From Usenet Big-8 Management Board
From: email@example.com (The Big-8 Management Board) Subject: RFD: soc.religion.asatru moderated (LAST CALL FOR COMMENTS) Newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups, news.groups, alt.religion.asatru, soc.religion.paganism Followup-To: news.groups Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 08:27:38 -0700 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD) moderated group soc.religion.asatru This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) for the creation of the moderated Usenet newsgroup, soc.religion.asatru. NEWSGROUPS LINE: soc.religion.asatru Following the Gods and Goddesses of Northern Europe. (Moderated) RATIONALE: soc.religion.asatru The newsgroup alt.religion.asatru has operated since 1993 with many discussions on topics of interest to members of the religion. After years of maintaining traffic and being subject to troll attacks, the need for a moderated newsgroup has become clear. Since making alt.religion.asatru moderated is unlikely to propagate, the solution seems to be a new newsgroup on the topic, allowing alt.religion.asatru to remain an open place to post. You may ask, why two newsgroups on the same obscure religon? Because long term on topic traffic has justified a place in the soc.religion.* hierarchy and it is impractical to remove a newsgroup in the alt.* hierarchy. Regular messages will be posted to alt.religion.asatru to point to the new newsgroup so new posters are able to find it. Historically, with the Druids on the west and the Slavs on the East, Asatru was the majority religion in the pan-Germanic region of northern Europe from the ancient past until the tribes in the area converted to Christianity. Many influences of ancient Asatru remain in modern pan-Germanic culture. One memory of ancient Asatru remains in the English names for days of the week - Tuesday for Tiw or Tyr, Wednesday for Woden or Odin, Thursday for Donnar or Thor and Friday for Freya or Frigg. The Thing and Althing traditions have become modern trial by jury and Parliment. There have since been several revival movements. The Wandervogel movement in Germany and Austria was violently suppressed by the Nazis. The modern movement began in 1970 separately in Iceland, the UK and the US and has since grown to most of the nations where Germanic languages or traditions exist - English, German, Dutch, Afrikaans, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian as well as some Spanish speakers in Argentina. CHARTER: soc.religion.asatru Soc.religion.asatru is a place for people from around the world to meet and discuss topics of interest to Asatru, its rites, beliefs, and practices. Asatru is broadly defined as the ancient religion of the peoples of Northern Europe known collectively as the pan-Germanic tribes, both in its historical ancient form and its modern reconstruction. Only discussion relating to the practices of Asatru, both ancient and modern, or discussion among those practicing the religion, is allowed. Friendly guests are welcome. To reduce spam and troll postings, cross-posted messages are only allowed by prior arrangement with the moderators. Expect only cross-posted FAQ files to be approved by the moderators. Posts promoting, arguing for or bashing other religions are off topic. Readers wishing to discus these topics may do so in the appropriate newsgroups. Posts comparing Asatru with other religions are on topic. The rules of netiquette should be observed at all times. Irrelevant profanity should be avoided but is tolerated. Anonymous postings are allowed at the discretion of the moderators. Posters using consistent aliases are allowed. Since English is the standard language of the Big-8 UseNet heirarchies, use of English is encouraged but not required. Some fraction of the traffic is expected to be in ancient Old Norse (mostly quotes for use in translations), modern German, modern Icelandic, and other languages in the pan-Germanic language families. Parallel English translations are requested when possible. Character sets diverse enough to render Old Norse are not considered binary content. Use of runic fonts is allowed if accompanied by non-binary transliteration or translation. Short quotes using other alphabets like Sanskrit, Cyrillic or Greek are allowed but entire posts in other alphabets are not allowed. Do not expect the majority of readers to be able to render or read other alphabets. Non-English traffic without parallel translation are rejected by the moderators if it reaches 10% of the total posts. Any binary format other than alternate alphabets must be approved by the moderators and are usually rejected. For binary content please store on the web and include a URL. PGP signatures are allowed. The newsgroup is moderated with the following in mind. On the positive side: Is the post relevant to Asatru? Is it discussion among