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Wazoo

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OK, have gone through some of the previous postings, some e-mail, some PM's, some other Topics ... maybe confusing, but did this in all plain text to allow for easier editing. Tear it up, tell me it's wrong, but help out by saying something <g> I'm working on the statement from JT that he would do what was asked. There is still a bit of an issue as far as the FAQ goes. It's gone from adding it into the Help function on this software (which appears to be pretty unworkable) to trying a FAQ section "here" (lots of duplication) to allowing "us" to have access to the existing SpamCop FAQ server (still up in the air, at best, maybe denied by Julian?) to add, modify, change what's over there and use nothing but pointers here so that all SpamCop users would have access to the FAQ contents from here, the SpamCop web page, and the NNTP newsgroups.

Anyway, here's a shot to start things off;

* = New item

[] = suggested sub-category

() = suggested changes to existing

Administrative Messages
  Announcements
  * System Status
    * [Reporting]
    * [E-Mail]

SpamCop Discussions

*SpamCop FAQ &amp; Answer
 *Frequently Asked Questions &amp; Answers - Please note: attempting to see if your issue has already been asked and answered before posting your "new" problem or issue would be much appreciated by all concerned.

  *What is SpamCop
     *[What is an IP Address]
     *[What is a dnsBL and how does it work]
     *[How do I look up my IP in the SpamCop dnsBL]
     *[What is a SpamTrap]
     *[How do I sign up]
     *[How do I cancel my account]
  *Why Am I Blocked?
    *[Are you an ISP or hosting your own e-mail server?]
       *[Exchange server hacked]
       *[Compromised machine bypassing your e-mail server - check firewall logs]
       *[NDR and / or AV notices being sent to forged From: address Lines]
       *[Am I Running Mailing Lists Responsibly?]
    *[Are you sitting at home (or office) and wondering why?]
        *[ISP didn't configure system to offer a complete reject message]
        *[ISP doesn't care]
        *[ISP has issues and needs to be pointed to the above FAQ]
        *[You're running your own server and picked up a virus/trojan]
        *[Yahoo Groups]
        *[I need to contact that person that is currently blocking me]
  *Spamcop Reporting Issues
     *["Header incomplete, aborting." and "No source IP address found, cannot proceed."]
     *[How can I unsend a report?]
     *[Causes of "Would send" and "If reported, today, reports would be sent to:" messages]
  *Spamcop Reporting-by-Email Issues
     *[Email Submissions Disappearing]
     *[I use Outlook/Eudora/Something Else and I can't submit spam by email]
     *[How to set up and use the Filters and BLs]
  *spam In Your InBox
     *[Why am I getting all these bounces?]
     *[I started using SpamCop and my spam has increased!]
  *spam Fighting and Other Topics


SpamCop (Reporting) Help
A forum to help users with using the SpamCop Reporting System. Questions about SpamCop Email, spam fighting, Why Am I Blocked? should be directed to the appropriate forum, not this one. 

SpamCop Email (System and Accounts)
A forum for questions and discussion about the SpamCop Email System and spamcop.net email accounts. Questions about spam reporting should generally be directed to the appropriate forum, not this one. 

SpamCop (Flat-Rate Email Service Account) Setup
This forum is for discussing setting up a new SpamCop Email account. Here, you can find specific information on setting up an email account for various ISP's and email programs.

*SpamCop Blocklist Help
  *A forum to help those who have had their IP address blocked by the SpamCop dnsBL - Please read the Why Am I Blocked FAQ before posting here 

SpamCop Mailhosts System Beta Test
  *A Forum designated for issues with configuring your account to use the Mail-Host settings and data.

SpamCop Lounge
This forum is for discussion of pretty much anything except SpamCop (reporting and account issues) and spam fighting.

*SpamCop Other Things
  *For whatever reasons, my SpamCop situation doesn't fit into any other Forum.  Note that the Moderators / Admin may not agree and move your post to the appropriate Forum.  Rants and Tirades belong in the Lounge.

*SpamCop New Feature / Modification Suggestion
  *A Forum for possible features / changes to the codebase or user interface, specific situational problems and the like.  Noting that the Reporting side is handled by Julian, the e-mail side by JT, responses and implementation may or may not occur.

