Difference between revisions of "Questions Frequently Asked by New Newsgroup Users"

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|colspan="2"|[http://www.povray.org/resources/newsgroups/oetut.php Outlook Express Newsgroup Tutorial]
 
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|colspan="2"|[http://www.microsoft.com/Windows/ie/community/columns/newsgroups101.mspx Outlook Express newsgroups 101 (Microsoft)]
 
 
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Revision as of 22:22, 24 July 2020

What is a newsgroup?

  • A newsgroup is something like a mailbox that the public is invited to use to store e-mail ("posts") sent to the mailbox. Anybody who wants to look in the newsgroup to read the posts that have been sent to it may do so.

What is a newsreader?

  • A newsreader is a piece of software that lets users look in the newsgroup, sort the posts that are there, read the posts, or make new posts.

What is Usenet?

  • The totality of all news servers that provide newsgroups.
  • Exactly how to define it is a matter of much debate. Here is a classic article on Usenet; and a reply to that article.
  • A brief description of Usenet.
  • The history of the big-8, which played a major role in the history of Usenet.
  • "Usenet is a worldwide electronic discussion community. It dates from before the Internet, when articles were tranmitted with modems over phone lines. Now the Internet is used. Each newsgroup is dedicated to a specific topic. Articles are copied from the originating site to other participating sites [news servers]" of Virgina ITC.

What is a hierarchy?

  • An ordered list of newsgroups.
  • Each of the subsets of the Big-8 is a hierarchy (comp.*, humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.*, talk.*).
  • Each of the subsets of the eight hierarchies may be called a hierarchy if it does have or potentially may have more than one newsgroup sharing the same initial components in the name. So, for example, the misc.health.* hierarchy is the list of all newsgroups whose names begin with "misc.health":
misc.health.aids	AIDS issues and support.
misc.health.alternative	Alternative, complementary and holistic health care.
misc.health.arthritis	Arthritis and related disorders.
misc.health.diabetes	Discussion of diabetes management in day to day life.
misc.health.infertility	Treatment & support of infertility.
misc.health.injuries.rsi.misc	All about Repetitive Strain Injuries.
misc.health.therapy.occupational	All areas of occupational therapy.
  • In the preceding example, "misc.health.injuries.rsi" could become a new hierarchy if other newsgroups beginning with those four components were added to the list such as "misc.health.injuries.rsi.diagnosis", "misc.health.injuries.rsi.support", or "misc.health.injuries.rsi.tech".

What is the difference between Google Groups and Usenet?

  • Google archives most newsgroups on Usenet and makes the old articles available through a page-based interface. Most news servers only hold articles for a short time depending on how the news administrator has set up the system.
  • Google also provides a method for creating new Google Groups that are Google-specific; such groups are not a part of the Usenet and do not circulate on Usenet news servers.
  • Google is not a traditional news service provider. Neither the newsgroup archives nor the non-Usenet Google Groups can be accessed by a newsreader.

What is the difference between a web forum and Usenet?

  • On Usenet, articles are copied from the originating site to other participating sites; web forums are hosted by one internet site.
  • Usenet groups can be accessed using a newsreader; web forums are accessed using an internet browser (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Opera, etc.).
  • The person who controls the host site for the web forum controls the forum; there is no such central administration for Usenet.

Who's in charge of this system?

  • Nobody. It's decentralized.
  • Everybody who uses it. Drive carefully. Buckle your Usenet seatbelts.
  • News administrators. They decide what newsgroups are carried on their news servers.
  • Moderators of groups (if the group is moderated).
  • Hierarchy administrators. They make up lists that may or may not be carried by news administrators. The Big-Eight Management Board is an example of hierarchy administration, except that the Board has eight lists to think about.