established Asatruar? On the negative side: Is the post abusive? Is it cross-posted? Is it spam? Posts advocating hate, racism, anti-Semitism or neo-Nazism are off topic and are rejected. On the neutral side: Posts by adherents to various opinions within Asatru are accepted even by moderators who hold other opinions. In the event that the moderators wish to add another moderator, the procedure for doing so is as follows. First, they call for volunteers on the newsgroup. Next, they winnow the volunteers by dropping any to whom strong objections are raised. They then select one or more person(s) from the remaining volunteers. END CHARTER. TRAFFIC JUSTIFICATION: The traffic on alt.religion.asatru as of 03 Mar 2006: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 1995 25 103 59 2 1 1 22 9 1996 255 387 351 314 306 341 455 636 466 658 538 706 1997 626 679 395 836 236 404 335 286 808 410 540 548 1998 675 583 899 781 1816 1268 919 1346 2090 1380 1469 1143 1999 1220 805 1304 1342 1190 1028 1489 1007 1367 4871 4560 1761 2000 769 834 1223 1596 1979 2110 2391 950 608 1237 2344 3238 2001 3518 512 1293 849 895 1180 2611 880 1280 1837 2017 1876 2002 1634 1297 1077 1693 1219 740 1798 1680 1031 485 1322 888 2003 1825 865 1315 1547 2034 1063 815 1915 2641 827 867 837 2004 611 257 555 797 529 734 796 608 1352 1334 2397 968 2005 1388 1321 1429 573 961 1378 1409 1503 1487 1862 4792 1929 2006 1675 1395 169 Number of threads 15758 For over a decade it has maintained an average of more than 1000 posts in more than 100 threads per month in the face of several waves of troll attacks. Some former posters driven off by the trolls have stated they will return to a troll-free moderated group, though it is up to the proponent and moderators to market traffic on the group. To view the extent of non-troll traffic, consider May 1998 as the first month with over 1000 posts and the year following. Sep and Oct in that year have significant troll traffic but the other 10 months do not. To view the extent of troll traffic, consider all of 2001. The newsgroup has seen entire years with a great deal of on-topic traffic and entire years under attack by trolls. The total non-troll traffic keeps returning after each troll attack. There are also numerous Asatru mailing lists that average over a hundred messages per month each. Several are listed in Dirk Bruere's "Asatru Resources" list. While it is assumed that members of mailing list will remain on those lists the same as alt.religion.asatru posters, the lists demonstrate that there is a sufficient worldwide population of Asatru adherents that a moderated newsgroup is viable. On 08 Apr 2006 a Google search for "Asatru" in the newsgroup soc.religion.paganism gave 1860 hits, with a very large number of them by Dirk Bruere trying to keep joint traffic alive. Since Asatru is in the charter for that newsgroup it's natural to expect traffic there. Drawing traffic to SRP was tried but it didn't work. Given this history there is insufficient overlap between Asatru and other pagan faiths. END TRAFFIC JUSTIFICATION. MODERATOR INFO: soc.religion.asatru Moderator: Doug Freyburger <email@example.com> Moderator: Dirk Bruere <firstname.lastname@example.org> Moderator: Nik Warrensson <email@example.com> Moderator: Robert Bowman <firstname.lastname@example.org> Submissions: email@example.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Since moderation software is used (initially STUMP), the list of moderators is changed to their accounts on a moderation server at the time the newsgroup is created. END MODERATOR INFO. PROCEDURE: The newsgroup creation process is currently undergoing revision. Please refer to the newsgroup creation policies listed here: http://www.big-8.org/dokuwiki/doku.php?id=policies:proposals The B8MB plans to begin voting on this proposal shortly. Voting may take up to one week (7 days), and will be followed by a 5 day waiting period. All discussion of this proposal should be posted to news.groups. DISTRIBUTION: This RFD has been posted to the following newsgroups: news.announce.newgroups, news.groups, alt.religion.asatru, soc.religion.paganism PROPONENT: Doug Freyburger <email@example.com> HISTORY: 2006-05-18 Final RFD, prepared by Tim Skirvin. 2006-05-04 Revised by Tim Skirvin for formatting only. 2006-04-28 Revisions based on suggestions by Joe Bernstein. 2006-03-28 Gods and Goddesses in newsgroup line, expand weekdays to mention both Saxon and Norse names to show the pan-Germanic nature of Asatru. 2006-03-03 Rewrite taking into account comments by the Big-8 Moderation Board on news.groups. Add change history, shorten newsgroups line, present tense, more historical and placement justification, traffic justification. 2005-12-13 Initial version based on Swain Wodening's 1999 RFD. Rewritten to take into account the objections voiced at that time. Includes review by the initial moderator volunteers.