Dear, you suck. Love, pgl

2009-08-05 Wed – 09:33:08


[The below pasted verbatim, including grammatical errors, etc.]

From: Peter Lowe <>
To: Linux Foundation <>
Subject: Re: [] 20% LinuxCon Registration Discount for Members

I don't normally bother responding to poorly thought out marketing attempts
like this, but, your last one so annoying that I just - can't - help myself.

Look, you're trying to reach people who want to go to your event, right? You
could at least treat the people who _don't_ give a shit with a bit of
respect - I mean, like, think about the people you're sending to a *little*
bit, rather than just say woo look, a list of subscribers that's an easy way
to get the message out.

You've sent me a mail, with an unsubscribe link. But, you didn't send mail
directly to people (would that really have been too difficult?), but,
because I don't know which email address you've sent the mail to, I have to
guess both what my email address is, but also my password.

The first thing I did was try logging in to mailman using my
registered email address and password, which, but course, that didn't work
-- I'm guessing because you've just done a mass import of all
accounts into one big list, with new passwords for everyone?

So, then I had to guess which email address you sent it to in order to get
the password "reminder". Fortunately I got that right: because if I'd put in
the wrong address I would have had no way to know, as mailman reports "A
reminder of your password has been emailed to you" regardless of the address
you use in its password reminder form. I'm glad I got it right, because I
hadn't made a note of the address I'd not signed up to a list with.

If you're patting yourself on the back because not many people have
unsubscribed in response to your mailouts...

Also, it would be kind of nice if you could put some sort of, uh,
description of the list on the mailman page? It's not listed on the main


and the main page for the list:


doesn't have a single word about what the list is for. Also, why on earth
are the archives password protected!?

Another problem is that there's nowhere on where I can say "don't
contact me about future promotions" or whatever. I can opt-out of "system
emails", "private messages", or "application notifications", but not this?

Lastly, and this really is just me being picky, but hey, using a consistent
domain ( vs. vs. would be

You're trying to attract people to your event, but unfortunately what you've
done is make me even less likely to go, and certainly less likely to treat
anything with "" branding (or, or...) with any
respect. Sadly I have a horrible feeling couldn't care less.


 - Peter

Linux Foundation wrote on 2009-07-29 Wed 8:10 am:
> LinuxCon  - The New Technical Conference for All Matters Linux
> September 21-23, 2009
> Portland Marriott Waterfront � Portland, OR
> =========================================
> Members Receive 20% Discount to LinuxCon
> =========================================
> We�re pleased to offer a 20% discount off of registration fees
> exclusively for Members. Register before the August 15th
> early registration deadline and attend for only US$319!
> Register Here:
> Use this discount code when registering to receive the 20% discount: LC_COM
> ================================
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> ================================
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> Over 75 sessions spanning Developer, Business and Operations Tracks
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> *Free in depth tutorials to improve your Linux skills*
> 11 in-depth, free tutorials that will help you advance your career.
> From scaling your systems administrators to kernel debugging.
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> A flexible schedule featuring abundant �hallway track� time, attendee
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> favorite Linux developers to a bowling match.
> *Network with speakers and attendees before, during and after the conference*
> With the LinuxCon online attendee community, you can plan your
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> =============================================
> LinuxCon  - The new technical conference for All Matters Linux
> September 21-23, 2009
> Portland Marriott Waterfront � Portland, OR
> =================================
> This is just the beginning.  In addition to fantastic content and
> speakers, we promise you a great experience at LinuxCon that will
> bring you back again and again in the years to come.
> Register Today!
> Additional discounts are available for Linux Foundation Individual
> Members and LPC Attendees � contact for
> more information.
> Questions? Contact us at
> ==================================
> Unsubscribe:
> _______________________________________________
> mailing list

They have not, of course, replied. All I’ve received by way of acknowledgement is a rejection of my attempted post to the list.

I finally did get to see the other mails from the list: after looking through the mailing list archives, I discovered that there had been three prior mails from May that were less annoying, but still made the same basic mistakes of etiquette and common sense that the above did.

(Ironically, first introductory mail, which didn’t mention the fact everyone had been signed up to a new list, talked about “gain[ing] goodwill and support of fellow members”, and that the new is “for the community by the community” – hah!)

Perhaps I’m overreacting to this, and I should just ignore it. They’re just such… idiots! Arg.

  1. 2 Responses to “Dear, you suck. Love, pgl”

  2. I’ve been getting emails from the Linux Foundation too. I don’t know how I got subscribed. (I might have subscribed myself, but I don’t remember doing so.) And I too have been having trouble unsubscribing. Ugh.

    How did you get subscribed?

    By Jason Spiro on Jan 26, 2010

  3. I have no idea. I guess they just did a mass import of all users and added them to a mailman list. Idiots.

    By pgl on Jan 27, 2010

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