With so many newsgroups on Usenet, trying to post an article can be a little intimidating.
What should you say in your Usenet Newsgroups post? How should you word your Usenet Newsgroup article?
What you say is Public
Remember that what you say is voiced in a public forum, and your words and comments can haunt you negatively if someone holds you libel for comments. Check the charter of the newsgroup you are posting to BEFORE you post. Pay attention to what people say, and above all, use common sense.
Make sure you post in the right newsgroup
Considering the fact that there are over 100K+ Newsgroups on Usenet, it is very easy to mis-post, or post in the wrong newsgroup. Make sure you take the time to investigate similar newsgroups, to make sure you don't mis-post. For instance, if I wanted to sell my electric guitar on Usenet, I wouldn't post my guitar for sale on alt.bands.beatles. Sure, alt.bands.beatles discusses guitars, but it is the wrong forum to post my guitar for sale. I'd make sure that I posted my guitar for sale in alt.guitars.forsale or something similar to it. Just use the rule of common sense and you should be ok.
There are discussions on the internet about top and bottom posting relating to quoting other posters' comments. Basically Top posting refers to replying to a discussion with the quotes phrase being located below the reply. Bottom posting refers to replying to a discussion with the reply located beneath the quote phrase. Generally, bottom posting is the preferred method for replying to posts.
General Usenet Posting Rules
- Read the newsgroup charter to familiarize yourself with the set rules of a forum
All newsgroups have a charter, or set of rules for acceptable behavior. Read it!
- Use Common Sense
Make sure you use common sense when in a public forum.
- Do like others do
Read the general comments and behavior of others. You'll quickly learn what is acceptable and what is not.
- Use a test post forum to get familiar with posting articles
When posting for the first time, or if you need some practice, use a test post forum.
- Always post strict text unless you are posting in a binary newsgroup forum
Don't post binaries in a text forum.
- Don't post short two word responses
Make your posts a meaningful and useful contribution to discussions. Replying with "I agree" or "I disagree" in forums is just wrong. Contribute, explain your point of view, but most of all don't contribute short useless responses.
- Learn how to quote
There is etiquette for top and bottom posting. Find out what others find acceptable and use it.
- Contribute to the Newsgroup
Don't just read newsgroups, try to contribute.
- Don't ask for private discussions, keep responses public if you can
The whole purpose of Usenet is to share information. Don't ask in public for a private reply. There will be certain exceptions to this rule but in general, try to keep conversations and discussions public.
- Be careful about Spam
In some groups, spam is allowed (such as classified for sale items), make sure you read the newsgroups charter and observe before you post spam.
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