20 Comments

Summary:

This morning, we had an issue with our bulk mail server and inadvertently sent a massive amount of our weekly email newsletters out to people, perhaps people who don’t even subscribe to the newsletter in the first place. We’re sorry, and we’re fixing it.

iStock_000016731921XSmall

Updated.This morning, we had an unexpected issue with our bulk mail server and inadvertently sent a massive amount of our weekly email newsletters out to people, perhaps to people who don’t even subscribe to the newsletter in the first place. We have halted the email delivery and won’t turn it back on until we understand and can fix what happened.

For those whose inboxes we flooded, we’re sorry. Those whose mobile phones are blowing up, we’re really sorry. Our development team tells me that a few straggler emails may get through, but the bulk of the mail has been turned off as of 6:53am PST.

We will update this post if we expect or experience any more oddness, and we continue to value our trusted relationship with you, our readers.

Update: MailChimp has gotten to the bottom of the problem, and posted an explanation (and apology) on Twitter and on their blog. Thanks, guys.

Update 12/13/2011: We’ve spent the past 5 days working with our email service provider to correct the error that caused our newsletter distribution lists to go haywire: the culprit was an errant piece of code that misinterpreted recipients’ newsletter preferences, and sent multiple versions of our newsletter to the same address. We are now confident that this error has been fixed, and will be re-starting the delivery of our daily newsletters as of today.

The GigaOM community has shown incredible patience over the past week, and we’re truly grateful to have such understanding and loyal readers. Thanks again for sticking with us, and if you experience any additional newsletter wonkiness, let us know via email.

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  1. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/iO7H2qMY Our ownership of the issue as well as our sincere apology.

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  6. City Marketing Inc. Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    RT @gigaom: Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/Yylc1hez

  7. Luckily Gmail wrapped it all up into one “conversation” in my inbox =)

  8. I can’t help but love this apology. It’s just so honest without any bs in it. http://t.co/ht8Mktwp

  9. Stephanie Goodell Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    RT @gigaom: Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/swpZ1AB4 That explains iPhones exploding on airplanes. #justlaugh

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  11. RT @gigaom GigaOM
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  47. Peter Alexandrov Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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  54. Jacquelyn Jenkins Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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  76. I just thought it was REALLY important to you that I read that specific email.

    1. It was a good email, but not THAT good.

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  79. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/kWba9YjL via Stacey Higginbotham

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  82. RT @gigaom: Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/4E1SUvx5 ME: And I was ready to blame the new Gmail!

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  92. Richard Garrett Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    If only you had sent it via USPS, you might have bailed them out!

    1. and perhaps done us in. Have you seen the cost of stamps? :)

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  104. Network Reading Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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  107. Barbie Mosher Zinck Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    I got about 10 of these, feel bad for them, http://t.co/t76K9YQc

  108. If you got multiple emails from our over-eager Newsletter script, we are very sorry & are looking into the cause, http://t.co/uNV8CCS6

  109. Accelerate:London Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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  120. John Root Stone Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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  122. Tech Management Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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  123. Freelance Mentor Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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  125. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter?: 7, 2011, 7:54am PT No Comments This morning, we had an unexpect… http://t.co/WraaeO0q

  126. My operations manager noticed all my incoming emails and escalated the issue to my boss, who fired me for reading non-work-related emails at work.

    I hope you’re happy, GigaOM.

    Okay just kidding. I’m not even signed up. :) But I will add you to my RSS now. Heard about GigaOm on HackerNews and was impressed with how Stacey put out this fire with transparency.

    1. Welcome. We’ll try not to do it again :) And it wasn’t just me, our dev team has the real firefighters.

      1. They did the bulk of the work, no doubt, but that’s are expected to do. For a company rep to respond to a problem with transparency, though, is a fairly new thing. You said, “For those whose inboxes we flooded, we’re sorry. Those whose mobile phones are blowing up, we’re really sorry.” And I really appreciated the directness. I just want to acknowledge you for sticking your neck out and handling this in a very modern way. Bravo!

  127. Must… try… Flipboard. Can’t think of anything else, really. It’s like listening to It’s a Small World After All a few times. You have me reaching for the liquor cabinet at 9:30am.

    1. Stacey Higginbotham Paul Wednesday, December 7, 2011

      I once got stuck for 30 minutes on the It’s a Small World ride at Disneyland. Sadly, I had no liquor. I feel your pain.

