How to volunteer or donate
If you'd like to volunteer to help run the Big-8, please contact the Board. Let us know your background, skills, availability, and areas of interest so we can match tasks with the right people.
Some of the areas in which we are asking for volunteer help are the following:
- Dead Groups Task Force: identify groups that can and should be removed from the canonical list.
- Group Mentors: help proponents develop good proposals.
- News.answers Liaison: facilitate communication between news.answers and the B8MB.
- News Service Providers Committee: cultivate good working relationships with NSPs and ISPs.
- Usenet Volunteer Moderators (UVM): facilitate communication with and provide support for Big-8 newsgroup moderators.
- Usenet Volunteer Polltakers (UVP): develop polls to help answer various questions.
Joining the Board
Before joining the Board, we encourage you to volunteer for one or more of the subcommittees (listed above).
If you are interested in joining the Board, please contact us.
In March 2021, the Usenet Big-8 Management Board joined Open Collective Europe in order to make all of its financial activities transparent. If you would like to make a financial contribution to the Board, you can do so via the Usenet Big-8 Management Board Open Collective.
There are many ways to make Usenet a better place for discussion, and you don't necessarily need a lot of time or special skills to make a difference. Things you could do include:
- Participate! There are lots of quiet groups that would benefit from some extra traffic. If you can post a helpful answer to someone's question, or add something to an ongoing thread, it will make that group livelier and more fun for everyone. And remember that even if a group looks completely dead, there may still be people subscribed to it; try posting an on-topic article and see if it sparks an interesting discussion.
- Promote Usenet elsewhere on the Internet. People who have arrived on the Internet after the rise of the Web may not be aware that Usenet exists. Even those who have heard of it may know it only as a file-sharing service. If you can let people know what Usenet is and how to access it, there will be more people to help keep conversations going.
- Moderate a newsgroup. If a newsgroup moderator needs help, or wishes to hand over moderation to someone else, they may post a message to the group asking for volunteers. You will most likely need to have a track record of positive contributions to the group in order for the existing moderators to trust you with the task. Or you may find a moderated newsgroup with a missing moderator: the newsgroups is marked as moderated, but articles that you post disappear and never show up in the group. If you believe that the moderator of a Big-8 group is missing, please contact the Board so that we can investigate.
- If you have programming skills, you could volunteer to work on software that works with Usenet. For example, the open-source newsreaders Pan and slrn are both open to contributions. If there's another Usenet client that you'd like to improve, you could check its homepage and see if there's a way to volunteer.