Posting-frequency: Twice a month
Last-modified: 04 September 2001
new e-mail address for FAQ maintainer
new web address for the FAQ and the ARChive
References to RFA president removed
Subject: 1. Introduction
This FAQ contains answers to some common questions about ARC. It provides
a fairly good introduction to the group, so please take a moment to read
it. If you want the short version:
Alt.romance.chat is about romance and fun and general silliness. The
newsgroup is *NOT* the place to post personal-ads, email-me, let's
chat, 1-900-SEX posts, angst, ads for web pages or commercial
services (dating services, catalogs of erotic material, etc.), or
binaries. Posts of those kinds are actively discouraged.
BTW, the 'chat' in the name has nothing to do with the 'live chat' rooms
and other public forums with some of the subscription services (AOL,
Prodigy, Genie, Delphi, IRC, etc.). We were here first -- the word 'chat'
has been co-op'd by those other folks, and we're not happy about it!
Subject: 2. Table of contents
2. Table of Contents
3. What is this thang called 'alt.romance.chat'?
4. Should I post personal ads to ARC? NO!
5. "E-mail me", "I want to chat", and penpal requests. NO!
6. No? But you said this was a place for meeting people!!!
7. Are these people serious?
8. Ads for comercial sevices, 1-900 numbers, and web pages
9. What is the RFA? And how do I get an 'official' title?
9b. Do I have to apply to the RFA to post to ARC?
10. Why the heck to some posts start with CH?
11. That last message was really stupid. Should I flame?
12. I want to talk dirty. Should I do that in ARC?
13. How come everybody seems to know everybody else?
14. Hey! That last post had nothing to do with ARC!
15. What's the difference between ARC and alt.romance?
16. Where are all the good men/women?
16b. Where are all the good men/women (Alternate answer #1)
16c. Where are all the good men/women (Alternate answer #2)
17. Where can I get more information on the USENET?
18. Now what?
Subject: 3. What is this thang called 'alt.romance.chat'?
Alt.romance.chat is nominally dedicated to questions, advice, poems,
stories, anecdotes, ruminations, etc., regarding "romance." Romance is
probably undefinable, so don't worry about any ARC.accepted.norms... There
aren't any. (Actually, that's not true. Norm is down there at the end of
the bar! (Hi Joshua! *wave*) There are Rip's, Rob's, and Ross's, and more
than a few cats (HiYa!) around here. But, don't ask about grog! Please.
It's for your own good!)
For those of you with Web access, we also maintain a home page for our
newsgroup. The home page is called the ARChive, and can be found at the
The ARChive contains this FAQ, a link to our USENET newsgroup, a picture
gallery of some ARC.folk, a collection of articles from the CASTLE thread,
links to the home pages of some of our ARC.folk, and links to some other
interesting romance-related places. Please note that there are now two
versions of the ARChive available. The content is the same, but one has
extras, such as frames, backgrounds, a counter etc. while the other is the
original with minimal 'flash', for those who don't like, or have browsers
that won't support frames.
Subject: 4. Should I post personal ads to ARC? NO!
There seem to be some indexes floating around in net.land (particularly in
Europe), that say ARC is a place to post personal ads. They are *wrong*!
Do not post personal ads to ARC. There are other social newsgroups, like
alt.romance, alt.support, alt.cuddles, alt.couples, soc.singles, etc., and
none of them are appropriate for personal ads, either.
There are groups that *are* appropriate for "ad" posts. For example, try
the alt.personals and the alt.sex groups.
If you're in doubt as to the correct group to post in, you can use the
interest finder on DejaNews (http://www.dejanews.com), or check out the
FAQs for these groups. They can be found on RTFM.MIT.EDU, and accessed
via anonymous ftp. While you're there, read a copy of the Netiquette
Guide. The net will thank you. (And so will your mother -- do you have
clean underwear on?)
Subject: 5. "E-mail me", "I want to chat", and penpal requests. NO!
With regular frequency, we get posts along the lines of "e-mail me", or "I
want to chat" or "penpal wanted", mostly from newlings. Please don't post
this sort of thing to ARC!
If you want an e-mail penpal, try soc.penpals. If you're looking for an
e-mail friend in ARC, lurk for a while. Read the posts. Get a feel for
the personalities. Then, ask someone directly, in e-mail. (*pinch* Yikes!
I said "feel for the personalities", not "feel the persons"! Sheesh! You
Subject: 6. No? But you said this was a place for meeting people!!!
It is. However, like any group or party, there are certain conventions that
are really just common courtesy. For example, do you usually walk up to
a group of strangers at a party and say "Hi! I'm a SWM ISO DHF for wild,
frenzied sex"??? If you do, then you need some serious help, and ARC is
not the place to get that help.
If you want to meet the ARC.folk, just hang around for a while. Follow the
threads. Make a comment or two about a thread. Start your own thread. Ask
a question about romance or love or relationships that has been bothering
you for as long as you knew what romance or love or relationships were. Or
better yet, start a net.food-fight! (Speaking of which, have you seen my
Super-Pie-O-Matic 2000?!?!? No??? *SPLOOSH* Now you have!!)
