
Those types of situations would show up with a response of "invalid user" or such - something directly indicating that the user really wasn't there any more.
We're getting another set of errors that are more vague, that just say "general failure". Those seem to be an issue with the destination mail server talking with us properly. So for example if the Hotmail system gets really slow, and they stop answering for a while, we might get general failures just trying to talk to Hotmail, never mind finding out from them if a certain user exists there.
We should have this narrowed down in the next day or two. In the meantime you're welcome to ignore the bouncebacks for now. What I've done with my newsletters, just because I'm a little insane, is tried writing a personal note to the more hard-core bouncebacks - the ones where it says "person xxxxx does not exist. period. the end." I write them from my home address. In every case my from-home message bounced too - which seemed a fairly sure indicator that the address really was gone. So I then removed them. So you're welcome to do that if you just have a few, or if you want to help troubleshoot. But especially for the more vague "general failure" types of errors, it's fine to ignore those as MailEnable and I sort out the options.
Lisa Shea, owner
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