This article is from the ER FAQ, by Rose Cooper firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
[...you know, Road, as in Information Su-- Gak. I loathe that term.]
Sure buddy, thar's *always* rules...
-First Rule Of Usenet: read the FAQ for the group you're on.
Obviously, since you're here, you've passed this one. You are to
be commended: not everybody does this, not even Old Weather-Beaten
Grizzled Usenet Vets.
-Second Rule Of Usenet: after you've read the FAQ, lurk (read without
posting) awhile. The amount of lurk time isn't set-in-stone
(neither are these rules, but there are, of course, consequences
for breaking them, as you'll no doubt find out). The important
thing to remember is, Every Question Has Been Asked Before. Just
about, anyway. And usually, by certain someones that haven't
followed the First Rule. Give it time, you'll get an answer. The
other big reason for lurking awhile is, you get the "feel" of the
newsgroup, the ebb and tide of its regulars, which helps you to
discern between playful banter and downright seriousness. This is
not an easy thing to pick up, even for Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled
Usenet Vets, but it can be done a bit more easily by watching how
other Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled Usenet Vets respond. Try it,
-Third Rule Of Usenet: you've read the FAQ. You've lurked. What to
do now? Go to Disneyland...uh, I mean, try lurking a little bit
longer. Just a little bit. You're allllllmost ready.
-Fourth Rule Of Usenet: okay, so you say you're ready. Go for it.
But remember this, if you don't remember any of the other Rules:
DON'T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY. It is a virtual certainty that
Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled Usenet Vets, won't.
(and, by the way, Rule 4a: don't use all-caps. That's called
"shouting". Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled Usenet Vets tend to react
strongly to that. Sensitive "ears" and all).
(and, since we're here, Rule 4b: Context Matters. Any thread--that
is, multiple posts on the same theme and subject line--is only as
good as the posts it contains. And on Usenet, it is unwise to assume
that the reader has read a thread from the very beginning. It's
important, then, to quote some part of what you're responding to,
in your response; otherwise, it's likely that no one will have any
idea what you're talking about. Unfortunately, the opposite
tendency some folks have, to include *everything* in a response, is
just as bad, if not worse. It's one of the things that has earned
generic AOLers--deserving or not--the wrath of Old Weather-Beaten
Grizzled Usenet Vets. How to find the best balance is something that
can't quite be covered in a FAQ, sad to say).
(wait, there's one more--Rule 4c: Thems Pretty Pictures--But...
"I have this kewel nude picture of Donald Anspaugh that I *know*
everybody will want to see," I hear you saying; "can I post it here?"
Short answer: "no, thank you."
Long answer: a.t.e (as well as a.t.e.creative and probably u.t.m.e
and i.t.e) are non-binary groups. Posting binaries to non-binary
groups is a no-no, and is generally unwelcomed by readers and
newsadmins alike. There are quite a few ER web pages out there;
surely, one of the page owners would be delighted to include your
image on their page if you ask them. Even if not, there are
plenty of *.binaries newsgroups; please post your image there, and
provide a "pointer" post here. The hoardes of fans who
are dying to see Anspaugh butt nekkid, will be ever grateful).
-Fifth Rule Of Usenet: Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled Usenet Vets got
that way, generally, because they were once young fresh net.newbies
like yourself. And, as such, they likely experienced all the
flammage, derision, ridicule, and, eventually, acceptance, that
you'll experience in your Travels Around Usenet. Things go a *lot*
smoother if you just follow the guideposts that were created with
you in mind (wasn't that nice of Them?) and kept in places aptly
named, like news.announce.newusers (new Usenet user FAQs),
news.newusers.questions (guess), and, on the web, "How to make the best
use of Usenet News" <http://home.netscape.com/menu/netet/news2.html>,
just to name three [Thanks Rebecca]. Go forth, read and be merry, for
you are on your way to becoming an Old Weather-Beaten Grizzled
Usenet Vet. Easy, eh?
-Sixth Rule Of Usenet: Don't Feed The Trolls. Eh, what's a Troll?, I
hear you asking. Well...do the stuff in Rules Two to Five first,
then come back. We'll chat.