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Changes since last posting - acronym section: added ICAM This FAQ is formatted as a digest. Most news readers can skip from one question to the next by pressing control-G. Following is a list of helpful hints and posting information. All new readers of rec.arts.tv.soaps.* are encouraged to read the FAQs, which are posted monthly. They are also available through anonymous ftp from rtfm.mit.edu under /pub/usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part1 thru part 4, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with any or all of: send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part1 send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part2 send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part3 send usenet/news.answers/tv/soaps/faq/part4 in the body of the message. Send comments, corrections, additions to me, questions to the newsgroup (I don't know everything and can't answer everything). THANKS. The following sections are covered in Part 3 (of 4): Part III: rats*-specific questions 15. What does [acronym] stand for? 16. Where's such-and-such an update? 17. Can I borrow a tape of so-and-so episode? 18. Why doesn't each show have its own newsgroup? 19. Do the soap writers/actors read rec.arts.tv.soaps.*? Part III: rats*-specific questions Subject: 15. Acronyms commonly used by posters: A&DwSOM: Armed and Dangerous with Soap Opera Magazine A,bnd,w/SOM: Armed, but not Dangerous, with Soap Opera Magazine AFAICR: As Far As I Can Recall/Remember AFAIK: As Far As I Know BH: Butt-Head or Better Half BTW: By The Way CUL: See You Later FAQ: Frequently Asked Question FF: Fast Forward FWIW: For What It's Worth FYI: For Your Information <G>: Grin (also <VBG>, <BEG> - Very Big Grin, Big Evil Grin) + ICAM: I Couldn't Agree More IDTS: I Don't Think So IMHO: In My Humble (or Honest) Opinion IMNSHO: In My Not So Humble Opinion IOAS: It's Only A Soap... IOASOG: It's Only A Soap Opera Group ITA: I Totally Agree JTYLTK: Just thought you'd like to know JTYMLTK: Just thought you might like to know LOD: Line Of the Day LOL: Laughing Out Loud OTF: On The Floor OTFL: On The Floor Laughing PITA: Pain In The A** RATS: Rec.Arts.TV.Soaps RATSA: Rec.Arts.TV.Soaps.ABC RATSC: Rec.Arts.TV.Soaps.CBS RATSM: Rec.Arts.TV.Soaps.Misc ROTFL: Rolling On The Floor Laughing ROTFLM*O: Rolling On The Floor Laughing My (insert whatever word here, ie Head, A**, Buns, etc.) Off ROTFLM*OWTIME: Rolling On The Floor Laughing My * Off With Tears In My Eyes ROTFLM*OWTRDMF: Ditto, With Tears Rolling Down My Face RSN: Real Soon Now SIDAR: Stupid Idiotic Dumb A** Rectangle SO: Significant Other SOD: Soap Opera (Digest or Disease) SORAS: Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome SORES: Soap Opera Rapid Education Syndrome TAWP: The Actor/Actress Who Plays/Played TIIC: The Idiots in Charge TPTB: The Powers That Be TTFN: Ta-Ta For Now TTYL: Talk To You Later YKW: You Know Who (often used in '94-95 in reference to OJ) YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary Subject: 16. Updates & Updaters (for soaps which have regular updaters, ie AMC, ATWT, GH, GL, CITY, B&B, Y&R) "Where's such-and-such an update?"; "Why do we have only one updater for each day of the week?"; "I want to do an update too, may I?" Remember that the updaters are real people with real jobs and real school work just like you. Let's put it this way -- if someone works 8-5 and watches a soap opera episode after work, it might be difficult for them to have the update done by early the next morning. Also, there is often a bit of lag time between the time an article is posted and when the article reaches your news site. So *please* don't post an article on Tuesday asking where Monday's update is... you might upset the Monday updater enough that he or she will stop doing the updates altogether! Some history: Years ago - Carolyn Zaccaria (CAZ) did updates EVERY day of the week for AMC. The updates were very much appreciated, but too much work for one person to do, so the weekly update schedule was set up to add some sort of method to the madness. This type of schedule is used for other soaps as well. (HELP me out here, folks - which of the daytime soaps have regular updaters???) If we DIDN'T have a regular schedule, most likely we'd have 4 or 5 people doing updates for the REALLY great shows and there would have been NO updates during slack times. If you think that you're not getting updates for every day of the week, check out section 11 of this FAQ - you might be able to get the updates via a mailing list set up by a volunteer on this newsgroup. Remember, when a person is able to plan in advance that they're going to be doing an update they usually it takes them longer to watch an episode and take notes for the update. Most of the updaters would not be willing to do this if they weren't sure that they wouldn't be duplicating other people's work. If you are not a regular updater, but would like to try your hand at doing one, it would be polite to get in touch with a regular updater to do a guest spot when that updater needs a stand-in. An open letter to those who say, "I don't care who posts the updates as long as I get them.": Perhaps this analogy will help: Imagine, if you will, that you had decided to volunteer your services to read to a group of children every Wednesday. You select the books and you make time