Copyright © 1990-2010 by Prof. Timo Salmi
Last modified Fri 15-Oct-2010 16:09:12
|Counting since 5.11.2005|
The newsgroup news.newusers.questions is intended for the "Questions and Answers of users new to Usenet". The newsgroup news.groups.questions is meant for "Where can I find talk about topic X?". Since so many of the users are new in these newsgroups, there are a lot of aspects of net usages and conduct, which a number of the readers are not aware of. This page is to inform you of one of the pitfalls.
There are occasional postings by new users introducing themselves in the style "I am new and would love messages from far away". This is nice, but it is NOT the thing to do. The newsgroups are for asking users' on-topic questions, not for socializing, however friendly the intent.
If you see a "hello" posting on news.newusers.questions, news.groups.questions or some other ordinary discussion newsgroup, and absolutely wish to respond to it by saying your own friendly hello, do not post - I repeat DO NOT POST - your reply to the newsgroup, but send your greetings by email!
As an example, at the count in April 1995 there were some 390,000(!) users reading news.newusers.questions, when the newsgroup was not yet (software) moderated. There will be a total chaos if the new users continue posting hello messages in the newsgroups. Besides, there is a real danger that your mailbox might virtually explode with responses from all over the world if you solicit hellos on a newsgroup like news.newusers.questions.
The number one tenet on news.newusers.questions and other newsgroups is to start by reading, not by posting. Watch, learn and get your bearings before starting to post yourself. In usenet parlance, first take your time lurking in the background.
If you wish to socialize there are special newsgroups for the purpose like soc.penpals, alt.personals.ads, alt.personals.misc, and the moderated soc.personals You might also try to find out about special alternatives like IRC (Internet Relay Chat) from a more seasoned friend.
What was being said here about the no-no of hello postings goes for test postings, too. Do not post tests to news.newusers.questions or the other ordinary newsgroups! For more information on the right places to post tests please see "Where to put test postings?"
P.S. While the word newbie is unfortunately often used derisively, I use it here solely in a positive sense and would hope to see it gain this more friendly connotation. Besides there is a newsgroup by that very name: alt.newbie.