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Postscript.

Thanks to E-mail enthusiast Philippe Kahn, we've just learned about an undocumented feature of MCI Mail, the service we've been using to distribute an electronic version of Soft*letter. It turns out that readers of a multi-recipient message--like this newsletter--can use MCI Mail to broadcast a response to everyone on the original distribution list. Kahn recently took advantage of this feature to send a comment to our entire MCI Mail readership discussing Lotus' lawsuit against his company (Soft*letter, 7/16/90). At first, we were ticked off to discover that an outsider could so easily get access to our proprietary subscriber list. But then we had a kinder and gentler thought: Why not turn our MCI Mail edition into a more-or-less private forum for software industry insiders? our readership already includes most of the industry's movers and shakers, and it might be interesting to hear their reactions to key issues directly. (In the spirit of fairness, we also think it's a nice idea to let the targets of our occasional open letters tell their side of the story.)

So we've decided to extend freedom of the press (the electronic press, that is) to anyone who gets our electronic edition. The big risk, of course, is that we'll open a direct channel to our readers that will be choked by over-zealous public relations types and assorted self-promoters. We can't figure out how to prevent that kind of abuse, but we're keeping our fingers crossed that it won't happen so often that we have to shut down the forum. In the meantime, here's how to publish a response to an issue of Soft*letter: When an issue arrives by MCI Mail, simply type "AN EA" (short for ANSWER EACH) or "RE EN" (short for READ ENVELOPE) at the command line. You'll see the MCI addresses of all of our active electronic edition readers, currently about a hundred names. Then just create a message and send it like an ordinary MCI letter. That's all it takes.
COPYRIGHT 1990 Soft-letter
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:distributing newsletter replies via E-mail
Author:Tarter, Jeffrey
Publication:Soft-Letter
Date:Aug 6, 1990
Words:334
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