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Emergent Learning Collaboration
Thursday, January 20, 2005
The year is 2025. I'm sitting in the porch swing of my retirement bunglow regaling my great grandchildren with stories about the bad old days. "Kids, gramps remembers when email was reliable." They don't believe me.

"Before 2004, no one had Spam bots, white lists, cryptomail, pre-approves, reputation agents, or email chargebacks. My email address was on the public web with no encryption or aliasing for ten years!" They are incredulous. "One night some hooligan posted 400 Paris Hilton comment Spams on my blogs." I told them it took hours to delete the work of the vandals. "No, gramps, tell us it isn't true," they shrieked.

Yesterday (in 2005), I emailed this invitation to a couple of thousand members of Emergent Learning Forum:

Emergent Learning Forum will meet 5-8 pm January 27th in San Francisco. Our topic is The Nexus of Collaboration and Learning. This month we're teaming up with FutureCatalyst to explore how Emergent Learning Forum should explore
this historic convergence throughout 2005.

Joining us to bring the topic to life are David Coleman of Collaborative Strategies and Jerry Michalski of Sociate.com.

Attendance is limited to 20 people. It's first come/first served. Advance registration is required. The $10 admission charge covers the cost of wine and snacks.

For more information and to register for the event, visit our website:

Live participation is not available but we hope to post an mp3 file of the sesssion.
We have room for five more people, so if you're interested in joining us, sign up now.

Since the invitation, I've been inundated with "Out of Office" replies, requests to prove I'm human, and various mail blocks.

Emergent Learning Forum has used Your Mailing List Provider for several years; it's a good service. But the world has changed. We're going to switch over to Constant Contact. This will tip us off as to how many members actually receive our email, how many open it, and how many click back to our site.

I recently sent an announcement to another group I'm affiliated with via Constant Contact. The list is 6 months old; everyone had opted-in, i.e. requested to be on it.
  • 5% bounced because their address had disappeared.
  • Just under 1% unsubscribed.
  • One person reported my notice as Spam.
  • 57% opened the email. (And a quarter of them clicked an internal link in the email.)
  • The remaining 37% received but never opened the mail.
When you send mail to people who've requested periodic updates, count yourself among the lucky if half your messages are actually opened by the addressee.


Blogger guy said...

Hmm, I think the tools to measure email opens etc. are pretty flawed. Because of anti-spam measures, my email program only displays my email in plain text, so none of the embedded images/html submits in an email that allow it to 'phone home' will work.

Maybe a significant proportion of the 37% of email recipients that "didn't open your mail", did actually open it, but like me, their email programs are designed to not let you see that?

1:49 AM  

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