*Geek/Tech Things
  *A Forum for those things that just plain go wrong or don't work as advertised.  Though one should probably go to the source, maybe while you're here, you'll connect with another poor soul that saw the light after performing the head-against-the-wall ritual?

*Suggested Tools and Applications
  *A Forum for pointing to those neat fixes and solutions that we've all been looking for.  Free is great, open-source even better.  Noting issues with Spyware/Adware would also be appreciated.

*FAQ Under Construction
  *Please do NOT post any general questions in this forum. This forum is to be used only by those who want to help build a new FAQ data base.

Testing
This forum may be used for testing the forum software. Please keep all test posts in this forum.

* = New item

[] = suggested sub-category

() = suggested changes to existing

Steve T's comments incorporated - Jun 2 2004

Miss Betsy's comments incorporated - Jun 2 2004

additional sub-levels added - Jun 2 2004

agsteele's comments incorporated - Jun 8 2004

tooangry's comments incorporated - Jun 8 2004

Steve T's comments incorporated - Jun 8 2004

dbiel's comments incorporated - Jun 27 2004

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...From a quick first read without referencing anything else: Awesome!

...A couple of small suggestions (which you should not hesitate to ignore):

  • Move "SpamCop Help" above "Mailhosts System Beta Test," as I believe that is where most of the least clued-in users should be posting.
  • under "*Spamcop Email Issues": *[How to set up and use the Filters and BLs]

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Nice list.  Very organized.

Thanks, but .. only spent a half-hour or so on it, so I know there's a ton-load of things to do (never mind flushing it all out <g>) ... but already noted that there's a missing dumaflicky somewhere that leads back to the existing Faq-O-Matic and not quite sure where that would end up as a single entry or basically copies of the existing "index" files "here" ...??

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I agree that the help forums should come before the mailhosts one - in fact, the mailhosts maybe should be the last one!

SpamCop Help

A forum to help users with the SpamCop Reporting System. Questions about SpamCop Email should be directed to the appropriate forum, not this one.

I still would like to see two Help - one for Why Am I blocked? and one for users of the reporting system.

SpamCop Reporting Help

A forum to help users with using the SpamCop Reporting System. Questions about SpamCop Email, spam fighting, Why Am I Blocked? shoud be directed to the appropriate forum.

SpamCop Blocklist Help

A forum to help those who have had their IP address blocked by the SpamCop Blocklist

SpamCop Lounge

This forum is for discussion of pretty much anything except SpamCop (reporting and account issues) and spam fighting.

don't you mean: This forum is for discussion of pretty much anything except SpamCop (reporting and email issues) or SpamCop Email Setup or SpamCop Suggestions/Bugs.

IMHO, the SpamCop Lounge can cover everything except the "Suggestions/Bugs" I don't think that a geek forum is needed. Geeks know how to use newsgroups or they aren't truly geeks. The web page leading to the forums should direct them to the ng's.

My 2 cents USD

Miss Betsy

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I agree that the help forums should come before the mailhosts one - in fact, the mailhosts maybe should be the last one!

Had moved it before you posted, but not quite agreeing with the "last" position ... wanted to keep it with the SpamCop stuff, not lost beyond the "other than SpamCop" stuff.

I still would like to see two Help - one for Why Am I blocked? and one for users of the reporting system.

Done, but really necessary? See the added sub-sections under the FAQ entry and tell me the scenario's I've overlooked .. and after those are added, other than those not reading the FAQ first (yeah, I know <g>) how many posts should there "really" be?

SpamCop Lounge

This forum is for discussion of pretty much anything except SpamCop (reporting and account issues) and spam fighting.

don't you mean: This forum is for discussion of pretty much anything except SpamCop (reporting and email issues) or SpamCop Email Setup or SpamCop Suggestions/Bugs.

How about if we start with agreeing that maybe I should have used another character for reflecting (suggested changed) data [so the intent was that the line would actually read "...except SpamCop Reporting and Account issues ...."] ??? And perhaps modifying the "spam fighting" as something under Geek/Tech?

IMHO, the SpamCop Lounge can cover everything except the "Suggestions/Bugs"

I think I "moved" and "merged" at least three postings from the Lounge today alone ... (perhaps one that was questionable, based on the probability that the poster hadn't actually used SpamCop, but ..??) And I know I need to take the time and wander through this place again to see other possibilities of yet another Forum subject or two, but ...

I don't think that a geek forum is needed.  Geeks know how to use newsgroups or they aren't truly geeks.  The web page leading to the forums should direct them to the ng's.

There are geeks and there are geeks <g> But, I thought that my write-up kind of hinted that those starting topics there wouldn't quite be at the level of geekdom just yet, thus throwing out a request for the chance that there may be a geek in hiding that could share a clue.

My 2 cents USD

Worth much more than that, thanks much.

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How about if we start with agreeing that maybe I should have used another character for reflecting (suggested changed) data [so the intent was that the line would actually read "...except SpamCop Reporting and Account issues ...."] ??? And perhaps modifying the "spam fighting" as something under Geek/Tech?

IMHO, forum is useless for real discussion of anything. It works well for question/answer. Therefore, I don't see the need for any other fora besides the help ones except for a 'catchall' Lounge and one for Suggestions/Bugs.

There really haven't been posts in the Lounge that were 'social' - occasionally there is a little back and forth, but because of the awkwardness of the way the forum works, it doesn't really go on and on.

Now that I think about it more, I like the "my spam situation doesn't fit"

Editing list

SpamCop FAQ

same description as Wazoo

SpamCop Email Help (combine the two Email help groups - reason too many forums are confusing. If JT won't combine, drop the technical stuff forum)

SpamCop Users Reporting Help

same description as Wazoo

SpamCop Blocklist Help

same description as Wazoo

SpamCop MailHosts Help (is this really going to be necessary much longer? Can't questions about it go back into theFAQ or back to general help? I would have to go look but are the problems still ones that Julian needs to look at to adjust the code?)

SpamCop Lounge

This forum is for discussion of pretty much anything except SpamCop Reporting and Email Account user questions. News or observations about anti-spam fighting belong here as well as rants and tirades against spam or SpamCop.

(I took out issues because that word makes me think not of problems but opinions)

*spam Questions

*For whatever reasons, my spam situation doesn't fit into any other Forum. Note that the Moderators / Admin may not agree and move your post to the appropriate Forum.

*Technical Subjects (I don't think this is necessary at all - they can go in the Lounge)

*A Forum for sharing those neat fixes and solutions and free software as well as asking about those things that just plain go wrong or don't work as advertised. Maybe while you're here, you'll connect with another poor soul that saw the light after performing the head-against-the-wall ritual?

Miss Betsy

PS I meant at the bottom of the 'helps' fora for Mailhosts

And while we at it, the links on the web page should go to /whole/ menu of fora so that people see the announcements and all the other fora before they post. It would save the moderator a bunch of moving.

Edited by Miss Betsy

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Re the suggestion to pin the admin's response - "never thought I would be saying this - but thanks.." in another topic

Perhaps it could be added to the already Pinned FAQ. With the suggestion I had earlier (somewhere) to emphasize that if you are running a server and the bl says spamtraps, that is probably....

The only problem with what I posted (and Steve agreed) is that I was a little unclear about what they should check for besides the usual.

Let me know and I will do what I can.

Miss Betsy

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Actually, my only gripe is that there is much ambiguity between the fourm and the newgroups. I used the newsgroups for years but, earlier this year, I had a problem and asked about it in the newsgroups but never got an answer; I came to the forum because someone suggested that it had replaced the newsgroups. Then I had a comment on routing and put it on the forum, but was told that it didn't belong there and I should have used the newsgroups!

It's great that the SpamCop folk want to improve the forum, but maybe they should start by deciding what things belong exclusively to one place and put that information right up front where even a fool like me can't possibly ignore it.

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Actually, my only gripe is that there is much ambiguity between the fourm and the newgroups.  I used the newsgroups for years but, earlier this year, I had a problem and asked about it in the newsgroups but never got an answer; I came to the forum because someone suggested that it had replaced the newsgroups.  Then I had a comment on routing and put it on the forum, but was told that it didn't belong there and I should have used the newsgroups!

It's great that the SpamCop folk want to improve the forum, but maybe they should start by deciding what things belong exclusively to one place and put that information right up front where even a fool like me can't possibly ignore it.

Hi, qwelsh,

...Do you mean something along these lines (from Help/discussion forum - let your voice be heard)?

SpamCop Forum

Web-based forums

New web-based forums are now the primary method for getting help.

For more advanced users, we still offer traditional NNTP (usenet style) forums for more advanced discussion and ongoing conversation:

The SpamCop forum has grown to deal with several sub-topics. NNTP links will launch your configured news-reader and subscribe to the group indicated. WebTV users should use the WebTv links instead.

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Hi Wazoo!

I think the proposed new and amended forums are a great improvement. Others have commented on list order and minor adjustments.

Here's a suggestion since the proof of the pudding will be in the eating...

What about posting a few polls to test where folk would go to post on a particular invented scenario or issue.

If you get a significant level of false or incorrect results then you'd know you needed to be a little clearer in your descriptions etc.

Just a suggestion... The effort is much appreciated :D

Andrew

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IMHO, the web pages are the primary cause of confusion among people coming to get help.

Here is my draft of a replacement:

SpamCop also offers a web forum and newsgroups for users to ask questions, make comments and suggestions, and discuss spam fighting in general.

The help forum and the newsgroups are the places to find help in using SpamCop reporting. They are also the places to go for explanations if you have received a bounce message that your email has been blocked using the SpamCop blocklist.

The SpamCop Email help web forum is where customers of the SpamCop Email Service can find help and advice on how best to use the Email Service.

Please observe the posting rules:

 No spam. Please do not post copies of spam except in the spamcop.spam newsgroup specifically designated for it. SpamCop provides "tracking URL"s for posting spam samples. Please use them.

 Limit quoting. Please avoid quoting in threads unnecessarily. The preferred method of netiquette is to leave out anything that you aren't addressing and post your comments below each point you are replying to (in the newsgroup you delete; in the web forum, only quote what you are replying to). This makes it much easier to follow and easier for the people who have to pay for what they download.

SpamCop Web forum http://forum.spamcop.net/forums/index.php?act=idx

Announcements: Updates on new features or resolution of bugs and current news that affects all users.

General help : If you are having trouble using SpamCop reporting, look here.

Why Am I Blocked?: If you have been listed on the SpamCop blocklist, post here.

Email help If you have a spamcop.net email account and need help, post here.

**All posters to General Help, Why Am I Blocked?, and Email Help

are expected to be polite, helpful, and to stay on topic.**

General Discussion Discussion of spam fighting techniques, spam news, rants against spam, and any topic that does not fit in the other forum descriptions.

Suggestions and Comments About Features Any ideas that you would like to suggest to management that would enhance SpamCop Reporting. Moderators may move posts from General Help or Why Am I Blocked to this forum when the answer needs to come from a deputy.

NNTP (usenet style) newsgroups For SpamCop reporting questions and issues

(there are no newsgroups for email help)

Newsgroups are more suited to discussion and some people prefer the newsgroup style. Remember that the posters are users and not help desk personnel. They will tell you like it is! And they have different personalities – gruff, sarcastic, pedantic as well as humorous, helpful, sympathetic.

The SpamCop forum has grown to deal with several sub-topics. NNTP links will launch your configured news-reader and subscribe to the group indicated. WebTV users should use the WebTv links instead.

Miss Betsy

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Miss Betsy, I'm not sure where to go with your last (though in total agreement with the concept and thoughts) .. In previous conversations, it was stated that the FAQ server was shared between JT and Julian, and there was to be some discussion and a decision by Julian to open up access to that server to (at the time) JeffG and myself. That's the last I've heard on that situation. The help page you reference, I'm thinking that JT was the last one in there, while doing the Forum recommendations and dropping some of the newsgroup links. So, would also think that this page would need some re-work if / when / after the Forum changes were actually put into place ...??? Basically, I think what I'm trying to say, is this last post in the right place, or should another Topic be started?

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The way that people get to the forums is confusing to me and I think others.

The question that was posed was making help easier to negotiate. My point is that the path has to start with the web page if it is going to be clear.

I know that there isn't a thing that anyone other than TPTB can do about that and I am aware that nothing will probably be done about that, but frustration just got the better of me.

