It is the nature of the beast that when one hosts house concerts one spends a lot of time attached to their computer and smartphone.
Good communication is important for filling seats, making sure everyone knows what to expect and when to expect it, and an overall positive experience for both the audience and the musicians. So, there's emails to write, the Wits End website and Facebook Page to update, your emails, messages, and calls to respond to, and spreadsheets and seating plans to keep,
Honestly, it's hours and hours of time (thank goodness we're retired) to do this but it is a labour of love and worth every second....almost.
There is one thing, one seemingly teeny tiny thing, that causes me more frustration than anything else and it is.....wait for it.....MTS email addresses! There, I said it!
Why you ask (hopefully)? Because every time we send out a group email the ones going to MTS email bounce back saying it's been blocked due to suspected SPAM content. We're following the generally accepted rules (yes, there are rules) yet MTS blocks our emails. In case you're wondering, no other email provider routinely blocks our emails.
Not only does this cause me more work; I have to individually forward the original email to about 100 .mymts supporters, but it also means that if you have such an email address, you might miss out. Case in point, I recently sent out an email that a few spots had opened up for Stanley County Cut Ups after we had to reschedule due to weather. As usual, the emails to MTS folks bounced and the available seats were snapped up before I had a chance to forward the email individually.
So, what can be done about this? There are two options:
1) Add my email address firstname.lastname@example.org to your Safe Senders list (also known as a Whitelist). Every browser will be a little bit different but essentially you go into your email settings, find where it is that you add safe senders and enter my email address. I don't have MTS, so I cannot give you anymore specific instructions than that.
2) Use an email address from a different provider. Far be it our business how you manage these things but there are good reasons to consider using a 3rd party email provider such as Gmail (our pick and what I'll use as an example from this point forward), Hotmail, or Yahoo, or many others as opposed to an email address from your internet service provider (ISP)
The biggest single advantage is portability. If your with MTS or Shaw your email address is connected to your ISP, so if you're with MTS now but say, decide to switch to Shaw, your MTS email address goes away and now you have to tell all your friends and family to stop using your MTS email address and start using your new Shaw one. A few years later, you switch back and it's the same story all over again. If you have a Gmail email address this is never an issue because you access your email through a web browser independent of the provider. Changing providers is never a problem because your email address is yours, not theirs.
Many folks don't know that you can easily set up any other email address they have to forward to one system. So, MTS is your internet provider and you have an MTS email address but you also have a Gmail account, then add the MTS info to Gmail and all your emails will show up in the same place. You can also do this in reverse by the way if you prefer the MTS webmail system (until, that is, you switch internet providers). Doing this gives you time to wean everyone off your ISP email addresses.
Deep Breaths....deeeeeep breaths.....