in your schedule. Then one Wednesday you arrive at the appointed place and find someone else reading your book to the children. You might try to understand, but you would be a little hurt. You would probably tell this person that you were the scheduled reader and if he/she wanted to substitute one day, that would be okay as long as he/she asked you. After all, you could have done something else that day if you knew you weren't needed. But now, imagine how you would feel if the parents of those children, or the children themselves said, "Hey, I don't care *who* reads the story as long as the ]story is read." I'll tell you how you would feel. Slighted. Unappreaciated. Swept under the rug. Stung. Upset. Ready to chuck the whole thing. When the regular updaters see people saying things like this they want to give it all up. This is sad. They're not getting money for this. They're doing it on a volunteer basis but it's organized. There's a structure and a protocol as in all operations of this type. Feelings can get hurt all around if the protocol isn't followed. [Thanks to Mary Wu and Nancy Calzaretta] Subject: 17. Can I borrow a tape of so-and-so episode? Many times people miss a day of recording due to power problems, VCR problems, roommate problems, or a number of other reasons. If you write to r.a.t.s.* asking for an episode, please list the city and state you live in. Not all newsreaders automatically add this. There might be someone that lives near you that would be willing to loan you a tape if they knew you lived in the same town and they would have the tape returned soon. Subject: 18. Why doesn't each show have its own newsgroup? First, a little history about rec.arts.tv.soaps.*: Way back when, a group called rec.tv encapsulated all tv articles, including soaps. A flame war led to a separation of groups. The soap people got their own group around 1984 and it was called rec.tv.soaps. Around 1986 or so, the "arts" began cropping up in newsgroup titles so we had rec.arts.tv.soaps. This group continued until... On December 5, 1994, the rec.arts.tv.soaps newsgroup (which covered all discussion of all the soaps) was officially split into three subgroups. The split proponent's goal at the time was to have one newsgroup for each of the three major US networks and an "all encompassing" miscellaneous newsgroup for discussion of soaps that didn't fall into one of the other three categories. But, when all was said and done and the votes were counted, the rec.arts.tv.soaps.nbc group did not pass the critical 2/3 "yes" vote threshold. So, we now have: rec.arts.tv.soaps.abc - for discussion of soaps produced by or for the ABC television network (AMC, OLTL, PC, and GH) rec.arts.tv.soaps.cbs - for discussion of soaps produced by or for the CBS television network (B&B, ATWT, Y&R, and GL) rec.arts.tv.soaps.misc - for discussion of interest to soap opera viewers not covered by the r.a.t.s.abc and r.a.t.s.cbs newsgroups (for example: DOOL, AW, SIS, KL, MP, & 90210) For more information on the creation of new Usenet newsgroups, please refer to the posts "How to Create a New Usenet Newsgroup" and "Usenet Newsgroup Creation Companion" on news.groups, news.announce.newusers, news.admin.misc, news.announce.newgroups or news.answers for a detailed discussion of the newsgroup creation process. If the articles listed above do not appear in the above newsgroups at your site, you can get copies of them using email. Simply send an email message to email@example.com containing any or all of: send usenet/news.answers/usenet/creating-newsgroups/part1 send usenet/news.answers/usenet/creating-newsgroups/helper Some readers of the rec.arts.tv.soaps.* hierarchy will no doubt continue to bemoan the fact that their show or network does not have its own group and will continue to ask the question: "But what about all those mindless alt groups that show up every day...why don't we just create an alt group for each show?" Lots of sites don't carry the alt groups. In an effort to make sure that everyone who currently has access to the rec.arts.tv.soaps.* hierarchy continues to have access to their favorite newsgroup(s), the new groups ought to be kept in the rec.arts.tv.soaps.* hierarchy. There have recently been a couple of alt groups set up for DOOL and AW fans (alt.tv.days-of-our-lives and alt.tv.another-world), but even these are not always propogated well. Please, don't just say, "hey, let's split this group" and expect it to magically happen. Things simply don't work that way. If you think you might be up to the task of supervising another newsgroup split, it is recommended that you read news.groups for six months before proposing a new group. One last thing, check out the part of rec.arts.tv.soaps FAQ which explains the use of kill files and other methods of weeding out articles you are not interested in. We realize everyone doesn't have access to a kill file but there's nothing we can do about that. If you are such a person, you might consider speaking with your system administrator about upgrading your news reading software or, if that doesn't work, seek out a service provider who's willing to provide you with software that better suits your needs. [Thanks to Joanna Castillo (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Cindy Camp (email@example.com)] Subject: 19. Do the soap writers/actors read rec.arts.tv.soaps? PLEASE NOTE: this is *only* information about the newsgroup rec.arts.tv.soaps.