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20141204: new mailing list & communication practices for Nebula

We’ll be making a couple changes to the way the Nebula service communicates with you.


This mailing list will continue to function as a 1 way communication channel for important announcements. This will continue to include things like changes to the service design, and other broadly useful communication. My goal is to keep communication to this mailing list to the minimum you might need to be aware of what’s going on with Nebula.


In the past, there have been a number of other Nebula related mailing lists. Some you may have heard about and others you probably didn’t, but at this point all those lists are dead. I’ve co-opted the membership of one of those prior lists (neb-tech) to initially seed the membership of a new mailing list called nebula-discuss ( This new mailing list serves two functions:

  • It provides a 2 way communication channel. You can send email to it, and so can the service team. The primary goal here is enable interaction about the service so that we can hear from you, and you can hear from each other. This will surface business needs, it may expose recurring problems we have missed prioritizing, and it should provide you a way to ask questions about the service. This doesn’t mean you send email to this mailing list to get support or make requests.
  • It provides a second list for us to send much more detailed information about the service. Folks who are on this new nebula-discuss list will see a larger volume of emails than nebula-announce, and because of this expectation, we will send more detail about what we’re doing to the nebula-discuss list. I have a regular practice of sending a monthly operational update about the services I manage. That update includes details about operational trends we are seeing, incidents, a detailed list of planned changes in the upcoming month (higher impact changes would also go to nebula-announce—this is just a more complete list), and some information about what kinds of improvements we’re hoping to work on. I haven’t yet been able to send a monthly update for Nebula because we needed to get this mailing list in place, but I have one drafted that’s been ready to go for a week. J


The idea of a mailing list where anyone can send email can be a little jarring. The 100+ people on this list will see your emails to this list, and any of them might choose to respond. This mailing list is intended to help promote discussion about the service, but if the traffic gets out of hand, I may moderate traffic or decide this mailing list experiment failed. I don’t think that’ll happen, but it’s worth noting that things don’t always turn out how you hope. J


If you are interested in joining this nebula-discuss mailing list, you can find information about how to get on that list at the bottom of this email. And again, if you were on the neb-tech list, you are already on the nebula-discuss list, and you may want to get off it. I’ll be sending this same email to the nebula-discuss mailing list shortly, so you’ll know if you are already on it.


Finally, I’ll be sending a semi-annual newsletter about the Nebula service. This newsletter will recap where we’ve been in the past 6 months by highlighting new capabilities and improvements, spotlighting items of interest, and reporting on trends, but it’ll also forecast what we think is ahead in the next 6 months. The first newsletter will likely go out in late February, and likely will be sent to the nebula-announce mailing list (although I may change my mind and send it to all Nebula users).


Brian Arkills

Nebula Service Manager