Yahoo gets snarky with postmasters

November 4th, 2006

So, this morning I was clicking around on the Web, trying to find more information about the Yahoo mail server problems (i.e. the 451 Message temporarily deferred errors). There’s been some talk about it on NANOG and other sources, and I was hoping to see some more information about it.

As it turns out, I visited the Yahoo Mail Postmasters Help page this morning to find some newly updated information about the deliverability problems. This updated Postmaster’s page could be a resource - if the main links weren’t all broken. I kid you not — the links in the body of the page all have quotes…for example, http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/mail/defer/”defer-06.html”

But, there’s more… if you’re clever enough to remove the extraneous quotes on the “Does Yahoo! use “greylisting” to reject messages?” link…this is what you see as of 10:17am EST on 11/4/06.

Yahoo! Mail Help
Yahoo! Mail > Yahoo! Mail Help > Yahoo! Mail Postmasters Help >

Does Yahoo! use “greylisting” to reject messages?
No.

The most commonly understood form of “greylisting” is where an SMTP server will reject every message the first time it is attempted, and then accept it if the sending server retries later. The theory is that spammers won’t retry messages, while legitimate senders will.

Yahoo! does not utilize this method, and we have no intention of doing so in the future — no matter what you may read on some random blog.

Nice. Not only does Yahoo continue to have problems with email deliverability, that their main postmaster page has broken links but now they’ve got some snark in their corporate voice when communicating with outside postmasters. Good going guys.

Oh, and another thing… I am more than happy to submit the URL of the page with the broken links to someone at Yahoo, but their Postmaster pages “Contact Us” button links to their form for submitting technical feedback for mail. Not very helpful.

Previous posts about Yahoo mail deliverability issues: Tuesday and Wednesday.

Update: 11/4/06 4:02pm EST A Yahoo Postmaster contact just stated the following on NANOG

The issue some of you are
seeing is that your mailserver IPs are being grey-listed after a certain
number of emails and being traffic shaped. To have your legitimate
mailservers added to a white list, please refer to the following info.

http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/mail/defer/defer-06.html

Thanks!

So, a postmaster contact is directly contradicting what is on the official Yahoo postmaster pages. Nice.

Update 11/6/06: Yahoo has fixed the broken links on their postmaster page and has edited their “Does Yahoo! use “greylisting” to reject messages?” page. Yahoo now says that they do not “greylist” as understood to be rejecting every message initially and then accepting later. So basically, their postmaster contact’s statement still stands.

corporations paying attention to bloggers

November 2nd, 2006

It’s kind of interesting, these past few days I’ve been getting visitors from corporations or organizations that I have blogged about, most recently a certain shipping company whose name starts with U, a certain major Internet portal whose name starts with Y, and a band with the initials of DCFC.

An earlier example of corporations monitoring blogs was during the Dell Battery Recall. My post about the recall was one of the earliest on Technorati, and sure enough, someone from Dell had seen my post and blogged their response - including some issues I raised.

Who says blogs haven’t gone mainstream? Or that corporations don’t pay attention? This holiday season, you may just want to blog about how Aunt Mabel’s package arrived late.

[tags]corporate blogging[/tags]

Only 7 more weeks until Christmas!

November 1st, 2006

And with that news, the UPS 2006 Holiday Calendar has been released.

Yahoo Email Deliverability (update)

November 1st, 2006

Chuq blogged about the Yahoo problems, and happened to solicit a good comment from an ISP admin who is active on NANOG.

With some testing today, a Yahoo account I have was accepting email from a domain that doesn’t mail all that often. Some mail that I receive on a daily basis which usually gets routed to the spam folder made it to the spam folder at the usual time.

However, mail that I sent from a domain which has significant volume…well, I sent the mail at 9am this morning and it still hadn’t made it to Yahoo by the time I left work this evening.

From what I understand, it seems that part of the deliverability issue concerns how Yahoo mail handles messages sent from a particular mail server. From the mail admin’s side, the outgoing messages are held back in queue for hours at a time and are only accepted intermittently by Yahoo.

For background, read yesterday’s post.