* - not about AOL, web pages, or "the internet" in general. Please keep this in mind when emailing me additions/corrections. Many readers of this newsgroup have wondered if the writers of their soap opera(s) read r.a.t.s.*. James Kiberd [Trevor Dillon] told an AMC fan that the writers read both the UNIX and Prodigy newsgroups. Eva LaRue (Maria Santos-Grey on AMC) is regularly sent printouts from r.a.t.s.a. and enjoys reading them. Robyn Griggs (ex-Maggie on AW), has had access and has posted to r.a.t.s. in the past (around 1993 I believe). Bryce Jasmer, actor Brent Jasmer's (of B&B) brother, reads r.a.t.s and has given Brent some of our comments. Jim Acker (rats-er), wrote to the writers and producers of B&B, explaining the internet and r.a.t.s. In return, he received a hand-written letter from Bradley Bell, head writer of B&B and son of the legendary Bill Bell. So he knows we're out here, whether they read or not! Both Hunter (Taylor, B&B) & Michael (ex-Blade, Y&R; Quinton, GL) Tylo are regularly sent printouts of anything related to them on r.a.t.s.c., through the computer representative for the "Michael and Hunter Tylo Official Fan Club" (Connie Gondek). Hunter Tylo has also posted to the r.a.t.s.c. newsgroup, through an account on Prodigy. Eva Weitzel is in contact with the stage manager at Y&R, and has also written to TPTB at Y&R about r.a.t.s*. While she hasn't heard from TPTB directly, at least they should know about us! I have since heard (in June 1995) that a writer from B&B emailed a poster who had the same name as one of the writer's friends. In correspondence with the B&B writer, it was revealed that there's at least one Y&R writer lurking in r.a.t.s.cbs as well. In December 1998, I received word that Jim Houghton, former actor on Y&R and one of the senior members of their writing staff today has posted to r.a.t.s.c. several times over the past 6 months. Margaret Reed (ex)Shannon of ATWT is a r.a.t.s.cbs-reader's sister-in-law. He keeps her informed as to what's going on here. Yvonne Perry (Rosanna on ATWT) is sent copies of r.a.t.s.c. articles by her friend, Lisa Petrocelli. Alison Rice-Taylor (Connor on ATWT) was reading rats-cbs for a while around July 1996, and and corresponded with several r.a.t.s.c.-readers via email. Another ratsc-reader has gotten email from both Greg Watkins (ex-Evan, ATWT) and Michael Swan (ex-Duncan, ATWT) both of whom are sometime lurkers. Jodi Bloodgood (an ex-r.a.t.s.-er)'s husband Jim is in Wally Kurth's band (Ned, GH). Another rats-er continues to print out posts & forward them to Jodi & Jim to read or, if there is something interesting written or comments made regarding the show (i,e, suggestions, praises, complaints, etc.), sends them to Wally and/or Christian Taylor, Wally's musical partner (Gene on GH) so they know the feelings of their audience. The band is now on the show (including Jodi's husband, too, as the character "Nick"). Neither Wally, nor the band has access to netnews, but they are truly interested in everyone's feelings and opinions. While they may not be active readers, they do get the message. May Lee (Ms. Purple!!) is in contact with Jeff Lindstrom who is Jon's brother (Kevin Collins/Ryan Chamberlain, GH). Jeff had seen her General Hospital World Wide Web Page, and has sent Jon some printouts of it. Jeff is now posting to r.a.t.s., and May will be visiting the GH set later this fall (1994), and hopes to interest some of TPTB in the internet. Apparently she did, because Mark Przybyszewski (r.a.t.s.-er) was on the Suzanne Somers show in December'94, and asked Jacklyn Zeman (Bobbie, GH) if the writers and actors were reading what we have to say. She replied that yes, the writers, producers, and some actors lurk on r.a.t.s. She also replied that it's gotten to be a big opinion about plot lines. May has recently (March 1995) also spoken at length with Wendy Riche, the executive producer, about both the GH WWW page and the newsgroup. Jamie Howarth, who does music for OLTL, is a regular reader of r.a.t.s. He told this to the OLTL followers in early January 1994 in a r.a.t.s. post where he asked if anyone had any comments about the New Year's Eve show because "we" worked hard on it. This of course led ratsers to ask if he was connected to the show, and he reluctantly revealed himself, as he believes the r.a.t.s section is for the enjoyment of viewers, not insiders. Larry Storm's daughter (OLTL) occasionally posts as well. Timothy Stickney (RJ, OLTL) posted to r.a.t.s.a. in November 1996, and said he regularly reads and enjoys the group. Gary Warner, author of the AMC Scrapbook, and poster to r.a.t.s.abc, wrote "...I do know of several execs, writers and actors that do read r.a.t.s and the BB's on AOL and *P*. You provide a wonderful and nearly instantaneous window into what viewers are thinking about the soaps." So there you have it - we're famous! :-) If anyone else has proof that the writers (or actors!) of their soap reads r.a.t.s.*, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). ==== compilation copyright 1994-1999, Margaret D. Gibbs. Use and copying of this information are permitted as long as (1) no fees or compensation are charged for use, copies or access to this information, and (2) this copyright notice is included intact. ==== -- Margaret D. Gibbs "Practice random kindness and email@example.com senseless acts of beauty"