1987 Guidelines for Group Creation

From Usenet Big-8 Management Board

From Joe Bernstein's history:



October 31, 1987
Sample Message-ID:  <2177@arthur.cs.purdue.edu>

This document explicitly appeals to the authority of the Backbone and
involves the Backbone in newsgroup creation, but also includes a
number of features of the modern system already.  Here's its core

--begin quote--

1) Determine if a new newsgroup is actually needed.  Look carefully
through the lists of active newsgroups and mailing lists to be sure
there is currently no existing forum for your topic.  If there is such
a group or mailing list, try using it before attempting to create a new
group -- it might be just what you want.

2) Determine an appropriate name for your proposed newsgroup -- a name
should be informative, reasonably short, and in an appropriate
top-level hierarchy.  Also determine if you want the newsgroup to be
moderated or not.

3) Post an article to the newsgroup "news.groups" describing your
proposed new group.  Be sure to describe why you think the group is
needed and/or interesting, and what you think it should be named.  Ask
for comments to be posted and for votes to be *MAILED* to you.  Be sure
to cross-post your article to any newsgroups where there might be
interest, but set the "Followup-to" header so that responses only
go to the "news.groups" group.

4) Consider carefully all comments and objections, whether posted or
mailed.  Answer objections and questions in a timely fashion.  Change
the name or nature of the group, if needed, based on the comments of
others.  Remember that the success of the group is based on the support
and participation of the other people on the network, so listen to
their advice and concerns.

5) Collect MAILED votes on the issue of the new newsgroup.  The
threshold currently set as necessary for creating a new group is 100
more "yes" votes than "no" votes in a 30 day period.
   a) If you get at least 100 more "yes" votes than "no" votes,
      post an article to the news.groups newsgroup including the
      totals and the list of account names of people voting.
   b) If you fail to get at least 100 more "yes" votes than "no"
      votes, consider starting a mailing list for your topic
      instead of a new group, or else think about starting the
      group as an "alt" group.  If a group cannot get the support
      of at least 100 people in one month's time, it does not
      belong on the Usenet until such time as it gains sufficient
   c) If you are trying to get an exisiting mailing list upgraded
      to a newsgroup, consider the current subscriber list as a
      set of "yes" votes of equal number, but only if they have
      already agreed that they want the list turned into a

6) Send mail to "backbone@rutgers.edu" and ask that the group be
created.  You can issue the control message yourself, but many sites
will ignore the group unless the control message originates from one of
the known backbone admins (usually one of: spaf@arthur.cs.purdue.edu,
mark@cbosgd.att.com, rick@uunet.uu.net, woods@hao.ucar.edu or
fair@ucbarpa.berkeley.edu).  If the group is moderated, be sure to
include information about the moderator and submission addresses in
your mail message so that the appropriate postings and databases can be
updated.  The group will likely be created at this time, but if the
members of the backbone list perceive that there are serious unanswered
questions about the group's creation, it may be postponed until those
questions are resolved.

--end quote--

The trusted sources for control messages named are Gene Spafford, Mark
Horton, Rick Adams, Greg Woods, and Erik Fair, respectively.