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04 Is there a rec.music.dylan etiquette?


This article is from the Bob Dylan FAQ, by Adam K. Powers and John Howells howells@bigfoot.com with numerous contributions by others.

04 Is there a rec.music.dylan etiquette?

You should already be familiar with Usenet etiquette. If not, the
newsgroups to read are news.newusers.questions and
news.announce.newusers. A particularly useful document is "Emily
Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette" by Mark Moraes
<netannounce@deshaw.com>, stored at rtfm.mit.edu in a document
called "part1" in the directory

As with all newsgroups, the very best recommendation is for you to sit
back and read for a while before you make your first posting. That
way you can get a proper feel for the newsgroup. Then you will see
which postings you think are valuable and which are wasting space or
preventing good discussion.

rec.music.dylan is not moderated, so within reason anything goes.
However, certain types of postings are generally frowned upon. Here
follows some guidance:

o Tirades against other readers of the newsgroup for their
opinions are not welcome.

o Failure to edit subject heading when replying via the main
rec.music.dylan digest. Please ensure you edit the subject line
when posting a Followup-To: Anyone seeing a posting headed:

SUBJECT: Re: HWY61-L Digest - 5 Mar 1999

is likely to choose to ignore it altogether.

o Posting contact information for bootleg dealers. From time to time
someone posts a request for contact details of bootleg dealers. Answers
to these questions should be sent by private e-mail only. To post full
details to the very public forum of rec.music.dylan is to put the
dealers at risk. This may once have seemed an hysterical over-reaction
to the real situation, but these days dealers don't just lose their
stock and face prosecution, in several countries dealers have gone
to prison. Is it not best to avoid Bob Dylan's work being the most
likely target when those greedy copyright lawyers finally hit the
Internet in force? We all know Bob Dylan always says yes when his
lawyers ask him if they should proceed, be it a computer company, a
transit authority, or a ...

o Posting your full tape/CD trade listings. Setting up tape trades is
best conducted via e-mail wherever possible.

o Unsolicited trade requests are generally frowned upon, and the
recipients of such requests should not feel guilty about saying no
or ignoring them. A typical situation is when a poster indicates
that he or she has access to or is looking for a certain tape. It
is considered bad form to send email or post to the group a trade
request or "me too" request. Unless you know the person, you will
not likely get a response. Likewise, the recipient of such a request
should not feel obligated to trade with everyone who asks for a

o Questions to the group should be clearly indicated as questions in
the subject line to avoid confusing those who are looking for new
information. For instance, a subject header of "New Album" is likely to
mislead those reading your post into expecting to find some news about
a new album. Instead, it is better to ask the question "Is There a New

o To make sure you're not asking a question that has already been recently
answered, or raising yet again a subject that has been extensively
discussed, there are two ways of finding out what's gone on before on
rec.music.dylan. You may find the answer to your question without having
to wait, and at the same time think of new questions to ask or points to
raise that haven't already been discussed by the newsgroup.

(1) Google Groups (formerly Deja News) has archives of all posts made
to Usenet newsgroups. Go to


Enter "rec.music.dylan" as the newsgroup name in the Newsgroup: box
and your topic, e.g. "thin man" in the subject field.

The search results will be displayed. You simply browse through
the posts. If you want to limit your search still further, e.g. to see how
many posts to rec.music.dylan about Thin Man have been made by Ed Ricardo,
you can also enter his name in the Author: box!

(2) EDLIS (see section 10 of Part 1 of this FAQ) keeps details of
frequently-raised subjects or threads on rec.music.dylan, such as "Who is
the 13th/15th Century poet mentioned in "Tangled Up In Blue"?". Go to


and look through the archived threads. For example,


is another way of finding all those Thin Man discussions!

o Pictures, sounds and other binaries should never be posted to
rec.music.dylan. To share your binary most easily, use a web page
and post the reference URL address to rec.music.dylan. If web
space is not available, ask on rec.music.dylan for help finding
some or ask


If this fails, or you prefer to post to a newsgroup, post your
binary to an appropriate alt.binaries.* group and send the
article IDs and subject lines to rec.music.dylan as a helpful
pointer. Rec.music.dylan is a text-only newsgroup, where a
half-megabyte binary can cause serious problems.

Not everyone is in a school setting or has free local telephone
calls. In many parts of the world the telephone connection
is paid for by usage and in some the computer account is paid
for by volume! Don't make yourself look thoughtless by posting
huge binaries.

o Key questions to ask of yourself before sending your new posting:

1. Has this been discussed before?
(Read the FAQ, follow up any leads, and visit www.edlis.org/twice)
2. Can I delete more of the quoted text of the message to which
I am replying, while still achieving the same result?
(The less quoted the better, because almost everyone has seen
the original article, and it's still freely available to those
who haven't)
3. If I waited 24 hours, would I still want to post this?
(Especially relevant for posts initiated in anger)
4. Is this potentially of interest to many people, or would it be better
sent via private e-mail to one person?
5. Is this related to Bob Dylan?
6. Does my subject line reflect the content of my posting?


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