Subject: 7. Are these people serious?
Much Silliness and other OddUnRomanceRelated conversation goes on here.
That's why it's a *.*.CHAT group. Folks who lurk or post in ARC might be
joined by the common thread of "romance," but it's also something of a
social contact arena. However, ARC is not an IRC or MUSH or a MUD or a MOO
area, nor do we have "chat lines". If that's what you want, you need to
look elsewhere. (And you'll probably find that one blue sock you've been
missing all these years, too!)
Subject: 8. Ads for 1-900 numbers, commercial services, and web pages.
Although these are frequently seen in ARC, they are not appreciated here.
If you have a personal web page that you would like people to know about,
post something on-topic, and put your web address in your signature.
People are more likely to visit your web page if you present yourself as
an interesting person. Under no circumstances are ads for commercial
services or 1-900 numbers considered appropriate in ARC.
Subject: 9. What is the RFA? And how do I get an 'Official' title?
RFA stands for Romantic Fireside Association. It is a subset of the
people who read and/or post to ARC, and who find romance in situations
involving fire - fireplaces, candle-light, campfires and the like.
To join, simply post a story/poem/anecdote in ARC featuring: (a) fire
of some sort and (b) Romance. Put "RFA Application: [your name]" in the
Subject line to help people spot it!
The existing members of the RFA will then vote to accept your story.
You only need two votes of acceptance and you're in! Don't panic -
you don't need to wait for votes from everyone! If you want, you can
then choose a title. The current list of RFA titles is at our website, so
can check the titles that have been used already. Once you've got your two
votes, e-mail the ARChive maintainer (currently, Lisa Davis at
firstname.lastname@example.org), to make sure the title is unique and to add it to the
This ensures that titles don't get mixed up. Don't be miffed if people
respond immediately; they're often busy and some sites don't get all the
messages. Also be aware of net.lag -- it can be days or even a week before
your message is distributed widely on the net. So be patient. E-mailing
your application to the maintainer will help speed the approval of a title!
Subject: 9b. Do I have to apply to the RFA to post to ARC?
Of course not! The RFA does not in any way control ARC. It is a very
informal group of people with similar interests, and most importantly,
it's *just for fun*. Whether or not you join is entirely up to you, and no
one will hold it against you if you choose not to. Some of ARC's oldest
regulars (ARC-age, not RL-age) are not members of the RFA.
Subject: 10. Why the heck do some posts start with CH?
From time to time, you may notice posts that start with the letters "CH".
The "CH" is an abbreviation for Coffee House. It signifies an event at
ARC's coffeehouse. The event is usually the posting of an original poem or
prose piece, but may also be a signal for people to gather in conversation.
This nomenclature enables people to easily seek out poetry and prose, or to
avoid it as they see fit.
The coffeehouse is dedicated to freedom of expression. It serves as a
reminder of the power of free speech, the promise of an open mind, and the
passion of an open heart. Its express purpose is to provide ARC's poets and
story tellers with a place where their works may be shared 24 hours a day,
seven days a week.
A final note: Although freedom of expression is encouraged, the denizens of
ARC are a civilized people who have some constraints. Pornography,
profanity and hateful remarks are unwelcome. There are newsgroups that
welcome these types of posts, ARC just isn't one of them.
Subject: 11. That last message was really stupid. Should I flame?
No! Take a deep breath. Let it out. *phew* There is one norm of ARC
we forgot to mention. DON'T FLAME. We take pride in keeping ARC as
flame-free as possible, so as not to waste bandwidth or incite hard
feelings. If you have a problem with someone here, take it to e-mail.
Chances are, nobody else wants to read it. (And do something about your
breath, will ya?)
Subject: 12. I want to talk dirty. Should I do that in ARC?
Sex and violence. *sigh* We like to consider ARC part of the Family.Net.
We don't tend to be very profane, explicit, or perverse. That's what
alt.sex, talk.bizzare, alt.angst, and other such places are for. We
suggest you go over there.
Subject: 13. How come everybody seems to know everybody else?
Because we do! But think about it for a moment. If you don't say
something, we don't know you're out there. You will also notice that the
threads in the group tend to run in cycles. Oftentimes, a small group of
ARC.folk appear to be dominating the postings. Don't worry. We're not
ignoring you. If you feel left out, step up and say something. We don't
bite (unless you ask very very politely!).
Subject: 14. Hey! That last post had nothing to do with ARC!
Watch out for cross-posting. We sometimes are inflicted with flame-bait
from other groups. Ignore them. They go away faster that way. Just pay
attention to the newsgroups that you are posting or following-up to, and
all of us will enjoy ARC that much more.
Be aware that many of the regular ARC readers do not even *bother* to read
a thread that is cross-posted. So if you feel you are being ignored, make
sure you haven't cross-posted your article. While you may feel that your
post is germane to several groups, a large number of people believe that
cross-posts do more harm than good, so if you do decide to cross-post, be
prepared to get some complaints.
