Crossposting and the Use of Followup-To

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Nancy McGough

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Mar 2, 1993, 2:27:35 PM3/2/93
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I looked through the "Rules for Posting to Usenet" and
"Emily Postnews..." and the only guidelines I could find
about crossposting and followups were from Emily:

| ------
| Q: How can I choose what groups to post in?
|
| A: Pick as many as you can, so that you get the widest audience.
| After all, the net exists to give you an audience. Ignore those who
| suggest you should only use groups where you think the article is
| highly appropriate. Pick all groups where anybody might even be
| slightly interested.
|
| Always make sure followups go to all the groups. In the rare event
| that you post a followup which contains something original, make sure
| you expand the list of groups. Never include a "Followup-to:" line in
| the header, since some people might miss part of the valuable
| discussion in the fringe groups.
|
| ------

I'd like to hear what people think about crossposting
and followups. I also think this information should be
in "Rules for Posting to Usenet" and the FAQ.

Here's the way I think about it...

STARTING A THREAD
Start a thread by posting to the smallest number of
appropriate newsgroups. List the most appropriate
newsgroup first since some newsreaders direct followups
to only the first newsgroup if there is no Followup-To
line. (Does anyone know if that's still true--I think
rn used to do that.) For example, I just started
a thread on "oxygenated gasoline" and crossposted to
these groups:

talk.environment - seems most appropriate
sci.environment - get some scientists involved
alt.politics.greens - what does the Green party think
pnw.general - involve people in the Pacific Northwest
because we just finished 4 months of
government-mandated oxygenated gas

If you crosspost, use the Followup-To line to direct
followups to one or two groups and say that you are
doing this in the article. In the above example,
it makes sense to direct followups to talk.environment
and pnw.general. Reasons: 1] It's probably reasonable
to assume that sci.environment and alt.politics.greens
folks will wade through talk.environment to participate
this discussion. 2] Many interested pnw.general readers
would probably not make the effort to wade through
talk.environment, but would participate in pnw.general.
(See the "case history" below for more on this.)


FOLLOWING UP TO AN ARTICLE
If it makes sense, honor the original article's
Followup-To line. If you don't think it makes sense,
followup to the newsgroups you think are appropriate and
put an appropriate Followup-To line in your article.
In your article, say what you have done and why.


A CASE HISTORY
In my example above I directed followups to only
talk.environment. Someone in pnw.general posted
their followup to pnw.general and pdx.general
(Portland area I think) and the thread is continuing
unbeknownst to the talk.environment folks. The
discussion would be interesting to the talk.environment
folks.

Also, someone else posted their followup to sci.environment
and talk.environment.

This experience makes it clear that many people don't
honor Followup-To lines, and that some guidelines are
needed.

What do people think?

Thanks,
Nancy

--
nan...@u.washington.edu

Theodore Wong

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Mar 2, 1993, 2:57:46 PM3/2/93
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Hi,

Can you please tell me how to quote a person's mail when I respond
back to them? I am using the SMI 3.0 mailer.

Thanks,


Ted

Alison Hall

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Mar 2, 1993, 3:40:55 PM3/2/93
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In article <1n0cf7...@shelley.u.washington.edu> nan...@u.washington.edu writes:
>I looked through the "Rules for Posting to Usenet" and
>"Emily Postnews..." and the only guidelines I could find
>about crossposting and followups were from Emily:
>

Um, I don't think Emily Postnews is meant to be taken seriously, it
actually advises you (tongue in cheek) to do all the things you are
NOT supposed to do on the net! (smile)

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