[all] One month with openstack-discuss (a progress report)

Doug Hellmann doug at doughellmann.com
Fri Jan 4 14:46:55 UTC 2019

Jeremy Stanley <fungi at yuggoth.org> writes:

> First, I want to thank everyone here for the remarkably smooth
> transition to openstack-discuss at the end of November. It's been
> exactly one month today since we shuttered the old openstack,
> openstack-dev, openstack-operators and openstack-sigs mailing lists
> and forwarded all subsequent posts for them to the new list address
> instead. The number of posts from non-subscribers has dwindled to
> the point where it's now only a few each day (many of whom also
> subscribe immediately after receiving the moderation autoresponse).
> As of this moment, we're up to 708 subscribers. Unfortunately it's
> hard to compare raw subscriber counts because the longer a list is
> in existence the more dead addresses it accumulates. Mailman does
> its best to unsubscribe addresses which explicitly reject/bounce
> multiple messages in a row, but these days many E-mail addresses
> grow defunct without triggering any NDRs (perhaps because they've
> simply been abandoned, or because their MTAs just blackhole new
> messages for deleted accounts). Instead, it's a lot more concrete to
> analyze active participants on mailing lists, especially since ours
> are consistently configured to require a subscription if you want to
> avoid your messages getting stuck in the moderation queue.
> Over the course of 2018 (at least until the lists were closed on
> December 3) there were 1075 unique E-mail addresses posting to one
> of more of the openstack, openstack-dev, openstack-operators and
> openstack-sigs mailing lists. Now, a lot of those people sent one or
> maybe a handful of messages to ask some question they had, and then
> disappeared again... they didn't really follow ongoing discussions,
> so probably won't subscribe to openstack-discuss until they have
> something new to bring up.
> On the other hand, if we look at addresses which sent 10 or more
> messages in 2018 (an arbitrary threshold admittedly), there were
> 245. Comparing those to the list of addresses subscribed to
> openstack-discuss today, there are 173 matches. That means we now
> have *at least* 70% of the people who sent 10 or more messages to
> the old lists subscribed to the new one. I say "at least" because we
> don't have an easy way to track address changes, and even if we did
> that's never going to get us to 100% because there are always going
> to be people who leave the lists abruptly for various reasons
> (perhaps even disappearing from our community entirely). Seems like
> a good place to be after only one month, especially considering the
> number of folks who may not have even been paying attention at all
> during end-of-year holidays.
> As for message volume, we had a total of 912 posts to
> openstack-discuss in the month of December; comparing to the 1033
> posts in total we saw to the four old lists in December of 2017,
> that's a 12% drop. Consider, though, that right at 10% of the
> messages on the old lists were duplicates from cross-posting, so
> that's really more like a 2% drop in actual (deduplicated) posting
> volume. It's far less of a reduction than I would have anticipated
> based on year-over-year comparisons (for example, December of 2016
> had 1564 posts across those four lists). I think based on this, it's
> safe to say the transition to openstack-discuss hasn't hampered
> discussion, at least for its first full month in use.
> -- 
> Jeremy Stanley

Thank you, Jeremy, both for producing those reassuring stats and for
managing the transition. The change has been much less disruptive than I
was worried it would be (even though I considered it necessary from the
start) and much of the credit for that goes to you for the careful way
you have planned and implemented the merge. Nice job!


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