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Netiquette and Newsgroup Etiquette

Newsgroups are self-governing "communities" that are self regulating. There are no "Newsgroup Cops" but on the NetObjects and gotFusion groups there is a group moderator. They have the power to remove posts and entire threads if they start to become offensive.  This is rarely exercised BUT if a thread takes on a personally insulting or nasty nature it is gone and the individual warned.

Below are some simple rules of newsgroup etiquette along with a few terms that you will see in the groups.  Think of newsgroup etiquette as a set of guidelines.  If you follow these guidelines it will keep you from making common mistakes and you will look and sound like a veteran newsgroup poster in no time at all. Remember, every expert was a newbie once, just like you. Follow the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.

Lurk (or Lurker): Someone who reads the newsgroup without posting. This is known as "lurking," This will give you the feel of the newsgroup before you start to join in.  You will soon recognize the "regulars" this way.

Stay on-topic: Every newsgroup is a little different in the way it handles OT posts (off topic).  The Fusion newsgroups are very flexible regarding what is discussed in the groups. If you have something that is not related to Fusion or the groups but you find interesting and would like to share, start the subject line with OT: so that everyone will know that the subject is off topic and they can choose whether to open the message body or not.

Don't over quote: Copying back a long post (more than 20 lines) just to add "I agree" or "me too" is considered bad form and wastes download time.  Look at the size of the post you are answering and if it is over 10k trim out the portions that are not relevant to your answer.  If you are only answering a portion of a question trim out the bits that are not pertinent to your answer. NEVER QUOTE BACK GRAPHICS.

Don't include large files: Please do not attach large graphic files or other attachments (over 30k). Most users don't want to download a file when reading a post for time and security reasons. For people who pay for their internet connection based on the time that they are online your post can be very expensive.   If you have a large graphic that is necessary to explain your problem, upload it to your web server and include the URL of the file in your post so others can view it only if they need to.

Do not post in HTML: Many people use dedicated news readers such as X-News or MicroPlanet Gravity that do not display HTML so post in plain text unless there is a compelling reason to use HTML.  Set your News Reader to post in plain text for news groups.

Don't post serial numbers: If you do this, you enable software pirates to use the companies products for free. Messages containing serial numbers will be deleted.

Don't ask for or post warez:  Do not ask for hacks or cracks to commercial software and do not post them to this newsgroup.  Hacking commercial software is illegal and all reference to this topic will be deleted. This is a public Usenet newsgroup and you run the risk of investigation by the software manufacture if you engage in or solicit others to engage in piracy of software.

DON'T SHOUT: TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERED SHOUTING. It is much easier to read a mix of upper- and lower-case letters. Newsgroups can sometimes be considered impersonal, you cannot see the other person's expression, whether they are smiling or joking, so a little extra effort is needed to communicate without seeming overly stuffy or curt.

Be Friendly: Do not talk down to someone or seem annoyed at their questions.  Make all of your posts friendly and informative.  These newsgroups are here for users to get help with the NetObjects Fusion program not to show how much you know.

Don't get too personal: Remember, all messages to these newsgroups are public information and are archived on the Google/Usenet servers so they can be viewed by others for years after they are posted so NEVER post personal information such as your address or phone number or even your e-mail address.

DO NOT Advertise:   It doesn't work, it gets people really really mad, it gets me really really mad, and no matter what you say it will not be taken well. Everyone HATES SPAM.  This is one of the things that will guarantee that I bring out my "big hammer" and remove your thread. Do not answer posts of this nature as it just adds to the number of posts I have to remove. If you continue to advertise after being warned you may find yourself blacklisted from posting anything on these newsgroups.

Ignore trolls: Some people get a thrill from posting "flames" (really obnoxious messages) just to get a rise out of people.  This type of person is know as a troll. The Fusion newsgroups do not attract this type of individual but occasionally some come in just to see if they can stir up dissent by posting "This program is the worst" or "Has anyone tried this other program".  Do not respond to posts of this nature this only fans the flames and is what the individual wants.  This is another type of post that I am likely to remove from the groups, so do NOT join in. Be nice and refrain from inappropriate language and personal attacks.

Use your Plonk file:  On very rare occasions you will find someone on a newsgroup that is just so obnoxious that you would rather not read ANYTHING they have to say.  When you plonk someone you are adding them to your blocked user list so that their posts do not show up in your reader.  The term Plonk is derived from the sound trash makes when it hits the circular file. Another term used for blocking a particularly obnoxious individual is to put them in the "Bozo Bin"
View a Multi Media presentation of how to block an obnoxious poster so you never see them again

Links where you can find more information about Netiquette:

http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc-sci/netiquette.html

http://www.albion.com/netiquette/

http://www.onlinenetiquette.com/

http://www.templetons.com/brad/emily.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/basics/low_18.shtml

http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/usenet/laws.html
 

Some humorous comments on the subject of newsgroups

http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/88q1/13785.8.html

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