[tags]Email deliverability, Yahoo, Yahoo mail, spam filtering[/tags]

it’s not you, it’s Yahoo

October 31st, 2006

For those of you who are not on the email deliverability front lines, you may have been wondering why your email to Yahoo addresses hasn’t been getting through all that reliably recently.

As it turns out, the folks at Yahoo Mail apparently changed their spam filtering system sometime mid-October. Here’s a great blog entry detailing the Yahoo issues.

Of course, I’ve been hearing that mail admins haven’t been getting helpful responses from Yahoo about this, in addition to the complete lack of documentation about the problem.

Personally, I’ve seen emails sent during the past few days take around 24 hours or so to reach the Yahoo mailbox I was sending to.

[tags]Email deliverability, Yahoo, Yahoo mail, spam filtering [/tags]

Ad Tech

October 30th, 2006

Are any of my readers attending Ad:Tech NY next week?

[tags]marketing, conferences[/tags]

Rutgers 8-0

October 30th, 2006

Rutgers 24 - Connecticut 13. Good game. That blocked punt was excellent.

Now, who would have ever thought Rutgers would be *leading* the Big East at 3-0?

[tags]Rutgers, Rutgers Football, Rutgers Alumni[/tags]

Web 2.0 review - Webwag, MacScour, TagFetch and MyBlogLog

October 29th, 2006

I do believe it’s time for another Web 2.0 review…

First things first, I revisited webwag (previous cleverhack posts here and here) yesterday and I am pleased to say that the service is muchly improved since I last reviewed it.

The improvements include webwag user instructions on the main page, instructions on how to add a new feed and widgets, better labeling of the page tabs, a Yahoo search box front and center (heh) and an intuitive way to add and rename page tabs.

Moving on, while messing around on the Web yesterday, I happened to find an Apple news and Mac software updates page called MacScour. The black background reminds me of popurls. The design works (xhtml markup with alt tags even!) and the page renders nicely even though it’s pulling feeds.

MacScour will be entered into my bookmarks.

TagFetch happens to have a neat idea behind it - in this case searching certain Web 2.0 services for a particular tag, but the execution is half-assed. Aside from the page markup, which should be updated, I tried searching tagfetch for a few tags - including a favorite band of mine, a new browser I recently installed and a certain demographic. My searches, at least, timed out on some of the services.

While having a cute dog in your logo will always grab my attention and creating a static page for the tag search is a good idea, I think TagFetch needs some more work in order to be actually usable. I’ll look again in a few weeks to see.

Ending on one very highly addictive note, MyBlogLog happens to be the thinking person’s Orkut, if you could imagine that. I joined MyBlogLog not too long ago when it was still in beta and thought it was going to be yet another blog directory, but new services have been added in the meantime, and now the service offers a way to build a community around your blog. I stumbled upon MyBlogLog yesterday, not realizing that it had already gotten some sweet publicity this week.

Once I updated my profile and added an image on MyBlogLog last night, I started seeing traffic from my profile page and the cleverhack community page. In addition, I added the MyBlogLog widget you see all the way toward the bottom of the sidebar.

We’ll see how much traffic MyBlogLog actually generates for this blog. I will report back on that later.

[tags] Web, Web 2.0, Webwag, Start Page, MacScour, Apple, Mac, TagFetch, Tagging, MyBlogLog, Blogging, Blog Community [/tags]

Sunday morning

October 29th, 2006

Good grief, the wind. If you haven’t seen the news reports, on the east coast we’ve had some massive rain and subsequent howling gusts of wind this weekend. I mean the kind of wind that makes it miserable to be outside. While it didn’t rain where I live, this wind is just nuts. The conditions outside seem worse today than yesterday.

There is a tree outside my window, and the top of it is leaning at a good 20 degree angle. And my lights have been flickering this morning.

One thing to look forward to — 70 degree weather on Halloween.

e-commerce update 10-28-06

October 28th, 2006

An e-commerce update…

  • Halloween is almost here and that means the day after Halloween we will see e-commerce sites making Christmas front and center. Some retailers already have mentions of their holiday season promotions on their home pages.
  • Talking about holiday promotions, don’t forget the lure of free shipping. This study from the Wharton School of Business quantifies what many of us have suspected - that consumers are lured by the words “free shipping”, even if the “free shipping” saves the consumer less than a percentage off discount.

