From Chris Gianakopoulos
Answered By Mike Orr, Heather Stern, Dan Wilder
Where do these questions come from. Is there a central location from which all of you retrieve these questions (a repository of some sort),
[Heather] I have to warn you that the volume is pretty high, but if you'd like to take a look at some of the stuff that came in the past month or two and are not yet answered let me know, and I can forward you a reduced mbox. Same offer is open to my fellow AnswerGuys.
or when questions are sent to email@example.com, does the message automatically get forwarded to the members of the Answer Gang?
[Mike] firstname.lastname@example.org is a mailing list. The subscribers are people who want to answer questions. The public sends in a question...
[Dan] Anybody in the world can post (which causes a certain amount of spam to clear the spam-filter), and postings are forwarded to all subscribers.
[Mike] ... all the TAG members see it. Anybody who feels herself/himself qualified will send an answer, both to TAG and to the querent. We try to include TAG and the querent on any follow-ups to the answer; e.g., if another TAG member wants to contradict it or add additional information.
At the end of the month, Heather sorts the questions and answers, selects threads to publish, and distributes them to the Mailbag, 2-Cent Tips and The Answer Gang columns.
Anybody is welcome to subscribe to TAG and offer answers. Send mail to email@example.com with "subscribe" in the message body.
[Dan] the list admin may have to approve your subscription, and in any case the list server will send you a cookie in the mail with instructions for its return.
When the listserver gets your return mail (and maybe after the list admin approves your request), you're on.
List members are asked to copy list responses to the original poster.
[Heather] Which, thanks to the reply-to being forced to firstname.lastname@example.org so the querent won't accidentally take the whole thread private, is something you do have to pay attention to.
[Mike] There is also an "inner circle" of TAG volunteers who have a greater commitment to keeping TAG functioning and also offer other technical advice to the Gazette. These people are listed on the LG home page.
When I once asked a friend how I could ever pay him back for some side jobs that he gave (software stuff), he told me "Don't pay back -- pay ahead". So I am just attempting to pay ahead the gift of knowledge that all of those fine authors of textbooks, Linux Gazettes, and other stuff have given me.
[Mike] "Pay ahead" is exactly right, and I've never heard it expressed that way before--thank you. We all volunteer what we know so that somebody will help us when we need it.
P.S. Keep up the good work! Also, let me know if this email has been sent as clear text -- I have set up my Microsoft mailer to do that.
[Dan] It arrived as clear text.
[Heather] Yeah, now if you could give us the steps you did for that so we can put it into the FAQ.... hey Chris, welcome to the Gang!
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