From Usenet Big-8 Management Board
From: Jim Riley <>
Subject: RFD (Policy): create a ninth newsgroup hierarchy
Newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups, news.groups, news.groups.proposals
Followup-To: news.groups.proposals
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 09:18:23 -0500

                   create a ninth newsgroup hierarchy

This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) to discuss a policy change 
in the Big-8 Usenet newsgroups.  For more information, see the proposed 
policy, listed below.


Tim Skirvin has recently proposed a set of groups that he believes
would "obviously" pass through the B8MB creation procedure if there
was an actual proponent.  But it is not clear how this would actually
increase creation of new groups.

Does a would-be proponent propose an RFD, and wait for Skirvin's
assessment?  If Skirvin simply approves the RFD, the proposal already
has a stigma of not being something that the B8MB would obviously
approve, or perhaps even be obvious that they would not approve it.

Skirvin's proposal includes a few groups for TV shows.  But there is
no real basis for those included and those not included, other than
this is intended as an experiment.  But we simply don't know which
newsgroups for TV shows will be successful.  So if the groups for the
TV shows he has selected fail, does it mean that his creation
experiment failed, or simply that people weren't attracted to
discussing those particular shows.

In the past, people have been discouraged from creating a newsgroup
for a topic that may not be long lasting.  If effect, they were asked
to prove that people would still be discussing the topic in a
newsgroup in three years.  The way to prove this is to create a
newsgroup somewhere else, and if it was still being used three years
later, then a Big 8 newsgroup might be created.

Many potential proponents may not be aware that creation policies have
been changed (for example the elimination of the public vote), or feel
that the whole process is too burdensome or painful.  Or they might
believe that that their idea of a group won't be approved.

The solution to these problemss is not to patch the current creation
system and naming structure, but to create a whole new hierarchy where
lightweight methods of group creation can be experimented with; where
new groups can be tried even with the possibility or even expectation
that they might not succeed, and where groups that fail can be


A new ninth hierarchy, named 9th.*, will be created under the auspices
of the Big 8 Management Board (B8MB).  The B8MB will ensure that
proper control messages are issued and that the hierarchy receives
appropriate publicity on its web site and elsewhere.

Oversight Policy

The B8MB will appoint a hierarchy manager to oversee day-to-day
management of the 9th.* hierarchy.  The B8MB may remove the hierarchy
manager at their discretion.

The hierarchy manager may propose new groups, or removal of groups
that have failed.  The B8MB will have 7 days to veto any proposed
changes.  If they do not veto the proposed changes, the B8MB will
ensure that the control messages to effect the changes are sent, and
shall announce the changes in news.announce.newgroups.

Any member of the B8MB may place a hold on a proposed change during
the 7 day period, which will cause a single 7-day extension to the
period in which the proposed change is considered.  Only one extension
is permitted.

The B8MB may change any part of the oversight policy, or the policy
for the 9th.* hierarchy.  They are encouraged to hold public
discussion in news.groups.proposals prior to making any changes.

Policy For 9th.* Hierarchy

Discussion of potential new groups, and other matters affecting the
9th.* hierarchy should occur in 9th.config.

The hierarchy manager shall encourage simple methods for ordinary
users to propose potential groups.

No moderated newsgroups.

Group Names shall consist of 3 elements: (1) '9th'; (2) A broad topic
area; (3) A topic name.  Longer names (not additional elements) can be
used if more definition is required.  The 3rd element may be omitted
if the group is intended as a general group for a broad topic area.

No cross-posting.

No advertising, including no personal advertising.

No binaries.

Groups may have charters in the traditional sense that simply explain
what the topic of the newsgroup is.  They should not attempt to
establish "rules" for participation in the newsgroup.  Interested
persons may provide a charter of 250 words or less that can be placed
in newgroup control messages, web sites, etc.

Groups that do not have a reasonable amount of traffic after a
reasonable amount of time shall be removed.

Jump Start for 9th.* Hierarchy

The hierarchy manager for the 9th.* hierarchy shall propose an initial
set of newsgroups that consists of at least 20 groups in addition to
9th.config.  This list may include the following:


For more information on the newsgroup creation process, please see:
  [need something better here]

Those who wish to influence the development of this RFD and its final 
resolution should subscribe to news.groups.proposals and participate in the 
relevant threads in that newsgroup.  This is the best method of making sure 
that one's comments or criticisms are heard.

All discussion of active proposals should be posted to news.groups.proposals.
To this end, the 'Followup-To' header of this RFD has been set to this group.

We urge those who would be affected by the proposed policy to make a
comment to that effect in this thread; we ask proponents to keep a list
of such positive posts with the relevant message ID (e.g., Barney Fife,
<>).  Such lists of positive
feedback for the proposal may constitute good evidence that the group will be
well-used if it is created.


This document has been posted to the following newsgroups:

  news.announce.newgroups (moderated)
  news.groups.proposals (moderated)


Jim Riley <>


2007-09-20     1st RFD