j kahila (email@example.com)
> I would be very curious to know your impressions regarding:
> what the most important aspects of faq's are;
Depends on the subject/group. My group is talk.religion.buddhism (we are
still drafting the FAQ). The needs of a group like t.r.b. are very
different from, say, a comp.* or sci.* group. In the latter cases, one
wants expert opinion in some sense or other. In a case like ours, if I
tried to represent myself as Guru John (World-Renowned Expert on
Buddhism), the smoke from the FAQ-burning party would be visible around
> how you conceive the function of faq's--as
> a charter,
No. Charter has another meaning in connection with Big 7 newsgroups. Of
course it is OK to include the charter in the FAQ, and our group does so.
> a way of maintaining orderly community discourse,
Well, let's just say orderly discourse.
> an introductory brochure,
Definitely. A group like ours has lots of outside visitors ... students
writing papers, people of other faiths trying to improve their knowledge
of other religions, etc.
> an enticement to newcomers?;
No. Trying to proselytize through a FAQ? Now there's a funny idea.
> how much faq's actually impact the evolution of a community;
Depends again on the group. I doubt if the people in alt.flame depend on
the FAQ to improve their sense of community. The ferret-owners FAQ
probably does a lot more in that direction.
Note that we are really talking about a loose association of thousands of
communities (some of them organized into newsgroups). The "Internet
community" includes fundamentalists and atheists, anarchists and
authoritarians, antisexual crusaders and whores ... a serious abuse of the
word "community" IMHO.
> the extent to which members of a community are concerned with and
> attempt to contribute to the faq;
Depends on the group.
> whether communities have established any sanctioning mechanisms to
> deal with violations of norms set out in faq's,
In our case, no. Now if we were Catholics I suppose we could
excommunicate people. :-)
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