    One interesting takeaway from the study is that a higher price point for your free shipping offer often translates into customers buying more in order to qualify for the free shipping.

  • Is it just me, or have Google AdWords keyword bids gone up recently?
  • Last but not least, I’m hearing a lot about deploying microsites to promote a product or product line. The idea behind a microsite is to direct a customer (through a marketing campaign) to a cluster of pages that have limited navigation and to basically funnel towards the desired conversion. A microsite differs from a landing page in that a landing page usually has navigation to other pages of a parent site.

    While I get the idea of a microsite, what I don’t like about them is the idea of not giving the customer a choice to see more information about you or your products or services prior to conversion. Of course, I’m hearing about microsites by a certain kind of marketer who places all of their faith in their copy. If you deploy a microsite, you have to make damn well sure that you give the customer enough information about who you are and why you think they would want the product.

    Also, microsites seem to depress SEO, so if you’re dependent upon them, that’s another reason to be wary.

Firefox 2.0 for Mac OS X- Can’t import bookmarks from file

October 28th, 2006

Well, I got all fired up about using Firefox 2.0 as my main Web browser on my PowerBook. I went and downloaded it, and when I tried to import my bookmarks from Camino (after exporting those bookmarks into a nifty html file), I couldn’t.

Why? Because the File > Import menu on Firefox 2.0 for Mac OS X does not have a file import capability. It only imports bookmarks from specified browsers such as Safari, Internet Explorer and older versions of Mozilla based browsers.

[tags]Mozilla, Firefox, Firefox 2.0, bookmarks, browser, Web, annoyances [/tags]

Death Cab For Cutie - Philadelphia, Fall 2006

October 27th, 2006

Death Cab For Cutie came to the Philly area (again) and since they literally were playing just down the street by about 30 minutes from where I live, I had to go tonight. Unfortunately, since I waited so long to get tickets even though I could have gotten them presale, I was in the second to last row of the venue (in this case, the Tower Theater in Upper Darby) and it wasn’t sold out.

Ted Leo and the Pharmacists were the opening band. They definitely rocked out to an audience that really was waiting for Death Cab.

This was Death Cab’s first official show of their Fall 2006 tour and it was readily apparent - some forgotten lyrics and a few goof ups on stage. They opened with “405 (Acoustic)”, which didn’t provide for a dynamic opening. In fact, a few songs in, Ben Gibbard had to implore “This is a rock show, you can stand up.” Once they brought in all of the instruments, there was a problem with the bass drum as the reverb was overpowering on some songs - to the point that after the concert, I overheard a few different people mention that there was something wrong with the sound tonight.

Basically their setlist contained songs from Plans, Transatlanticism, The Photo Album, You Can Play These Songs With Chords and The Forbidden Love EP. (The mix of songs could have had more energy.) They played “The President of What?” from You Can Play These Songs With Chords and instead of the voiceover, they used some weird electric keyboard chord progression (there were more than a few puzzled looks in the audience). They played “Start Again” (I have it as a bonus track from an iTunes download of Plans), which Ben said they hadn’t played live before. There was a solid rocking out with a guitar and drum solo towards during “Transatlanticism”. I didn’t recognize one song at the end of the main part of the show.

I expected them to play “World Shut Your Mouth” but they didn’t. Also, I found out that I am not the only one who really doesn’t care for “Brothers on a Hotel Bed” - the audience seemed not to care for it either.

In sum, if you dig Death Cab and can sing along to their lyrics because you know them by heart (which many of us did in the audience), you’ll enjoy seeing them this fall. However, if you’re looking for something new from Death Cab, this is not the tour.

[tags]Death Cab For Cutie, DCFC, Death Cab, Ben Gibbard, Tower Theater, Philadelphia, Philly, Plans, Transatlanticism, The Photo Album, You Can Play These Songs With Chords, The Forbidden Love EP, alternative, black plastic framed glasses [/tags]