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[alt.paranormal] Posting FAQ - read this before posting!


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Archive-name: paranormal/posting
Posting-Frequency: monthly to alt.paranormal,alt.answers,news.answers
Last-modified: 1999/04/02
Version: 1.5
URL: http://www.ramtop.demon.co.uk/paranormal/posting.txt
Copyright: (c) 1998 Phil Harrison <pharrison@ramtop.demon.co.uk>
Maintainer: Phil Harrison <pharrison@ramtop.demon.co.uk>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
CONTENTS

0. Introduction
1. What is the status of this FAQ?  What about other FAQs?
2. What is Netiquette?
3. What is Net abuse?
4. Is it OK to post commercial articles?
5. What is alt.paranormal for?
6. What can be done about people posting things I find objectionable?
7. What about Flames?
8. What is alt.paranormal.moderated?

0. Introduction.

Welcome to alt.paranormal. This newsgroup is for the discussion of all
aspects of the paranormal, and unexplained phenomena.

The purpose of this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) is to give
information and advice to new users in order to help them participate in
this newsgroup effectively. It does not attempt to answer questions
about the paranormal. 

This FAQ is based on the alt.astrology posting FAQ which was produced by
Sherilyn (Sherilyn@sidaway.demon.co.uk).

Any additional questions and suggestions for improving this FAQ are
welcome, and should be sent to pharrison@ramtop.demon.co.uk

1. What is the status of this FAQ?

The purpose of any FAQ is to provide a central source of useful 
information.  Neither this FAQ, nor any other one should be seen as a
rigid set of rules that must be adhered to when posting to
alt.paranormal.  In common with most unmoderated alt.* newsgroups, there
is no official charter, except for a reference to discussions which took
place in alt.config prior to the creation of alt.paranormal. There 
exists no voting mechanism to govern administration of an alt.*
newsgroup, and as this is an unmoderated newsgroup, no participants have
any degree of authority.

This isn't the only FAQ regarding alt.paranormal, and it is not intended
to compete with other alt.paranormal FAQ's. If you have particular
questions to post that may have been asked before, you might wish to
look at the alt.paranormal FAQ maintained by Bruce Daniel Kettler at:

        http://www.psicounsel.com/altparfaq.html

Please not that the "charter" in the above document was not posted with 
the newgroup control message that created alt.paranormal, and should not 
be regarded as authoritative in any way.

For more information about the alt.paranormal charter, look at:

        http://www.sidaway.demon.co.uk/paranormal/charter.txt

2. What is Netiquette?

Since the purpose of USENET is communication, some people who have used
USENET effectively for a long time have produced guidelines for posters,
collectively known as _netiquette_.  In order to learn some basic
netiquette, I recommend the new USENET user subscribe to the newsgroup
news.announce.newusers, and read any information supplied on their own
ISP's website.

The following document, which is posted directly to the above newsgroup,
is recommended reading before you post to USENET.

        http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/primer/part1/

The following URL can be used to scan _all_ regular FAQs posted to
news.announce.newusers.

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/by-newsgroup/news/news.announce.newusers.html

3. What is Net abuse?

Net abuse is defined as abuse _of_ the net, not abuse _on_ the net.  The
most common form of net abuse is known as SPAM. This is defined in the
SPAM FAQ:
        http://www.uiuc.edu/ph/www/tskirvin/faqs/spam.html

Read your ISP's Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), if they have one.  The
purpose of an AUP is to delineate the conditions under which, in the
better interests of the USENET community, your ISP may take action to
limit or curtail your ability to post to USENET.  Typical bans are on
commercial postings in non-commercial newsgroups (such as
alt.paranormal) and binary (non-text) postings in non-binary newsgroups
(such as alt.paranormal).

As ad hoc guidelines:
        Do not repeatedly make posts of no significant or of the same
        byte-for-byte content (spam).
        Do not make binary posts to alt.paranormal

If you want to learn more about net abuse on USENET and how to fight it 
effectively, or if you have ideas to contribute, subscribe to 
news.admin.net-abuse.usenet.  Here is an excellent primer on anti-spam
countermeasures which you may find useful.

        http://www.mall-net.com/spamfaq.html

4. Is it OK to post commercial articles?

This really depends upon the policies of your ISP. Some ISP's expressly 
forbid the posting of commercial articles to newsgroups unless they were 
set up for that purpose. 

If your ISP does not forbid the posting of commercial articles to 
discussion newsgroups then you will not be breaking any rules if you 
post a commercial article, as long as you don't repeatedly spam it. 
Similarly, if the article is relatively short and relates to the topic 
of the paranormal, most people will probably not object to it. However, 
alt.paranormal is a discussion newsgroup, so don't be surprised if your 
article generates some discussion. 

For a more extensive guide to posting commercial articles on usenet, 
see:

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/usenet/advertising/how-to/part1/

5. What is alt.paranormal for?

This newsgroup is for the discussion of all things pertaining to
the paranormal. Not all posters to alt.paranormal will necessarily share
your own beliefs and opinions. People who have an interest in the
paranormal do not necessarily believe in all aspects of the paranormal. 
The paranormal is a very broad subject, and discussions in 
alt.paranormal range from scientific investigation to more esoteric 
topics.

6. What can be done about people posting things I find objectionable?

You will almost certainly see opinions you don't agree with on
alt.paranormal, and sometimes you will even see posts that are just 
downright nasty.  The correct way to deal with such posts is described 
in the USENET Primer (see section 2 of this FAQ):

        'If you find an article offensive, consider taking it up with
        the person directly, or ignoring it.  Learn about "kill files"
        in your newsreader, and other techniques for ignoring people
        whose postings you find offensive.'

An ISP is very unlikely to respond favourably to complaints you send 
them because you dislike the contents of an article posted by one of 
their users.

7. What about Flames?

A "flame" is an angry post.  Sometimes you will find angry posts in 
follow-up to your own.  The temptation may then be to make an angry post 
in response.  Think first.

You should bear in mind that whatever you post to a newsgroup reflects
upon you as a person. Firing off an angry response straight away is
almost always a bad idea, as it usually leads to a "flame war" and the
thread becomes uninteresting. If you keep your sense of humour and
either ignore the message or respond calmly, then you will find your
participation in the discussions much more enjoyable.

8. What is alt.paranormal.moderated?

Alt.paranormal.moderated is a newsgroup that is intended to cover 
paranormal topics, but all articles are directed to a moderator who 
decides whether the article should be posted to the newsgroup or not.
It is a separate newsgroup to alt.paranormal. The intention behind this
newsgroup is to permit discussion of the paranormal, but not to allow
articles that would provoke a flame war. 

As this is a relatively new newsgroup, it may not be carried by all 
ISP's. If you would like to subscribe to this newsgroup but cannot find 
it, you should sent a polite request to your ISP asking them to carry
it.

The moderator of alt.paranormal.moderated is David Lindauer. A copy of 
the charter is stored at:

        http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shire/3581/charter.html



-- 
Phil Harrison

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