Miss Betsy

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OK, just wanted to make sure that we're headed in the same direction <g> .. I think that this is still based on the (IMO mistaken) theory that these web-based things were the "perfect, one-size fits all solution," and that everyone would agree. And there may be even more to the story, actually .. if we go back and look at that JT owns and runs the e-mail side of the house, and this is where the web-based support thing started ... there may be a side-thought that Julian and IronPort would do something else with the reporting side ... just a thought ...

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Even with a small number of forums/fora there is an ambiguity of where to go for what question and it is likely that amiguity will only increase with the number of separate topics. It will just mean more work for moderators to sort things out. Most threads end up in a simple question and answer and a dead end and overlapping threads with similar content are started again when the original moves back. I rarely go to the second page unless I want to post to a thread I started or contributed to in the past. In principle the FAQs should give the obvious answers, problem is: most people don't pay attention to them and/or they may be put off by the technicalities. I think it is quite evident that for the most part newbies seek a simpler/live answer and are not versed in the technical terms. Again, it is up to the moderators to streamline, organize, and discipline users when necessary. But there should be at least one place like the lounge where discusions could be started without any stringent rule and people could have some freedom to express opinions and suggestions or exchange information. Afterall, this is meant to be a self-help group.

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Even with a small number of forums/fora there is an ambiguity of where to go for what question and it is likely that amiguity will only increase with the number of separate topics.

The Help forum has more threads than all the other forums put together, so it's hardly surprising that newcomers find it hard to locate the information they need. I agree strongly (and have proposed in the past) that there needs to be a seperate Help forum for people who have been blocked.

If the feeling is that there are too many forums then merge the two email forums and/or the two testing forums.

The general forum confusion will anyway be greatly reduced if the number of pinned topics is reduced through a better FAQ.

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I must admit, that after reading all your critiques of so many posters and what has been provided as intended help, I feel a bit let down. Probably my fault, but I really had higher expectations when I saw that you did take me up on joining in and contributing to this Topic. Maybe you were just pressed for time?? For example, you mention a "better FAQ" but don't actually say whether what I've got hacked up for an outline is even close to getting your approval.

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I must admit, that after reading all your critiques of so many posters and what has been provided as intended help, I feel a bit let down.

My feeling is that this kind of discussion is interesting but generally unhelpful in terms of reaching consensus. I guess you need to discover the nuggets from within the wider discussion and then go with a best guess. As I suggested previously, you might find some kind of testing/polling a worthwhile exercise.

As for your proposal...

I have felt since these forums began that a separate FAQ area would be worthwhile.

I agree that some of the help forums need to be tightly defined. Following on from that I think that some of your suggested forum names may still be unclear at first glance and, sadly, first glance is what many new posters go for.

So I'd agree with those that propose a forum just for those who find themselves affected by a block. That could have pinned links to the relevant FAQ. If clearly flagged that would, I think, help those who are simply seeking help without much knowledge of SpamCop and its workings. No doubt you have a pretty clear idea of the other topics which arise with regularity.

I think that your proposal is broadly on track. I'd, personally, name the two forums you propose for the Email service with the less ambiguous label of SpamCop Flat-Rate Email Service Setup and SpamCop Flat-Rate Email Service (System and Accounts) - but that's just a suggestion.

Andrew

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I must admit, that after reading all your critiques of so many posters and what has been provided as intended help, I feel a bit let down. Probably my fault, but I really had higher expectations when I saw that you did take me up on joining in and contributing to this Topic. Maybe you were just pressed for time?? For example, you mention a "better FAQ" but don't actually say whether what I've got hacked up for an outline is even close to getting your approval.

Sorry, I was too busy to give everything the time it needs immediately - I just replied about one thing that I noticed and that I felt strongly about.

I try and post some more later, but in the meantime I do think that the structure for the FAQ is looking a lot better.

I think that there it should add a section on "what is Spamcop and how does it work?". I know most of the information is available elsewhere on the site, but I think that the aim should be to use the FAQ to make life easy for those coming to this site for the first time. That means including some basic information about what a blocklist is and how is is (or should be) used, how it is compiled, and about what an IP address is.