What is the Big-8?

comp.* Computer topics, both hardware and software.
news.* Administration of the Big 8, as well as about Usenet and Netnews in general, and related topics.
sci.* Science and technology.
humanities.* The humanities.
rec.* Recreational topics, including music, sports, games, outdoor recreation, hobbies, crafts, ...
soc.* Socializing, society, and social issues.
talk.* Endless discussion, largely about politics.
misc.* A mixture of newsgroups that don't fit the other 7 hierarchies. Many are about the practical aspects of everyday life.

What is a mail-to-news gateway?

  • It is a site that translates news into mail and (sometimes) mail into news.
  • If it is uni-directional, the translation only goes in one direction. People can read input from one source but not respond to it.
  • If it is bi-directional, the translation goes in both directions. Users receive all input both from the mailing list and the newsgroup and may reply to any post/e-mail by using e-mail or a newsreader.
  • Links to mail-to-news gateways.

Other questions

Why can't I see newsgroup XYZ?

Check with your Usenet provider. They should have a list of all newsgroups that they provide. Some local groups may not be available from all providers and some providers provide groups that others don't.

Why can't I see posts that other people see?

Check to see if you haven't created a filter to ignore or delete them.

Why can't I see my posts?

If you post to a moderated group, it may take time for that message to be approved and added to the group.

How do I post pictures to the newsgroup?

If it is absolutely necessary to share a picture, a best practice would be to link to a picture on a service like imgur.com. Most newsgroups in the Big-8 hierarchies do no allow anything except text (with a very few exceptions).

What is HTML and why don't people like it in on Usenet?

HTML is that code that looks like <h>hello world</h>. It makes your message hard to read. It's best to just use plani language.

Can't somebody get rid of all that spam and trolls?

Because Usenet is de-centralized, it is up to you to filter out any kind of content that you don't like. See our tutorial: Filtering Spam with Thunderbird

How do I post a message to every newsgroup in the world?

Don't. It's a good way to get banned by your provider.

How do I keep from seeing content that I don't like?

Don't subscribe to groups with that content and filter any content that happens in groups that you are subscribed to?

How can I post pictures to a newsgroup?

Find an alt.binaries newsgroup where your pictures will be on-topic and post them there.

Is everybody as sarcastic and short-tempered as you are?

No, I'm super chill and level headed. I don't know what you're talking about.

Visit Other Websites
The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Usenet
Getting Started with Usenet
How to Ask Quesions the Smart Way
Help Vampires: A Spotter’s Guide
How Newsgroups Work
Internet FAQ Archives
Introduction to the *.answers newsgroups
news.newusers.questions Links Page
MIT news.announce.newusers archive
Newsreaders.com Introduction to Netiquette
Newsville FAQ on Usenet
RFC 1855: Guidelines on Netiquette (1995)
University of Virginia FAQs
Stanley: User's Guide to the Changing Usenet
UsenetSupport.com (Giganews)
Using Usenet Newsgroups
Visit Newsgroups Designed for New Newsgroup Users
news:news.announce.newusers
Google news.announce.newusers
Explanatory postings for new users. (Moderated)
news:news.answers
Google news.answers
Repository for periodic USENET articles. (Moderated)
news:news.groups.questions
Google news.groups.questions
Where can I find talk about topic X?
news:news.groups.reviews
Google link to news.groups.reviews
What is going on in group or mailing list named X? (Moderated)
news:news:news.lists.misc
Google news.lists.misc
News-related statistics and lists. (Moderated)
news:news.misc
Google news.misc
Discussions of USENET itself.
news:news.newusers.questions
Google news.newusers.questions
Q & A for new users of Usenet. (Moderated)
Official n.n.q. homepage
news:news.software.readers
Google news.software.readers
news.software readers--GARN, Amigo!
Whatever You Do, Don't Visit This Newsgroup Unprepared :-O
news:news.groups can be a little hard on newcomers. Proceed with caution!
Read Google's news.groups archive to see what I mean.
Other Pages on This Website
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Understanding Usenet
news.groups.proposals History of the Big-8
List of All Big-8 Newsgroups News Service Providers
Glossary