Also, watch out for idiots who don't bother to read a newsgroup for a
couple of weeks before they post. Ignore them. If you can't, send them a
gentle e-mail note and point out that they made a mistake. Don't expect
any gratitude, though. Many newlings and wanna-be anarchists (masquerading
under the guise of "Free Speech" and "First Amendment" rhetoric) will flame
you back for merely suggesting that they don't have the GodGivenRight(tm)
to spew irrelevant nonsense to the widest possible audience.
Some newsreaders have a feature known as a "kill file". This will allow
you to automatically kill (i.e., never see) posts from a particular person
or site or subject line. Check the documentation or man page of your
particular software for more information.
Subject: 15. What's the difference between ARC and alt.romance?
About four letters and a period. Actually, the difference is more a matter
of attitude than anything else. Both groups tend to deal with similar
subjects. However, in AR, you *are* likely to get flamed for having a
problem with a relationship. ARC is much more friendly, but does drift off
of the strictly 'romance' topic from time to time, with stories and poems
and general silliness (that's why it was created in the first place, BTW).
There are people who read both groups, and enjoy both. Others seem to
think that one group is better than the other. *shrug* It takes all kinds.
We should warn you though: cross-posting between AR and ARC is generally
frowned-upon by some folks in AR. They seem to think we're inflicting
ourselves on them. Go figure.
Subject: 16. Where are all the good men/women?
Define "good". No, I'm not being overly Zen again, I'm serious (actually,
cats are the universe's most perfect Zen creatures, so if I want to be
overly Zen, I will. *nyeh*).
Where were we? Oh, yes. The definition of "good". Think about it.
What makes a perfect partner (or at least one better than the ones you're
currently dating)? And don't tell me "I'll know it when I see it", because
I may have to come over there and piddle on your feet!!!
Right. Ok, now that you know what you're looking for, go find it. Get out
of the house. Go do different things (after all, whatever you're doing now
isn't working, is it?). Once you get out and start doing the things you
enjoy, you'll start meeting people who also enjoy those things. The more
social contacts you make, the better your chances of meeting that someone
After all, if you don't play the lottery, you can't ever win! And whining
from the sidelines just irritates the players.
Subject: 16b. Where are all the good men/women (Alternate answer #1)
1) in the Marines.
2) hiding with Waldo
3) sitting at home wondering where the others are
4) downtown, jes' lookin' for some tush!
5) avoiding the net like a plague
6) over there in the Self-Help section
7) have you *really* tried mashing lips with the nearest frog?
8) sitting at home, wondering why you aren't calling
9) possibly unconscious in GrogCave (CaveJanes only =)."
Subject: 16c. Where are all the good men/women (Alternate answer #2)
As posted in alt.humor.best-of-usenet...
From: email@example.com (Rick Lindsley)
Subject: Where the women are (was Final Post Ever!!!!!!)
Chris A Hough <Chris_A_Hough@ccm2.hf.intel.com> writes:
I have posted to this newsgroup several times, all with the same
result.... NOTHING! :(
Either there are no women reading posts on this group, or I am doing
The women are out there (I've corresponded with and actually met several),
but they are waiting to see who makes the most idiotic or pathetic
posting. They communicate using that secret woman telepathy that draws all
women to a single restroom at the same time, somehow relays, across many
city blocks, a description of the man that just hit on them in an obnoxious
way so that all women in the area are warned, and, perplexedly, causes two
women to unconsciously wear the same style dress to a New Year's Eve party.
They will eventually issue scores, which will not be published, based on
idiocy, patheticism, and originality in creating new words. Using these,
they will select one male for extensive study, and return to their planet
for three years. The first person to notice this will be a husband or SO
somewhere who notes the laundry has not been done for several weeks and
begins to investigate. Watch for that posting. Sadly, some men will never
notice at all.
So far as I can see, Chris, your posting is neither pathetic nor idiotic,
so hey, get with the program! :)
Oh, and there's far fewer women than men out here in cyberspace. Patience
is a virtue. And besides, a patient human just really totally confounds and
annoys a cat. Trust me.
Subject: 17. Where can I get more information on the USENET?
Glad you asked! You can anonymous ftp to one of the following:
and pick up a copy of the Netiquette Guide ("Emily_Post..." see below), as
well as the other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) lists that are there.
Some suggested reading:
For Web access, some URLs are
Subject: 18. Now what?
So, stay awhile and see the sights! I know there's a champagne jacuzzi
around here, a vat full of chocolate (don't mind the cat hair -- it's a
long story and it wasn't my fault!), a castle, some strawberry fields, a
beer spring, grog's cave (be afraid, be very, very afraid!), and other
places that I'm sure folks will be glad to take you to!
If you want to talk to me, I'm under the ARC.couch, sleeping.
Ross Mair (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cheshire Cat (email@example.com)
Thomas L. Burleigh (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rick Lindsley (email@example.com)
Lisa Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org)