[NZLUG] Email Server

Nevyn nevynh at gmail.com
Sun Jun 9 13:53:39 NZST 2013

On 9 June 2013 13:04, Mark Foster <blakjak at blakjak.net> wrote:

> >
> >> I was wondering, is there
> >> an opportunity here for a community run thing? I know some guys in
> Auckland
> >> were talking about a community server (did anything ever come of that?).
> >> Would anyone be interested in using such a service? It'd probably have a
> >> small yearly fee attached (how small would probably be a function of the
> >> number of people paying).
> > To be a useful long-term operation, it would have to be reasonably big
> > (spam filter effectiveness, spreading setup costs), and have paid admin
> > staff to keep things going. You can't do that without fees. Sounds like
> > a small startup. I'd be interested if the parameters were right.
> >
> On the OpenChat list I also cited SMX (smxemail.com) as a local email
> service provider working in this space - small bias, as I work there -
> SMX's target is the business world, not so much the home user or
> 'community' but if you're content to pay a small amount for the
> combination of email service and antispam/antivirus, it's worth a look.
> That all said i'd be keen to see some sort of substitute-for-gmail crank
> up domestically, but I agree it's unlikely to be free (free mail service
> providers being notoriously abusive in general nature, and the NZ market
> being incredibly intolerant of this...)

I'm seeing myself as a customer more so than wanting to take this on myself
- I know there are some quite significant overheads around things like
staying relevant with things like SPAM and the like. Domain name
registration and the like are really small costs in comparison. I'm not a
server guy (at all. Computer security does my head in as does talk of POP
and IMAP). Thus I'm after a web based front end and the like (hate the idea
of having to configure mail on individual machines). If SMX can cater to
our needs and could be done for say... less than $50 / year / person I'd be
perfectly happy with that. I'm a little weary of volunteer efforts because:

   1. It's so easy to take it for granted.
   2. It has to be sustainable - I've had my gmail address since...
   November 2005 - I really don't want to be changing addresses all that
   often. This is a concern because of point 1.

I guess what we really need to figure out is:

   1. What are the parameters that people are looking for?
      1. I realise this is a "Tuesday Pattern" question - i.e. everyone
      probably has different parameters they'd like to see and so there are
      likely to be some compromises . What compromises would people make if it
      meant getting something like this off the ground?
      2. Is a commercial vendor within those acceptable parameters?
      3. How big would the mailboxes need to be? For my...6-7 years on
      gmail, I've used about 2.2GB and I'd be hard pressed to find emails that
      old that I would need to keep....
      4. Are there other groupware type things that people would want?
      Calendars seems to be the obvious one (though personally I don't
use them a
      great deal).
   2. How many people would sign up if those parameters were reached?
      1. Something like this likely needs some seed money (initial set up
      costs) - how many people would be willing to put forward some
funds before
      the service started to get it off the ground?
      2. Are there other potential places to put forward the idea and what
      are the administrative costs around adding more members (mailboxes) later
      down the line? More people hopefully means a bigger distribution of costs.
   3. Either which way there would need to be some sort of administration
   around the collection of money and the like. Does this need some sort of
   formal structure? To look after things like the services being offered,
   negotiations with any commercial entity, oversight of services and
   parameters, accountability (especially where the collection of money is
   concerned) etc.

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