locked Announcement Only: On Subscribing to Restricted versus Unrestricted Groups on Groups.io #adminnotice


What follows is being offered because members trying to subscribe to other Groups.io groups have been receiving very confusing bounce messages when using an outlook.com (or other Microsoft mail domain) address to subscribe to a restricted group.  Don't presume if you get a bounce message after having subscribed to a group, and having replied to the confirmation message, that anything is necessarily wrong.


Why you need to be aware whether the group you’re subscribing to is restricted, or unrestricted, and that Outlook.com (and possibly other providers, too) add misleading leader sections on Groups.io bounce messages


This message is long, but I'm going to describe what's going on as best I can.  But the long and the short of it is that the bounce messages members have been receiving that just so happened to be using an outlook.com address are not, in all probability, connected to that at all.  Or at least the fact they’re getting them isn’t, but the stuff Outlook sticks in front of the actual Groups.io bounce text is.

First, it's important to note that virtually all of the blind-tech-centric groups are NOT what Groups.io calls a restricted group.  When you send a subscribe message, you are instantly accepted for membership in the group without any need for the group owner's or moderator's manual intervention to approve your membership.  Your first message is, by groups.io default, held for review by the group owner or moderator before subsequent messages can post.

A very great many (not all, but many) non-blind-tech-centric groups are, in fact, restricted groups where, after sending the subscribe message, and after replying to the confirm message, you are still not a member of the group you are attempting to subscribe to until and unless someone in group administration approves you for membership.  If you attempt to send any message to the group prior to your membership in the group being approved, you will receive a  abounce message that, by all appearances, makes it seem as though the groups.io posting address for the group you're trying to send a message to does not exist.  Here is a snippet of what I got back, twice, when attempting to send a message to a testing group, that was a restricted group, before my membership was approved.  I had subscribed using an outlook.com email address and there were many more lines between the line ending " below" and the one starting with "Diagnostic":


Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups:

main@shalstest.groups.io (main@shalstest.groups.io)
Your message couldn't be delivered. When Office 365 tried to send the message, the external email server returned the error below.

Diagnostic information for administrators:

Generating server: CH2PR19MB3989.namprd19.prod.outlook.com

Remote Server returned '550 5.0.350 Remote server returned an error -> 500 Your subscription has not yet been approved.'

The actual reason for the bounce message is buried way, way, way further down in the administrator diagnostic information:  
Your subscription has not yet been approved.

Once your membership is approved, you then get whatever welcome message that group's administration has set up to go out for new members. So if you have received a group’s welcome message, you can be sure that your membership has been approved.

After you have received the welcome message, you will no longer get the bounce messages like the one noted above.  But your first message will still be held for review and no other messages will go out to the group if you send them until the group administration has reviewed and released your first one.

So, if you get a bounce message, it makes sense to search it for the phrase, 
Diagnostic information for administrators, and then review a few of the lines below that line.  Right after the group's main address you should hit the line that tells you precisely why you got the bounce message.

This is likely to remain the same for the foreseeable future, and if you're joining a lot of groups you cannot presume that they're all unrestricted groups like most of the blind-tech-centric groups are.


Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.

        ~ Dorothy Nevill