Browse Prior Art Database

Distribution List Warning

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000020602D
Original Publication Date: 2003-Dec-02
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Dec-02
Document File: 3 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is software that warns users before they send content to a distribution list ID. A distribution list ID is comprised of two or more content recipients. Senders unknowingly reply to and send mail to a wider audience then expected on a frequent basis. It is not possible to determine whether an e-mail id, Instant Message ID, or other communication ID is a distribution list by looking at the address itself.

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Distribution List Warning

Disclosed is software that warns users before they send content to a distribution list ID. A distribution list ID is comprised of two or more content recipients. Senders unknowingly reply to and send mail to a wider audience then expected on a frequent basis. It is not possible to determine whether an e-mail id, Instant Message ID, or other communication ID is a distribution list by looking at the address itself.

Sending content unexpectedly or unknowingly to a distribution list ID creates several issues, including:

1) security issues (sending to people that the user did not desire to send to),
2) service issues (unnecessarily consumes email/IM server resources including storage)
3) service provider issues (planning, install, backup, and maintenance resources are consumed to curb service issues)
4) end user issues (wastes recipients time by reading messages not intended for them)

The disclosed software allows the content sender's client to automatically interrogate the sender's and/or recipients Name and Address book to determine if it is sending content to a known distribution list ID. The Name and Address may offer several replies including:
1) ID not found
2) ID is or is not a distribution list
3) If the ID is a distribution list, the number of people on the list

The sender's content client may be configured for different levels of distribution list warnings including, but not limited to:

1) When the user attempts to send a message to any distribution address, the user is prompted with a warning allowing him to continue or cancel.
2) When the user attempts to send a message to more people than a configurable threshold, the user is prompted with a warning allowing him to continue or cancel. "More people" includes individuals + distribution list recipients. For example, a user's threshold is 6 people. He attempts to send the below note:

sam@net.com <---NOT a distribution list; one person tss@net.com <---This is a distribution list with 6 people ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Total= 7 people

This user is prompted with a warning before the message is actually sent. Strict or best effort rules may be put into effect. Best effort means that if an address is entered, and the client can't query the either the source or target Name and Address book to determine whether it's a distribution list or not, it continues without a prompt or error. In this case, an actual distribution list will be considered as 1 person. Strict is the opposite. When sending to this same address, the user is prompted that this may be a distribution list and the issues associated with it. Configurable levels of warning can

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