  128. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/ckdrQ3D5

  129. Renewable Search Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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  130. Oh, dear: Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/3wKjtzW2

  131. You will find very few people these days who will say they are sorry. Nice to know that gigaom is one of them.

  132. There is a good way to deal with this that lets everyone learn: http://youtu.be/uB9DioUQqEo#t=2m0s

  133. Did Someone Order 500 Copies of our Newsletter? || Email snafu (I got 42 copies!) handled well by @GigaOM. http://t.co/2L0OjRdS

  134. Data Center Blogs Wednesday, December 7, 2011

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  135. Apology Accepted

  136. Interesting that this article comes from someone whose job title is “Senior Writer,” not an editor, not Om, or anyone from the technical side of the business.

    1. Anthony, Om is in Europe and our managing editor is out sick today. We’re a writer-driven staff, but if it makes you feel better I have been an editor here in the past. Plus, we’re the type of business where everyone takes responsibility for delivering a quality product.

  137. Aw. And here I felt all special, like Om missed me or something.

  138. Stacey –

    What is up with your servers? I subscribe to over 200 RSS feeds, nine of which are GigaOM feeds. RSSOwl, the news reader I use, reports which feeds are broken and non-responsive. That’s usually three or four feeds a day and they’re usually all GigaOM feeds.

    I’ve checked repeatedly to be sure that the feed’s URLs are correct. No problem at this end.

    I think GigaOM’s server problems are deeper than you know. Have you considered the issue may be in those running them?

  139. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter?: This morning, we had an unexpected issue with our bulk mail ser… http://t.co/Qt0v3wV3

  140. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/a6Vz5aef

  141. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/sfOx4qnH

  142. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/fwraYub3 #Tech

  143. RT: Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter?: Updated.This morning, we had an unexpected issue with our b… http://t.co/nsj9CtI1

  144. Jonathan Bosanac Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    It happens

  145. had to laugh: in google reader the ad that showed up with the rss item of this story was…(wait for it)…an ad for Mailchimp!!!

  146. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter?: Updated.This morning, we had an unexpected issue with our bulk … http://t.co/AGZZq6WV

  147. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter?: Updated.This morning, we had an unexpected issue with our bulk … http://t.co/3QYonv70

  148. @gigaom – A mea culpa goes a long ways, thanks for owning up. Mailbox is cleaned out – cheers http://t.co/3q4bjLGl

  149. @webwisedesign Sincere apologies! @gigaom email provider had too much coffee. Details on what happened http://t.co/xGSMOsFa

  150. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? — Tech News and …: This morning, we had an issue with our bulk… http://t.co/mu8xbSCr

  151. FiberGeneration Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/mKOSNsl8

  152. In case someone didn’t hear about why they got 500 emails from us this morning: http://t.co/VWhNtc1u

  153. RT @michaelwolf: In case someone didn’t hear about why they got 500 emails from us this morning: http://t.co/VWhNtc1u

  154. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/lQKVmYtn

  155. Did someone order 500 copies of @gigaom newsletter? http://t.co/4Ei5d57P #thanksfortheexplanation more by @mailchimp http://t.co/yowaIO6W

  156. Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/GvtOCI4l

  157. @boyadamsam http://t.co/2iWMs8FZ GigaOM apology to the people they spammed.

  158. Marco Castellana Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/gYHk2AOa

  159. We just re-booted the @GigaOM daily newsletters. Thanks for your patience! Here’s a quick update: http://t.co/mhTwdTme

  160. gigaom: We just re-booted the @GigaOM daily newsletters. Thanks for your patience! Here’s a quick update: http://t.co/CaEZqJRw

  161. Update on our newsletter snafu: Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/VWhNtc1u

  162. Glitches happen. Every the service I use – AWS, Apple, Ebay, Facebook have had problems at one time or another. I wasn’t worried when I saw all the emails. I figured that you would be on it quickly. Even if it happens again (as it does sometimes in these cases), I’m sure your team and (mail chimp)will address it. Keep those emails coming (but just one at a time).

  163. Here’s an update on our newsletter snafu: Did someone order 500 copies of our newsletter? http://t.co/k2p47Zz9 Thanks for your patience.

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