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trn: How not to look like an idiot on Usenet
Hey, okay, it's finally time to do your first post. Maybe you have a
question, or perhaps you have an answer to someone's request. Or
maybe you're just tired of lurking on the edge and want to get
involved. But the last thing you want to do is look like an idiot or
be labeled as a Newbie. People on Usenet are not known for their tact
or their patience with Newbies.
The rules are simple:
- Read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on the group.
Most can be ftp'd at rtfm.mit.edu under /pub/usenet/your.group.name or
take a look at news.answers.
If you can't find it, post an article requesting the FAQ.
- Read the newsgroup news.announce.newusers. It'll have
answers to most of your questions.
- Post test articles to an appropriate group. If you just
want to make sure that you're doing it right, try posting to nmt.test.
- Surveys and homework assignments are usually ignored and
labels you as a Newbie.
- "Me too!" or "Please send me the information too!" posts
are another label of a Newbie.
- Requests that information be emailed because you don't
normally read the group is considered rude.
- Avoid stories about kids with tumors that want postcards,
and the story about Neiman Marcus cookies, and the one about the modem
tax. They're old! And no longer valid. Check the FAQ's, ma'am.
- Chain letters are illegal. They may sound like a great
way to make money (if you're an idiot), but you will lose your account
at the very least.
- Be careful of crossposting. Post your article to only to
- If you must go on a tirade or flame someone, try to limit
yourself to email.
- Assume that people are speaking for themselves, not their
organization. Even if they are posting from work.
- Be Brief.
- Posting personal email may be construed as copywrite
infringement. Not a good idea.
- Be aware of
acronyms and shorthand commonly used.
- Oh, and if you are reading an article that looks like
gobbledygook, it has probably been rot-13'd because of questionable
content. Try shift-x. But don't complain if you don't like what you read!
- Be very careful of advertising. Take a look at
`trn: How to advertise on Usenet'.
Next: trn: Common acronyms on Usenet
See also: Reading net news (Usenet) with trn
Previous: trn: Usenet flames and how to avoid them
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R. G. Baer,
Last updated: 1995/12/19 18:47:56 UT