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We have had several reports over the last few months of users not receiving emails of new blog posts, and this appears to have been an ongoing problem with little reason as to why it should be happening at all. We wanted to give you all an update on what has been causing these issues, and what has been put in place to hopefully prevent them in the future.
For several different areas of GKM, we have received plenty of bot / spam activity over the years. Sometimes this activity can impact in ways that aren't immediately evident, as indicated by these email issues. After looking into our email software, we discovered that people were randomly being set to an inactive status which caused them to not receive emails. We have been in contact with support for the email software to try and figure out why this was happening, and how to prevent it from happening, but it's still unsolved for the time being. We suspect that the excessive bot activity (thousands of emails signing up to receive blog posts but never being confirmed as legitimate) caused some security measures to kick in with the account, which could have affected users that were not bots, but for now this is just a guess.
Email software is very strict about ensuring that email recipients within the software always have the option to unsubscribe, and it prevents us from manually re-subscribing anyone that is set to an unsubscribed status. This is to prevent email from going out to anyone that does not want to receive it, and is a good measure of security to always ensure that the user is in control. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult for us to be more pro-active about updating a user's status when they want us to.
At the beginning of this month, we also received emails from many users informing us yet again of unreceived emails, and after looking into it, the email software that we use had updated their payment plan, and we hadn't yet updated everything in our account for this. This has been fixed since then, and emails should be sending out regularly.
As much as we hate to implement Captchas, they are an effective way of trimming down bot activity, which has been a plague on many of our systems. We have updated the Subscription area in the sidebar to include a Captcha, which will hopefully eliminate, or at least reduce, the amount of bot submissions in our email software. In order to sign up to receive notification emails, simply click on the "Subscribe" button in the sidebar and it will open a window where you will enter your email and solve the Captcha to complete the process.
Going forward, if any of you randomly stop receiving blog notification emails, and would still like to, you can simply come back to the blog and re-subscribe, and you should receive emails again.
Email can be tricky sometimes, there a lots of rules to abide by when sending emails automatically, and bot activity can make it that much more difficult, but we will continue to work on whatever issues arise.
As always, if there are any issues you run into on GKM, feel free to contact us over on the Contact page.
GKM Dev Team