BLUF: Our email communications are changing. We are moving to WPAOG’s distro1987 mailing list from the current class email list firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is new and how does it affect me?
There are three significant changes:
- Our main email channel will become WPAOG’s distro1987 mailing list
- Our old email@example.com mailing list will take over for the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list
- Most of our interactions are now on Facebook (not really a change but acknowledging the reality)
The WPAOG “distro1987” mailing list is now our main news list for the class instead of the old email@example.com mailing list. WPAOG maintains this list for each class and no additional work is required by us. Whenever WPAOG receives an individual update of contact information, the list is automatically updated. If you want to receive information from the class of 1987 via email on occasion, ensure WPAOG has your latest information.
This change will allow us to continue to reach as many of us as we can quickly but without the overhead and maintenance of keeping email addresses current manually. Posting to this list is limited to a handful of people so traffic will be quite limited.
The second change is the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list is going to be retired and the email@example.com mailing list will take its place as the discussion forum. For those of you who were not members of the -forum list do not worry, you will be removed from the list membership and only those who asked to be forum members will remain on the list. This change may be difficult for some to remember so we are exploring ways to make sure email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org ends up in the right place.
There is not much traffic on the -forum mailing list these days so the addresses are growing old and stale. If we continue to see very limited traffic on the discussion list, it will be retired. We are going to give it about a year and see where things stand next summer.
Meanwhile our Facebook groups have been our primary means of communicating with each other. We have a USMA 1987 Facebook page where news is periodically posted. We have our main Facebook group, a tailgating group and a USMA ’87 women’s group. These have taken the place of what the old -forum mailing list used to do.
For those of you who do not want to use Facebook or to give WPAOG your contact information you can simply check the class website. It takes minimal effort to Google the class and find us on the web. It won’t be hard to find us in 2022 and learn what we are doing for our 35th reunion. If you miss out it will only because you did not make the effort.
History of Class Communications
Our class communications have progressed through the years. We started off with little more than a collection of email addresses Donna McAleer found on the WPAOG’s dial-in BBS system in the mid-90s and a very basic website that was mostly a platform for learning website development to our current channels. Throughout it all change was perhaps the most constant thing but email was the primary channel for a very long time.
Our email communications have had some notable moments. Remember the great AMWAY debate? How about asking for us to vote for a classmate for something on a not-safe-for-work site? We’ve had email viruses occasionally slip through. Our extensive use of email allowed us to have some of the strongest reunion showings of any classes. Good times!
The traffic load from all of that resulted in two mailing lists, one for class news with some tight rules and one more free flowing for debate and discussion among a smaller audience. For the most part this separation served its purpose well and we mostly followed the rules. We were able to keep most people on the main list to communicate important news while letting a subset of us chat and debate without bothering those who didn’t want it.
Now it’s time for some new changes.
We don’t use email much anymore. There is not much being posted to either of the two main class mailing lists. Most of our interaction is on Facebook these days, not email. This results in two problems. The first is the addresses on our mailing lists grow stale. The second is maintaining the lists at WP-ORG is a manual process and the amount of traffic we see just doesn’t make that worth while.
This is what drove the change. This will save us from trying to maintain our main mailing list manually and leave the manual maintenance for the less important mailing list that sees very little use anyway.