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Subject: How to Create a New Usenet Newsgroup
This article was archived around: Mon, 03 Jul 2000 16:25:28 GMT
Original-author: email@example.com (Greg Woods)
Comment: enhanced & edited until 5/93 by firstname.lastname@example.org (Gene Spafford)
Last-change: 31 Jan 1997 by email@example.com (David C Lawrence)
GUIDELINES FOR USENET GROUP CREATION
REQUIREMENTS FOR GROUP CREATION:
These are guidelines that have been generally agreed upon across
Usenet as appropriate for following in the creating of new newsgroups
in the "standard" Usenet newsgroup hierarchy. They are NOT intended as
guidelines for setting Usenet policy other than group creations, and
they are not intended to apply to "alternate" or local news
hierarchies. The part of the namespace affected is comp, humanities,
misc, news, rec, sci, soc, talk, which are the most widely-distributed
areas of the Usenet hierarchy.
Any group creation request which follows these guidelines to a
successful result should be honored, and any request which fails to
follow these procedures or to obtain a successful result from doing so
should be dropped, except under extraordinary circumstances. The
reason these are called guidelines and not absolute rules is that it
is not possible to predict in advance what "extraordinary
circumstances" are or how they might arise.
It should be pointed out here that, as always, the decision whether or
not to create a newsgroup on a given machine rests with the
administrator of that machine. These guidelines are intended merely as
an aid in making those decisions.
firstname.lastname@example.org is a body of volunteers experienced with
the newsgroup creation process. They assist people who want to
propose new groups with the formation and submission of a good
proposal. It is strongly encouraged, though not required, that they
be contacted with an outline of the basic idea for a proposal, and a
mentor will work with the proponents to submit a formal proposal.
People who have experience with the process and wish to help others
should contact email@example.com to join.
1) A request for discussion on creation of a new newsgroup should be
posted to news.announce.newgroups, news.groups, and any other
groups or mailing lists at all related to the proposed topic if
desired. news.announce.newgroups is moderated, and the
Followup-to: header will be set so that the actual discussion takes
place only in news.groups. Users on sites which have difficulty
posting to moderated groups may mail submissions intended for
news.announce.newgroups to firstname.lastname@example.org. The proposal
must be in the format defined in "How to Format and Submit a
New Group Proposal", a pointer to which is at the end of this message.
The article should be cross-posted among the newsgroups, including
news.announce.newgroups, rather than posted as separate articles.
Note that standard behaviour for posting software is to not present
the articles in any groups when cross-posted to a moderated group;
the moderator will handle that for you.
2) The name and charter of the proposed group and whether it will be
moderated or unmoderated (and if the former, who the moderator(s)
will be) should be determined during the discussion period. If
there is no general agreement on these points among the proponents
of a new group at the end of 30 days of discussion, the discussion
should be taken offline (into mail instead of news.groups) and the
proponents should iron out the details among themselves. Once that
is done, a new, more specific proposal may be made, going back to
step 1) above.
3) Group advocates seeking help in choosing a name to suit the
proposed charter, or looking for any other guidance in the creation
procedure, can send a message to email@example.com; a few
seasoned news administrators are available through this address.
The Usenet Volunteer Votetakers (UVV) are a group of neutral
third-party vote-takers who currently handle vote gathering and
counting for all newsgroup proposals. The coordinators of the group
can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; contact them to arrange the
handling of the vote. The mechanics of vote will be handled in accord
with the paragraphs below.
1) AFTER the discussion period, if it has been determined that a new
group is really desired, a name and charter are agreed upon, and it
has been determined whether the group will be moderated and if so
who will moderate it, a call for votes may be posted to
news.announce.newgroups and any other groups or mailing lists that
the original request for discussion might have been posted
to. There should be minimal delay between the end of the discussion
period and the issuing of a call for votes. The call for votes
should include clear instructions for how to cast a vote. It must
be as clearly explained and as easy to do to cast a vote for
creation as against it, and vice versa. It is explicitly permitted
to set up two separate addresses to mail yes and no votes to
provided that they are on the same machine, to set up an address
different than that the article was posted from to mail votes to,
or to just accept replies to the call for votes article, as long as
it is clearly and explicitly stated in the call for votes article
how to cast a vote. If two addresses are used for a vote, the
reply address must process and accept both yes and no votes OR
reject them both.
2) The voting period should last for at least 21 days and no more than
31 days, no matter what the preliminary results of the vote
are. The exact date that the voting period will end should be
stated in the call for votes. Only votes that arrive on the
vote-taker's machine prior to this date will be counted.
3) A couple of repeats of the call for votes may be posted during the
vote, provided that they contain similar clear, unbiased
instructions for casting a vote as the original, and provided that
it is really a repeat of the call for votes on the SAME proposal
(see #5 below). Partial vote results should NOT be included; only a
statement of the specific new group proposal, that a vote is in
progress on it, and how to cast a vote. It is permitted to post a
"mass acknowledgement" in which all the names of those from whom
votes have been received are posted, as long as no indication is
made of which way anybody voted until the voting period is
4) ONLY votes MAILED to the vote-taker will count. Votes posted to the
net for any reason (including inability to get mail to the
vote-taker) and proxy votes (such as having a mailing list
maintainer claim a vote for each member of the list) will not be
5) Votes may not be transferred to other, similar proposals. A vote
shall count only for the EXACT proposal that it is a response
to. In particular, a vote for or against a newsgroup under one name
shall NOT be counted as a vote for or against a newsgroup with a
different name or charter, a different moderated/unmoderated status
or (if moderated) a different moderator or set of moderators.
6) Votes MUST be explicit; they should be of the form "I vote for the
group foo.bar as proposed" or "I vote against the group foo.bar as
proposed". The wording doesn't have to be exact, it just needs to
be unambiguous. In particular, statements of the form "I would vote
for this group if..." should be considered comments only and not
counted as votes.
7) A vote should be run only for a single group proposal. Attempts to
create multiple groups should be handled by running multiple
parallel votes rather than one vote to create all of the groups.
1) At the completion of the voting period, the vote taker must post
the vote tally and the E-mail addresses and (if available) names of
the voters received to news.announce.newgroups and any other groups
or mailing lists to which the original call for votes was
posted. The tally should include a statement of which way each
voter voted so that the results can be verified.
2) AFTER the vote result is posted, there will be a 5 day waiting
period, beginning when the voting results actually appear in
news.announce.newgroups, during which the net will have a chance to
correct any errors in the voter list or the voting procedure.
3) AFTER the waiting period, and if there were no serious objections
that might invalidate the vote, and if 100 more valid YES/create
votes are received than NO/don't create AND at least 2/3 of the
total number of valid votes received are in favor of creation, a
newgroup control message may be sent out. If the 100 vote margin
or 2/3 percentage is not met, the group should not be created.
4) The newgroup message will be sent by the news.announce.newgroups
moderator at the end of the waiting period of a successful vote.
5) A proposal which has failed under point (3) above should not again
be brought up for discussion until at least six months have passed
from the close of the vote. This limitation does not apply to
proposals which never went to vote or polls that were cancelled or
If you want to create a new group, the following additional documents
should be read before you begin the process.
Subject: How to Format and Submit a New Group Proposal
Subject: How to Write a Good Newsgroup Proposal
Subject: Usenet Newsgroup Creation Companion
Subject: What is Usenet?