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Subject: How (not) to create Alt groups FAQ

This article was archived around: Fri, 15 May 1998 09:46:24 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: alt-hierarchies
All FAQs posted in: alt.config
Source: Usenet Version


On Mon, 02 Mar 1998 22:37:12 GMT in alt.config David Farrar wrote: in <3502343d.8107841@news.ihug.co.nz>:
Archive-name: alt-hierarchies/alt-advice Posting-Frequency: monthly Last-modified: May 15, 1998 Version: 3.3 (posted monthly) Version 1 by Billy Harris (wharris@tauceti.uta.edu) Version 2 by Billy Harris and Tim Pierce (twpierce@unix.amherst.edu) Version 3 by David Farrar (david@home.net.nz) NOTE : This FAQ uses a type of humour known as sarcasm. If you can't recognise this, don't act literally on the advice within. And see a doctor quick! --------------------------------------------------------------------------- New this post: Cross-posted to alt.answers and news.answers after approval by *.answers moderators. Various updates including reference to the voteyes.org! This is a revision of the former FAQ last posted in May 1995 and revived in January 1998. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS ON HOW TO CREATE A NEW ALT GROUP 1. I want to create a new alt group. How do I start? For one thing, make sure you don't talk about it on alt.config. The only people there are tyrannical, embittered news administrators and other busybodies who don't like anything that anyone does, so don't even bother. You also need to think of a good name for your group. Use this handy checklist in choosing a worthwhile alt name: * Use as many periods as possible, for separating words or even syllables. This is the most useful yardstick for measuring a newsgroup's importance; the more periods, the merrier! * Don't hide your group amongst the others that are already there; create a new hierarchy if you possibly can. Using the existing namespace is just no fun. This may seem to be in conflict with the rule above (maximize periods) but there's nothing to stop you from creating a new hierarchy and seven or eight sub-hierarchies at the same time. * Repeat words for emphasis. For example, alt.flame.joe.blow is clearly an inferior choice to alt.flame.joe.blow.die.die.die or, better, alt.flame.joe.blow.die.die.die.NOW.NOW.NOW.YES.YES.YES!! Both of these attract more attention than the first. (Also note the capital letters and exclamation points -- these are extra neat. See below for information on how to handle pesky system managers who might complain about them.) Beware, however, of creating a newsgroup name that is too descriptive of its content. Then people can look at the name and tell what the group will discuss. Random strangers might join your group. What you want is a private discussion forum where you can exchange inside jokes. Hence, a better name might be alt.flame.jbdddNNNYYY. (Insert periods at will to improve the name.) For maximal obscurity, choose an unrelated hierarchy under which to start the group: alt.sci or alt.comp, for example. And remember the maxim of alt: alt.fan is always a good place for *any* newsgroup. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2. If I'm not supposed to post to alt.config, what is alt.config for? It is there to post the charter 15 minutes before sending the newgroup message. That helps to ensure support for your group because otherwise, the news admins will only see it once and forget about it News admins have very short attention spans. They are too wrapped up in playing solitaire to answer anyone's questions if you do happen to post to alt.config. Even when bothered to read the group, they are likely to forget most topics, anyhow. So, it is best to keep the discussion going about the newsgroup proposal right away, so that the subject stays fresh in their minds. Here are some suggested tactics, which should be posted in less than 4 hours from posting about your new newsgroup: Thanks for no input, you bunch of (favorite expletive) lusers!! Why hasn't my group been created yet? There is an immediate need for this group! We need it now! Why hasn't anyone responded? It's been 20 minutes! Don't you jerks read this group? If one of the above doesn't work, try another method thirty minutes later, and so on. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. Okay, I've decided to name my group alt.fan.flame.tv.my.really.k00l.froup. What do I do now? Create the group by sending the appropriate control message (look in the "control.newgroup" newsgroup for examples). Since news administrators don't care about their jobs (it's all a sham, actually), they don't have time to read long control messages, so there's no need to put any effort into writing this message. Just say, "Please create alt.fan.flame.tv.my.really.k00l.froup." Above all, you certainly don't need to justify its existence; that's not needed until later. (see Question 7, part B). --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. This newsgroup has been around for about three days, and it rocks!! How can I move it to the rec hierarchy? Well, boring administrator types will babble something about David Lawrence and news.announce.newgroups, but you don't have time to wait for a moderator to approve your post, and you certainly don't have time to read news.announce.newgroups for information on how to do this. All you have to do is post a call for discussion in news.groups, wait a couple of weeks, and post a call for votes. Timing your post for discussion is very important; your discussion should take about a month and you want the voting period to coincide with steps 5 and 6 below. One key point to remember is that the control freaks on alt.config will vote no for EVERYTHING and will in fact actively campaign against you and your group. To offset those NO votes, you need to generate lots of YES votes by cross-posting your call for votes to lots of newsgroups. Remember: The more groups you cross-post to, the more YES votes you will generate. comp.lang.lisp is a great place to generate votes for rec.fan.flame.tv.my.really.k00l.froup, because the fascist administrators on alt.config would NEVER think of campaigning there. Be sure and mention that you are also forming an alt group; that way, the people of comp.lang.lisp will help you in your fight with the control freaks on alt.config. