It started as a discussion on the Middlebridge, a Middle Kingdom e-mail list, about the appropriateness or non-appropriateness of merchants and other for-profit businesses posting announcements to regular SCA discussion lists. Some people felt that any commercial material was inappropriate in that venue, while others asserted that merchants who specifically offered SCA-related items could legitimately post to the list as long as they didn't abuse the privilege.
In the context of that discussion, it was suggested that "someone" should create a list specifically for the purpose of giving merchants a place to post overtly commercial announcements, such as "Lord Rhinoskin's Armoury is offering a sale price this month on bascinet helms and rattan." Since SCAtoday.net has the capability to host e-mail lists on our server, we decided to offer just such a list as a public service.
Though "commercial" posts are allowed (and, indeed, are the very purpose of the list), they are restricted in topic to things that directly relate to historical re-enactment or re-creation of the Middle Ages. The list is unmoderated, meaning any subscriber can post, but it is monitored to prevent off-topic advertising.
Here are some important facts about the new list:
- Only those who specifically subscribe will receive mail from this list. Just because you have an account on SCAtoday.net's web site does not mean you receive these commercial e-mails. If you want to subscribe to the list, you need to visit the URL linked from this news article. Other than being hosted on the same server, there is essentially no link between the SCAtoday.net web site and the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list.
- The list is specifically designed to protect against spam harvesters. There are no archives for this list, and there is no way for anyone except the SCAtoday.net technical staff to obtain a list of members. The merchants who post to the list cannot know who is receiving their messages unless you choose to reply back to them.
- SCAtoday.net does not profit from this list. In keeping with the strict not-for-profit mission of SCAtoday.net, we are offering this service for free, as a public service to merchants and populace.