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Introduction to the *.answers newsgroups
Section - What is news.answers?

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The news.answers newsgroup serves as a repository for periodic
informational postings (many of which are called "Frequently Asked
Questions", or "FAQ's") from other Usenet newsgroups.  It's a place to
collect answers, not to ask the questions themselves.

Although it's difficult to say exactly what qualifies as a posting
that belongs in news.answers, the basic description is, "any article
which answers common questions and is meant to be read by human
beings."  Furthermore, postings cross-posted in news.answers should
have subject lines that describe their content, with key descriptive
information first.  For example, an FAQ posting for 
should have a subject line saying something like "
FAQ" or "Chess FAQ," not "Frequently Asked Questions About Chess".

For example, the comp.unix.questions "Unix - Frequently Asked
Questions...." postings and the news.announce.newusers "Emily Postnews
Answers Your Questions on Netiquette" belong in news.answers, as does
the README file from comp.mail.maps.  However, the comp.mail.maps map
postings do not, since they are not primarily intended for human

Periodic informational postings from any hierarchy that travels using
"Usenet mechanisms" may be appropriate for cross-posting to
news.answers (i.e., news.answers is not limited to postings from the
comp, sci, misc, soc, talk, news, humanities and rec hierarchies).
Where there is any ambiguity, the *.answers moderators will decide
whether or not a posting belongs in the newsgroup.

There are several reasons why this newsgroup exists.  They include:

* It is easier for site administrators to keep periodic
informational postings around for a long time if they are all
cross-posted to one newsgroup.  Administrators can make the
maximum expire time for news.answers very long, instead of making
every newsgroup with periodic informational postings in it have a
long maximum expire time.

* It is easier for sites to archive periodic informational
postings, since they will need to watch just one newsgroup rather
than scanning the entire news spool.

* It provides a "quick reference" for users, in several different
respects.  Users who want to browse through the various periodic
informational postings that the Usenet has to offer can do so in
just one newsgroup.  Or, users who want to find an FAQ from a
particular newsgroup but don't know its subject can search for
that newsgroup in the headers of the postings in news.answers.

* Software for retrieving periodic informational postings can also
be simplified to use news.answers as the basis for searches.

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM