Difference between revisions of "Email publications as we've done them"

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(Describe what we've done, provide the script)
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#! /usr/bin/perl
#! /usr/bin/perl
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     close SM or die "Closing sendmail failed: $!";
     close SM or die "Closing sendmail failed: $!";

Revision as of 11:33, 19 February 2013

To date, David Dyer-Bennet has been sending out email publications via his ISPs mail server, or directly from his own server, using a Perl script customized for each year. So far we have not had serious problems with being perceived as spammers; but the war between spammers and anti-spammers is ongoing and the rules change constantly.

We should look into making sure mnstf.org has the proper spf records in our DNS for the source of those emails. (I'll bring this up elsewhere, but if it gets lost maybe this will remind someone.)

Possibly it would be safer to switch to using Dreamhost's "announce-only" mailing list feature. That meets modern standards for non-spam commercial email, in that users must confirm wanting to be on the list, and the list (and its confirmations) are handled by a third party. However, making that switch would nearly certainly lose us some of our current email connections. Also, it doesn't work for emails that need to be customized for each recipient as we have sometimes done (showing that they're registered already, for example).

Since I don't see an option to attach a file, here's the script I used most recently, so it's on record for anybody who might need it. As I say, it's customized for each publication sent; this one has Minicon 47 PR1 in it.

  1. ! /usr/bin/perl
  1. Send PR1
  1. stdin is database of reg info, fields:
  2. email
  1. If original is a DOS file, expand record separator.
  2. $/="\r\n";

while (<>) {

   $email = $_;
   print "Email is \"$email\"\n";
   # Now do something useful with it, like constructing the email
   open (SM, "| sendmail -f empubs\@minicon47.mnstf.org $email") or die "Open failed: $!";
  1. open (SM, ">> out.txt") or die "Open failed: $!";
  1. ZZZ An email address with a "&" in the left part caused this to fail.
  2. I think individual print statements rather than the embedded variables
  3. would fix that.
   print SM <<MSGHDRS;

To: <$email> From: Minicon <request\@minicon47.mnstf.org> Subject: Minicon 47 Progress Report 1 Organization: The Minnesota Science Fiction Society, Inc.


print SM <<'MSGPART3'; MINICON 47 PR1 April 6-8, 2012 Author Guest of Honor Ted Chiang Artist guest Frank Wu Fanzine Guest Christopher J Garcia Special guest Brianna Spacekat Wu

Hotel Rooms

We are in the same hotel as we have been for a number of years, although the hotel has been sold and is now a DoubleTree by Hilton.

Room Rates: Traditional Room $89 Cabana Rooms $89 (Check our website for instructions if you wish to book a cabana room for sleeping and/or a room party) Pool side Suites $139

Be sure to book your rooms before March 15, 2012; on that date, all room rates will go up by $10 per night.

To book your room, please visit <http://www.mnstf.org/minicon47/hotel>, or call the DoubleTree reservation line at 952-835-7800.

To book poolside Cabana rooms, please send your request to <parties@minicon47.mnstf.org>. If you already have a room confirmation number from the DoubleTree, please include that with your request.


"Minicon is run entirely by volunteers. Please join us. We greatly appreciate the gift of your time. E-mail <volunteers@minicon47.mnstf.org> to participate. We're all in this together!


We recently wrapped up a very sucessful programming brainstorming session, but it's still not too late to submit ideas. In 2012, Minicon will have panel discussions, readings, demonstrations and other events. The deadline for submission of programming ideas is December 1st. If you'd like to suggest a topic, or you'd like to find out about how to volunteer, links are available at the Programming page on the Minicon Website. <http://www.mnstf.org/minicon47/programming>


MiniCon will hold a costume contest in an informal setting, with prizes for adults and children, including participation awards for all. Skits are okay but not required. Our theme is, "The minions are coming, the minions are coming!" You're encouraged to dress as your favorite minion.


Pre-registration is open until March 15. It is $45 for adults, $30 for students ages 13-20, $20 for kids ages 6-12. Children 5 and under don't need to be registered, but if they are, they'll get a nice pre-printed badge. Supporting memberships are available for $15 and are convertable to a full membership for an additional $40 at the door.

You can pre-register online at <http://mnstf.org/minicon47/> or you can print a form off the website to mail in.

At the door rates will be $60 for adults, $32 for students (13-20), $20 for kids (6-12) and still free for children 5 and under. We will have day memberships for Friday ($30), Saturday ($40) and Sunday ($25).

At Minicon 47, you can pick up your badge, buy at-the-door memberships, and pre-register for Minicon 48 at the registration/volunteers/info desk Friday 10am-10pm, Saturday 9:30am-8pm and Sunday 9:30pm-4pm. We'll be in the same place as last year: at the top of the escalator above the main lobby. Most likely registration will also be available Thursday night in the consuite and Sunday night in the bar.

Minicon memberships are transferable at no cost (but are not refundable). If you need to transfer your membership, e-mail <registration@minicon47.mnstf.org>.

We are embarking on a project to reconstruct older historical registration data. Our database is fairly complete back to Minicon 40 or so, but gets rapidly spottier as you go back further. Can you help us by filling out a survey? <http://mnstf.org/minicon47/regsurvey.php>

-- Minicon 47 Concom

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   close SM or die "Closing sendmail failed: $!";