This article is based on material authored by members of the news.newusers.questions Moderation Board and nnq-workers mailing list, particularly by Denis McKeon (until 2005) and Thor Kottelin (since 2007).
If you want to post an article to the news.newusers.questions newsgroup (nnq), or if you have tried to post an article to nnq and it was returned to you by email, or it has not appeared on your news server after a day or two, then you should read this article to find out what to do.
News articles posted to moderated newsgroups first travel as email messages to a moderation address. Most news server software will send messages posted to a moderated newsgroup to the appropriate moderation address automatically, but if you need it, news-newusers-questions at albasani.net is the moderation address for nnq.
Messages arriving at the nnq moderation address are scanned by a human moderator and/or by a software package (or ‘robot moderator’). This is to allow messages appropriate for nnq to be posted, and to try to return other messages to their senders.
If your message is returned to you by a moderator, there are several possibilities:
If the overall content of your message is not appropriate for nnq, then do not try to post it to nnq again. Instead consider sending it to a more appropriate newsgroup, or by direct email to an individual correspondent.
If the overall content of your message is appropriate for nnq, and you want to edit the message and re-send it to the moderators, be sure to delete anything ‘extra’, such as:
Resend the message to the nnq submission address, which is news-newusers-questions at albasani.net.
If a moderator continues to return your message to you, and you think the message is appropriate for nnq and should have been approved, you can send your message to the appeal address (nnq-board at anta.net) for a human moderator to review.
Allow a day or two to get a result.
If your message has not appeared on your news server within a day or two after you sent it, and it has not been returned to you by a moderator, then there may be some other sort of problem:
Below is a selection of items not appropriate for nnq. (“Relevant” in this context means “that contributes to educating or informing new users”.)
You should post test messages only to a newsgroup specifically dedicated to testing, such as to misc.test or to a local test group.
Test newsgroups may be watched by robots that send you an automatic response, showing that your message reached those distant computers.
Supply short, clear, descriptive Subject: lines for your articles. Avoid subject lines like ‘Help’ or ‘Question’ or ‘How do I do this?’.
The more specific the better. ‘Help with Worldnet and US Robotics Modem’ is a good example of a clear subject line.
You may have sent the article more than once. Only click the Send button once.
Please do not post your question many times under different subject lines. Due to the nature of moderation, your message has to travel to the moderation site by email, and then back to your site by news transport – allow from a few hours to a day for this trip.
If the duplicate articles were returned to you, the first article sent may have already been posted. Look for it in news.newusers.questions before sending that article again.
Delete some or all of the previously posted material.
People reading a ‘thread’ of articles will see the previous message before they see your reply, so you do not need to quote the entire previous message. Delete the sections you aren‘t directly responding to.
Chain letters ask you to send money to a list of addresses, and they imply that other people will send money to you.
Do not post chain letters on the Internet – they are illegal in many places and fraudulent everywhere.
Email messages that encourage you to "pass this along" or "tell all your friends" are almost always a hoax or rumor.
Research the message before sending any unconfirmed warning to anyone.
You should explore other newsgroups and mailing lists to discuss any topics which are not appropriate for nnq, or use direct email or IRC to carry on personal conversations.
Keep in mind that every message posted to worldwide net newsgroups is stored on tens of thousands of machines, and may be archived for decades at some sites.
Make the content available on a website or an FTP server instead.
If the content covers the same topics as a newsgroup or mailing list, you may want to post its URI, e.g. http://www.example.com/Alice/Large_File.txt, together with a brief description of the site, to an appropriate newsgroup or mailing list. Post the URI to nnq only if the content is appropriate for nnq.
Anything posted to an English-language newsgroup should be plainly readable by anyone who reads news using an English-language setup, regardless of what software or hardware they otherwise use.
Do not attach or include HTML, word-processing, picture or sound files in messages; many people cannot read them. Handle such files like long articles – do not post the file to nnq, but either to a website, an FTP server or a relevant binary (e.g. alt.binaries.*) newsgroup.
To reach the widest possible audience, use plain text formatted to 72 columns or less. This is in order to accomodate a few quotation indicators (e.g. > > ) before reaching the 80-column width that is the maximum for many newsreaders.
In nnq and most other Big Eight (comp, humanities, misc, news, rec, sci, soc, talk) newsgroups, use ASCII text. In newsgroups where a different character set is needed (e.g. de, fr, ru), use Latin-1 (ISO/IEC 8859-1), or whatever is necessary to be compatible with the character sets people in those hierarchies use.
Only FAQ documents (articles with answers to frequently asked questions) should be crossposted to nnq.
Set your newsreader to display the Newsgroups: and Followup-To: headers.
If an article is cross-posted to many newsgroups, and you are angered by the article, consider that it may have been cross-posted deliberately in the hope of provoking angry responses. Don‘t fall into the trap of replying furiously to such a ‘troll’ – learn to spot them and ignore them instead of giving them the satisfaction of seeing angry replies.
Try to post to only one newsgroup. If you must post to several groups, crosspost to the smallest possible set of appropriate newsgroups, and use a Followup-To: header to direct any responses either to yourself by email, or to exactly one of the newsgroups you are crossposting to.
Either pick one appropriate newsgroup to post to, or learn how to crosspost to appropriate newsgroups that accept crossposted articles.
Many newsgroups have a strong non-commercial tradition. Advertisements of any kind are expected to be found only in the few newsgroups or other places where they are appropriate.
Offering products or services on a web page that you announce to the world is more effective than posting advertisements to newsgroups.
Please refer to the charter and to the administrative statement.
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