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. Somebody told me that my newsgroup is only on 4% of news sites! What should I do to correct this heinous injustice? Alert the media! It's a conspiracy. Consider threatening those news sites who don't carry it with legal action. The Law Systems Institute (drg@pgh.org) can help. Subscribe to alt.config and post a message complaining about the low propagation of alt.blah.blah. You should post a sharp criticism of the conspiracy of system administrators who have nothing better to do than think of ways to sabotage your news group. You should moan about the terrible propagation of your group and about the severe disservice these system administrators are doing to Usenet in general and to you in particular. Refer to Question 5 for more detailed information on good rhetoric to use in this post. Alternately, you can post a message pleading and begging news administrators to carry alt.blah.blah. A message such as "Please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please carry alt.blah.blah. Pretty please? With sugar on top? The entire Internet community will thank you if you do and we'll all send you money. Pretty please? Please?" should work nicely. For even better results, post both types of messages. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 6. Someone complained about my group! What should I do? Pay no attention. Administrators are just godless Fascists. The most important thing to remember when discussing new alt groups on alt.config -- which you shouldn't do anyway -- is that news administrators are completely impervious to logic. It does no good to reason with them, so don't try. Suggested discussion topics: You're just an evil Communist! Who appointed you God. This is alt! I can do whatever I want to! Why should I listen to you? Just because you're a news administrator? You're obviously not having any fun. Well, you're wrong because I know all about how this works. Ppppbpbpth! If you cared about your users, you'd carry this group. Keep in mind that the administrator probably did *NOT* ask his users whether or not they wished to read this group. Demand that he call all 500 of his/her users to find out if any one of them wants to read your group. One proven way of gathering support for your group is to list all the really dumb groups that have gotten approved -- such as alt.spleen, alt.enya.puke.puke.pukeSender:, and alt.culture.sardines. These groups may not exist at your site, but they must exist somewhere or the fascist administrators in alt.config wouldn't complain about them so much. Surely it's obvious, even to the dunderheads in alt.config, that if groups like those can exist on one site, your group should exist on ALL sites. NOT TRUE! You must bring this point out explicitly, as the administrators are too self-absorbed to think of this on their own. If everyone is conspiring against you, just go on to the next step. Railroading proposals through is the alt way of life! --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 7. I've been rmgroup'ed, what should I do? Ignore anything in the message, as it is just from some censorious pig somewhere. Instead, immediately newgroup it without any text. Be sure to forge the From: address so that no one can email complaints to you. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 8. I keep getting rmgroup'ed, what should I do now? A. Email the abuse department where they work. Be sure to let them know what kind of censorious netcop is working for them. Make sure to Cc: postmaster, news and the poster as well as any other addresses at that domain you can find. If they own their own domain, that will teach them to screw around with you. Throw in lots of expletives for added effect. Be sure to also post your complaints to alt.config, news.groups, alt.usenet.kooks and news.admin.net-abuse.usenet to get the message to a larger audience. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 9. Joe Blow still won't carry my group! What should I do now? Name calling is quite productive. If you can't think of any good names, try these: Fascist Bigot Control freak Mind controlling PC scum Fundamentalist right-wing fanatic Pedophile Hitler (ignore those who quote Godwin's Law) Adolf Hitler tortured and killed millions of people. Joe Blow criticized your alt.blah.blah proposal. Surely everyone can see the similarities between these two events, right? WRONG! As explained before, system administrators are incapable of thinking logically. No matter how obvious Joe Blow's evil nature is to you, the administrators of alt.config won't notice. So, you need to publicize Joe Blow's evil nature and point out the comparison to Hitler. Since no one wants to support a nazi, hundreds of sites will add your group. Be sure to mention Joe Blow's name several times in the letter, so everyone will remember exactly who you are talking about. After other system administrators see your vicious post about Joe Blow, they will add your group so that you will not similarly insult them. Finally, at the end of your post, put a line similar to: "P.S. to all: Don't forget to vote for blah.blah by next Weds" Thus, while alt.blah.blah is fresh on everyone's minds, you can attract more votes for (non-alt) blah.blah. Remember that you need to get at least 100 votes to create a non-alt group, so every vote counts. By including this PS on a note about alt.blah.blah, you will attract several voters who otherwise would not have participated. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10a. All right!! My group passed the mainstream vote!! Congratulations; you have proved the worthiness of your topic. System Administrators now have no excuse not to carry your alt group, and you can say that publicly. After all, without an alt group, how can people cross-post the same article to both groups? How would people be confused about which topics go where? Clearly, an alt group is needed. Every news group should have a corresponding alt group! --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10b. Awww.. My group failed the mainstream vote. And we were so close. Some people would suggest that you say something logical, such as: "My topic has a lot of interest but not quite enough for the mainstream Usenet. Therefore I recommend an alt group." The problem is that this statement makes sense. As stated earlier, logic is useless against system administrators. If you absolutely insist, then you can gather together all of the reasons you didn't use before and post them to alt.config. My advice, however, is to follow the suggestions given for Question 10c. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 10c. I can't believe it! Usenet voters didn't like my group at all! What?? Obviously Joe Blow (who criticized your alt group) has formed a conspiracy against you. This is the only reason for the skewed vote, since we both know your group is the best thing to happen to Usenet since alt.sex.swedish.Bork.Bork.Bork. Thus, you should post a message explaining the situation to everyone who thought the vote was legitimate. You should accuse Joe Blow of ballot stuffing, forgery, bias, murder, and any other crimes you can think of. Point out that Joe Blow has a well-known, long-standing personal vendetta against you and spent 8-12 hours per day trying to sabotage your vote. Claim that it is against the constitution and a federal offence not to have people create your group. Join the vote yes organisation (http://www.voteyes.org/yes) to help ensure that no groups ever again will be defeated by the evil isc.org. If all else fails offer bribes to people to create or vote for your group. Something else that can also work is to blame the outcome on the incompetence of the vote taker. Sometimes this works even if YOU are the vote-taker; accuse yourself of incompetence and demand that someone volunteer to collect votes for the also demanded revote of blah.blah. Finally, conclude your message by including a line such as: "Because that bigot Joe Blow's dictatorial ballot-stuffing forgeries have killed blah.blah, you are morally obligated to support alt.blah.blah. If you don't, you are just as guilty as Joe Blow. P.S. everyone please mail to root@somewhere demanding a revote of blah.blah due to Joe Blow's meddling" --------------------------------------------------------------------------- 11. I followed all your steps, and my propagation is close to .01%. Now what should I do? You should post one more time to alt.config saying "FINE! DON'T CARRY ALT.BLAH.BLAH. SEE IF I CARE, YOU $%^W&@ @#(*$^&@ DICTATORIAL POND WATER SCUM!" You may substitute whichever expletives seem appropriate. To emphasize that this message is a spontaneous outburst, you should add few typos caused by your fingers slamming on the keyboard: "FINEW! DON"T SCARRI ALT>BLAH>BLAH!!!! SEE IF I GIVE A FLYING W@$&# ABOUT YUO O|T YOUR @#)$ SITES! JUST CRAW<: BACK TUI WHEREVEER IT IS TYOU DICTATORTEIAL BIGOTED SYS AMDIN SCUMM HANG TYOUT AND LAUG|HJT AT YOUR HOOLWO VICTORY>"!"!!" With that final message, you can sit back and relax, safe in the knowledge that you have set a new record low for propagation of alt.blah.blah: 0! --------------------------------------------------------------------------- ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Note: Once I get 150 suggestions, I will remove this section and the authorship information; by that time, this thing will have become a true group effort. Until then, thanks to: Jonathan@RMIT.edu.au for advice on how to get 100 votes for a non-alt group. andy@drebin.demon.co.uk for reminding me about ObHitler flames. ye11@cornell.edu for improved Hitler flames jtbell@cs1.presby.edu for idea of bypassing news.announce.newgroup moderation akeesler@marvin.cs.uah.edu for reminding me about alt.this.group.sucks, etc. MarchHare@momeraths.org for sections on what alt.config is for and handling rmgroups twpierce@rootsweb.com for 1/2 authorship and suggesting the Emily Postnews format in the first place. wharris@mail.airmail.net for original authorship brad@clari.net for inventing the Emily Postnews style on which this FAQ is modeled Feedback and changes welcome DPF _______________________________________________________________ For a guide to the alt.* creation process see http://www.math.psu.edu/barr/alt-creation-guide.html http://www.cs.ubc.ca/spider/edmonds/usenet/good-newgroup.html