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0-5] Appropriate use of the newsgroups


This article is from the CD-Recordable FAQ, by Andy McFadden (fadden@fadden.com) with numerous contributions by others.

0-5] Appropriate use of the newsgroups


This FAQ covers the three newsgroups in the comp.publish.cdrom hierarchy,
one for software, one for hardware, and one for multimedia. The names of
the newsgroups imply that the intended topics are related to publishing
material on CD-ROMs, but the current discussions cover most everything
related to CD-Recordable devices.

Here are a few guidelines. These aren't hard and fast rules -- nobody died
and put me in charge of making the rules -- but if you're not sure what the
appropriate subject matter is then this may be helpful.

news:comp.publish.cdrom.hardware is the most popular of the groups.
Appropriate material includes questions about past, current, and future
CD-R devices. Asking for installation help or advice on what to buy is
appropriate, as are questions about related hardware like SCSI adapters and
CD-ROM drives. Some related newsgroups are:


news:comp.publish.cdrom.software is for discussions about software used to
prepare material for and create CDs and CD-ROMs. Questions about how to do
things with a specific piece of software belong here, as do "the CD-R
software from XXX won't recognize my drive", and "does a program exist that
does YYY". Some related newsgroups are:


news:comp.publish.cdrom.multimedia is for discussions about creating
multimedia products on CD-ROMs. Questions about multimedia authoring
software belong here, as do most production-type questions, e.g. "where can
I go to get my CD pressed with jewel cases and glossy inserts?" Related
newsgroups are:


Please try to keep cross-posting to a minimum. Broadcasting questions to
3 or 4 related newsgroups will increase the noise level and probably won't
get you more answers.

Some general rules apply to all of the comp.publish.cdrom.* groups:

(1) Piracy of CD-ROM software or CDs: CD recorders can be used to make
copies of copyrighted material, and while backups of data are legal, making
or accepting copies from others most likely isn't. Whatever your opinion
of the matter, software piracy and other copyright violations are illegal
in most countries in the world, so requests and/or advertisements for
pirated material should be kept off the newsgroup. Also, please don't
start or participate in a debate about whether or not software piracy is
bad. There have been hundreds of such debates over the past several years,
and the only thing that either side has managed to prove is that piracy
debates are a tremendous waste of time.

(2) Personal CD-R hardware and software sales: strictly speaking, these
groups aren't appropriate for selling off your old hardware or software.
Such things are best left in misc.forsale.computers.*, ba.market.computers,
and related groups. Since many readers are in the market for new hardware,
a limited number of clearly marked articles are tolerated. The common
Usenet convention is to use "FS: HP4020i $400 obo" for "For Sale" messages
and "WTB: HP4020i" for "Want To Buy" messages.

(3) CD-R product advertising: these groups by their nature are somewhat
commercial. Many readers are in the market for new hardware or CD-R media,
and for this reason a *limited* amount of retail/wholesale advertising is
tolerated but discouraged. If you *clearly* mark your postings as
advertisements, you will get relatively few complaints. Posting frequent
and useless followups just to broadcast your 20-line signature will get you
flamed and subsequently ignored. Feel free to send mail to people who post
questions about product pricing and availability, but please don't create
mailing lists and broadcast to everyone who posts.

(4) Other advertising: while it's certainly the case that most or all of
the readers have a CD-ROM drive on a computer, the same could be said of
almost every person reading news from a home computer today. Please keep
ads in newsgroups that are more appropriate. Advertising the latest
educational, game, or adult CD is inappropriate for these groups, as are
"hot new Cyrix 686 PC" posts. Subtle attempts to advertise web sites
("golly, this looked really neat, so I thought I'd tell everyone") are more
obvious than you might think.

(5) Spam: you cannot make money fast. That's life, get used to it. If the
message involves putting your name at the top of a list of 5 or 10 people,
don't post it. If it has an 800 or 888 number that a reader would call to
hear more about your unique business opportunity, don't post it.

(6) Job postings: looking for job candidates on these newsgroups is a
tolerated but generally futile exercise. Most of the readers are looking
for or offering help on CD-Rs, not searching for a job. Try one of the
other groups, like misc.jobs.offered.

(7) Binaries: as with most Usenet newsgroups, posting binary files (large
or small) is inappropriate. If you want to make a binary file available to
Usenet readers, send it to an appropriate alt.binaries newsgroup, and just
post a pointer to it in the other group(s).

One final note: bear in mind that these groups are read by people all over
the world. If you're looking for local retailers, be sure to specify what
"local" is for you. Posting in English is the best way to ensure that you
will get a response, but the readership is diverse enough that you will
likely get a reply no matter what language you use. If you want to quote
prices, specify the currency to avoid confusion (e.g. US$300 or CAN$300 or
Y30000 or ...).


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