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Dynamic modification of an e-mail sender's distribution list

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000124285D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Apr-14
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-14
Document File: 1 page(s) / 28K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

It is common for e-mail to be sent to a number of recipients using distribution lists. However, management of these distribution lists can be time consuming for the maintainer of the list and the usefulness of the list diminishes when the recipient names become stale. Described is a method for the e-mail recipient to initiate the modification of an e-mail sender's distribution list if it resides on a shared server or on the sender's machine. Currently, to be removed from a distribution list an e-mail recipient must expressly request that the distribution list owner remove them. While some businesses have automated the process to remove you from their distribution list, the user must take explicit action such as replying with their e-mail address in the subject. This idea differs from this "reply to remove" or "mark as spam" scenario because the user doesn't have to take deliberate action. The e-mail software is invoking the removal action based on the user's natural behavior.

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Dynamic modification of an e-mail sender's distribution list

When an e-mail recipient receives a message as a part of a distribution list and routinely deletes meeting notices or e-mail messages beyond a user-specified threshold, the user's e-mail software displays a dialog window asking the user if he would like to be removed from the sender's distribution list. If the receiver answers no, no action is taken. If the e-mail receiver answers yes, then the user's e-mail software will initiate a series of actions to remove the receiver's name from the e-mail sender's distribution list.

Distribution lists are commonly under access/modification control. To implement this idea, the distribution list's access/modification control would need to be extended to designate if any e-mail address within the group can remove themselves. When the recipient answers "yes" that they want to be removed from the distribution list, if the distribution list resides on a shared server, then the name to remove could be queued for automatic removal when the distribution list updated on a periodic basis. If the distribution list resides on the user's machine or a private server, then the recipient's mail server would send a message to the sender requesting they remove the recipient's name from the distribution list.

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