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Old 11-05-2010, 04:41 PM
John D. Muccigrosso John D. Muccigrosso is offline
Junior Drewid
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 112
Default Smart mailbox

On my OS X laptop, I have a smart mailbox set up with a nice rule like "Sender is a member of group X" and then I set up Group X to be my entire addressbook. It isn't perfect, but it usually filters out mail from people I don't often communicate with. Those messages are in my inbox and I can go look at them next.

It doesn't exactly solve the problem, but it makes it easier to deal with. Can GroupWise do something similar? (A quick look suggests that the rules aren't so sophisticated.) Maybe those who use gmail or another mail app can do something.

As a faculty member, I'd say I get between 10 and 20 such Drew messages a day. Maybe students get more?
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Old 11-05-2010, 06:56 PM
Scott Wood's Avatar
Scott Wood Scott Wood is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Morristown, NJ
Posts: 42

A few quick comments about campus-wide e-mails:

In my experience, it's difficult to reach a happy medium with regards to the number of messages to allow. Clubs and groups that have worked hard to put together an event feel strongly about wanting as many ways to promote their event as possible. Even with guidelines in place, during busy times in the academic year, the resulting number of messages that are sent makes some people a little unhappy. Sometimes the people who are unhappy about receiving so many messages are the same people who want the ability to send messages about events and activities they are involved in!

The number of messages received on a nightly basis vary by the group you belong to. Probably Theo and Caspersen students receive the most, since many of the message promoting on campus events are sent to the all_students list, in addition to the more targeted messages that are sent to the theo_students and grad_students list. The number of messages sent peak sharply during the middle parts of the spring and fall semester, and during those peak times, I think 10-15 messages a day might be typical for college students and faculty.

The overwhelming majority of messages are sent between 4:15-4:45 am and thus are already grouped in your inbox, so even without any kind of message tagging, managing the volume of campus-wide e-mails is not difficult. The GroupWise mail client and Webaccess both permit creation of rules, so directing these messages to a specified folder is certainly possible. Most people aren't members of more than 4 or 5 lists - for college students, those lists are your class list, cla_students, all_students and all_drew.

Several people mentioned that they are unhappy with the Subject lines that are used in campus-wide e-mails. The Campus Life and Student Affairs office does a pretty good job of making sure that the subject of each message accurately describes the content of the message. That hasn't always been the case, but in response to complaints raised early last spring, they have worked hard to make sure Subject lines are appropriate. This has been their practice since early last spring, so as far as I'm concerned, this complaint has no merit.

I certainly think we'd be better off sending fewer campus-wide e-mails. We've made attempts to direct messages promoting events to other venues (Community Forums and the Events Calendar) with limited success. As part of the two year Drew360 project, we will be building a web portal that opens up some new possibilities for ways of communicating information at Drew. Rest assured the SGA will be consulted during this process, and we will end up with something that helps everyone get and receive information that is important to them!
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