What happened to my SPALS mail?

Where are my SPALS messages?

SPALS is a busy list, with a high volume of messages to the list. Once you have subscribed to SPALS, messages begin to be delivered to your email directly.

If you are a new subscriber:

If you have just subscribed to SPALS, and you are not yet receiving messages from the group:

  • Has your subscription been confirmed? You will not begin to receive messages until after your subscription has been confirmed.
  • Are you enrolled in the SPALS Digest? The SPALS Digest is issued about once per day (more often when the amount of discussion is high).
  • Are you checking the email account you subscribed to SPALS? If you used more than one email account, SPALS mail is sent only to the account that you subscribed to SPALS.
  • Does your email program have a "junk mail" folder? If your email program is set to filter our messages that are not specifically addressed to you, messages from the SPALS Digest may be placed in your junk mail folder until you tell your email program to keep these messages with your regular mail.

Otherwise, if you are not yet receiving SPALS messages, please contact our list administrators immediately for help.

If you were receiving mail, but it suddenly stopped:

If your SPALS mail appears to cease suddenly:

  • Are you receiving other email? Your Internet provider may have a mail server problem, or our provider may be unable to reach yours temporarily -- such incidents are common. Or, if your mail began bouncing, we may have unsubscribed you.
  • What day is it? The volume of SPALS mail does vary a great deal, and it is normal for mail to drop to a trickle (2-5 messages) on any given day. Typically, weekday traffic is twice the amount of traffic on weekend days -- and on weekends with statutory holidays, the message volume often drops dramatically. Because of the high proportion of members from the United States, US statutory holidays have the greatest impact.
  • Are you current with the Digest Archive? The digest archive web page contains the most recent SPALS Digests. (Information on accessing the Digest Archive is posted regularly to the SPALS List.) It is normal to have messages current with and a little ahead of the messages posted in the Digest Archive.

Otherwise, please wait 18-24 hours after the time of your last SPALS message. If, in that time, no more messages arrive, please contact our list administrators for help, noting the date, time and subject of the last message you received.

See also: Why did I miss the message from (name) about (topic); Why did I stop getting messages; Why am I missing messages from time to time

Why did I miss the message from (name) about (topic)?

Once in a while you may notice people talking about a message that you don't recall seeing. This may be because you did not receive the message.

Each week, our administrators receives notification about a few items of undeliverable mail. SPALS creates between 25,000 and 50,000 individual mail items each week. When traffic is flowing smoothly, fewer than 1 in 10,000 of those messages are undeliverable -- but this still means that occasionally a subscriber has not received a post from SPALS.

See also: Why did I stop getting messages; Why am I missing messages from time to time; Where are my SPALS messages; If I miss the SPALS Digest ho do I get another one

What causes undeliverable mail?

Sending email is a process that depends upon the interconnection between mail systems -- and based on the logs we have seen concerning undeliverable mail, often multiple tries are necessary to interconnect (when, for example, the receiving system is down or busy, or the circuits are busy).

When systems cannot exchange mail within a certain time -- often several days, one of the systems may reject the mail, resulting in an "undeliverable mail" message. More often, the systems place the given piece of mail onto "low" priority -- which can cause delays of several weeks before the mail emerges to be sent again.

Sometimes a "fatal" error will occur because of a unique, one-time circumstance -- and based on our logs this occurs with about 1 in 10,000 messages. More often, mail may be undeliverable for several hours or several days, due to circumstances with your provider. Based on our logs this occurs more than weekly.

Why did I stop getting messages from SPALS?

If SPALS receives a consistent string of undeliverable mail messages from your provider, the list administrators will be forced to unsubscribe your address until the problem is solved. While these conditions often are transient, the administrators cannot predict when the problem will stop.

Your account will be unsubscribed from SPALS whenever (a) your account has generated undeliverable mail consistently and it appears that it is still doing so; and (b) if the message indicates your mailbox is full.

If you suddenly stop receiving SPALS messages, and it continues for more than a day, please resend your bio to one of our list administrators to ensure that you are still subscribed to the mailing list. If you have a continuing problem with your email, please work with your provider to correct the problem before trying to resubscribe to SPALS.

See also: Where are my SPALS messages; Why did I miss the message from (name) about (topic); Why am I missing messages from time to time

Why do I get 2 copies of SPALS messages?

Some mail systems can be configured to keep a copy of each message send by the user. If your email is configured this way, you will receive 2 copies of SPALS mail that you have sent -- one that is kept by your system, and a second one that is returned from SPALS with the normal distribution.

If you have received 2 copies of a few messages, check who the message was sent to -- some people have a habit of copying their friends as well as the list. This can result in you receiving one copy directly, and another from SPALS.

If you are receiving 2 copies of all messages, you could be subscribed twice -- this is unlikely, but possible if your email address has an alias. If you are receiving 2 copies of all messages, please contact one of our list administrators.

If you have suddenly started receiving 2 messages from SPALS, check the messages carefully. One of the messages may indicate that it is "returned mail" from one of the subscribers on the list. Usually any "returned mail" is sent to our list administrators -- but some mail servers send the "returned mail" back to the original poster. If you are worried about this in any way, please contact one of our list administrators.

See also: Why am I still getting SPALS posts as well as the digest

Why am I missing messages from time to time?

If you are missing a "block" of SPALS messages, your email account may have been unreachable for a period of time. See what causes undeliverable mail for more information.

See also: Where are my SPALS messages;Why did I miss the message from (name) about (topic); Why did I stop getting messages