Then the questions need to be divided into two main groups (as you have in the draft):

1. for those who are accused of spamming themselves, with the technical information about the likely hacks, advice on running a secure server, a responsible mailing list etc. This should include "what is a spamtrap?", with the deputies email address.

2. for those who are the "innocent bystanders", explaining why they are blocked even though it is other users of their ISP that are causing the problems. There should be a "what can I do?" section with advice on using webmail as an immediate way of communicating, and on complaining to your ISP.

Somewhere there needs to be some guidance on reading your bounce report, and on using the IP address to find out what the story is about your problem.

I'll have another look through later.

Edited by tooangry

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name the two forums you propose for the Email service with the less ambiguous label of SpamCop Flat-Rate Email Service Setup and SpamCop Flat-Rate Email Service (System and Accounts) -

The catch is, (maybe I need to go back and check) the "basic" e-mail Forum seems to currently cover both the flat-rate accounts and e-mail submittals from all types of account holders, even the free account types. Though submitting is a "reporting" function, those confirmation e-mails would seem to obviously push users to the "E-Mail" forum ...???

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The catch is, (maybe I need to go back and check) the "basic" e-mail Forum seems to currently cover both the flat-rate accounts and e-mail submittals from all types of account holders, even the free account types.  Though submitting is a "reporting" function, those confirmation e-mails would seem to obviously push users to the "E-Mail" forum ...???

Yes, I think that is broadly what I was suggesting needs to be tested by some means - to see what happens in real life. You won't please everyone, and certainly there'll be loads of folk who'll post incorrectly <_<

Andrew

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You might be creating too many fora. No, never mind.

Sending rants to the lounge doesn't make sense currently - the lounge is said to be for stuff NOT relates to spamcop.

And the thread I started about SpamcopIsNotHarmful is something about spamcop that doesn't fit into any category and suggests that the new misc category would be useful.

BTW, is using the faq-o-matic to sugggest edits pointless?

Edited by elvey

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You might be creating too many fora.  No, never mind.

Maybe my "example" layout is a bust .... I started with the Forum Title blocks, then added in some sample subjects .... then added in some sample "data" ... trying to demonstrate that things were actually intended to be included .... now I'm suspecting that folks are looking at how frigging huge the front page is going to look . when in reality, you won't see 90% of the stuff until you "go into" one of the Forum sections ..???

Sending rants to the lounge doesn't make sense currently - the lounge is said to be for stuff NOT relates to spamcop.

And here we go again ... I added a "legend" above and below that list to show the symbols I used to designate certain things . in this case, the legend entry;

() = suggested changes to existing

Such that the line:

"... anything except SpamCop (reporting and account issues) and spam fighting" would actually read:

"...anything except SpamCop reporting and account issues and spam fighting"

And the thread I started about SpamcopIsNotHarmful is something about spamcop that doesn't fit into any category and suggests that the new misc category would be useful.

This doesn't fit?

*SpamCop Other Things

*For whatever reasons, my SpamCop situation doesn't fit into any other Forum. Note that the Moderators / Admin may not agree and move your post to the appropriate Forum.

BTW, is using the faq-o-matic to sugggest edits pointless?

I don't recall seeing that "using the faq-o-matic for suggestion" in a long while. Last time I looked, the description of changes/suggestions was to post in the newsgroups, beat it to death until there was a consensus, then it would be incorporated. This has been "the way" for a number of years now, long before this web-based thing was thought of. And the situation since has been basically where to stick "the FAQ" ... the genesis of this forum thing has been discussed many times before. so won't so it again.

For the most part, Deputy Richard is the one that handles the FAQ on the SpamCop web pages. The Pinned items here were what I'd suggested to JeffG to try in the interim of waiting for JT's decision on what to do with the FAQs here. The Pinned items started getting out of hand, and here we are, still shooting for some other way to handle things.

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Thanks for the info.

"...anything except SpamCop reporting and account issues and spam fighting"

IS "the misc category" I was referring to.

Should

SpamCop Reporting Help &

SpamCop Blocklist Help

only be for Help with these things, or should "Help" be removed and they be about these things in general? They're still tightly defined, but then general ranting about the topic would no longer be OT. Bad thing?

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