Welcome to austin.* -- the newsgroups for Austin, Texas. This message
contains guidelines for appropriate and effective use of the austin.*
newsgroups. Please review them BEFORE posting to austin.*.
This posting is broken into the following sections:
- List of austin.* Newsgroups
- List of austin.* Guidelines and FAQ Documents
- What is Austin?
- General Charter
- Commercial Posting Policy
- Abuse Policy
- Some Suggestions for austin.* Posters
- Commonly asked austin.* questions (and some answers)
This message is maintained and posted monthly by Doug McLaren. Your
corrections, additions, and comments are encouraged. Please mail them
to dougm...@frenzy.austin.tx.us. Even better, post them to
austin.usenet.config so we all can discuss them.
Thanks to Fletcher Mattox for help putting the original list together,
as well all the other stuff he's done for austin.* throughout the
years. And thanks to Chip Rosenthal for his ongoing contributions as
Please examine the date near the top of this message. This message
is updated from time to time, and older versions may be obsolete.
The most up-to-date version of these guidelines is available at
Subject: List of austin.* Newsgroups
Here is the list of groups currently carried by most news servers
in the Austin area:
austin.announce Announcements of general interest in Austin.
austin.autos Care and (mis)use of automobiles in Austin, TX.
austin.flame Abusive noise, posted by morons in and about
austin.food Eating, cooking, and culinary delights in Austin, TX.
austin.forsale Stuff for sale in and around Austin, TX.
Note that this does not extend to Dallas or Houston!
If you're in Dallas or Houston, try dfw.forsale or
houston.forsale respectively -- NOT austin.forsale.
austin.gardening Austin and USDA Zone 8 gardening related discussions.
austin.general Items of general interest in Austin, TX.
austin.internet The Internet and Internet-related issues in Austin, TX.
austin.jobs Jobs available, wanted, and discussion in Austin, TX.
austin.music Austin's greatest export.
austin.org.sca The Society for Creative Anachronism in Austin, TX.
austin.personals How to meet someone in Austin, TX.
austin.politics Politics in Austin, TX.
austin.talk Talk, gossip, and chatter in Austin, TX.
austin.test USENET testing in Austin, TX.
austin.usenet.config USENET policy and configuration in Austin, TX.
austin.usenet.stats USENET statistics in Austin, TX.
Newsgroups come and go with time. If you see some other group that
looks like it is part of austin.*, it probably is a vestige that
The austin.announce newsgroup is moderated. Messages must be
submitted to the moderator for approval at
<austin-...@frenzy.austin.tx.us>. Your news software should do
that automatically when you try to post to the group.
Subject: What is Austin?
Austin is, of course, a city in the state of Texas. The capital of
Texas, in fact! However, the austin.* groups aren't *strictly*
limited to the Austin City Limits -- they also cover the surrounding
area -- Round Rock, Buda, San Marcos, Bastrop, etc. There is no fixed
boundary, but if you're within 50 or so miles of Austin, consider
yourself to be *in* Austin for the purposes of these guidelines.
However, if you're closer to San Antonio, Houston or Dallas than
Austin, you may find the sat.*, houston.* and dfw.* newsgroup
hierarchies to be more appropriate, especially for a posting of a
Subject: List of austin.* Guidelines and FAQ Documents
Some newsgroups have guideline or FAQ documents that you should
read *before* posting to the associated newsgroup.
austin.* - List of Austin.* Newsgroups and Related Information
Maintainer: dougm...@frenzy.austin.tx.us (Doug McLaren)
Posted To: austin.usenet.config,tx.usenet.config
Archived At: http://frenzy.austin.tx.us/austin/
austin.announce - Welcome to austin.announce
Posted To: austin.announce,austin.usenet.config,news.answers
Archived At: http://frenzy.austin.tx.us/austin.announce/
Note that as of 2005-11-01, this site is gone. I have't spoken to
Rusty about it, but I've gone ahead and mirrored it at
Subject: General Charter for Austin Newsgroups
The austin.* newsgroups are chartered to discuss issues related to
Austin, as well as general discussion by folks in the Austin area.
People outside the Austin area are welcome to join in the discussion
as our guests -- so long as they abide by our guidelines. Guests
should limit their postings to topics specifically related to Austin.
If you aren't from Austin, please do not include austin.* in your
posting simply to reach a larger audience. Instead, use an
appropriate state-wide or national newsgroup.
This especially applies to austin.forsale -- if you're not in or near
Austin, don't post to austin.forsale. (If we wanted to read about
items for sale in Dallas or Houston, we'd read dfw.forsale or
houston.forsale, wouldn't we?) Guests from outside the Austin area
should NOT make commercial posts here (this includes posts from
individuals about items for sale to austin.forsale) unless they visit
Austin regularly (and they should explicitly say so in their post.)
Another thing about austin.forsale -- posts about items for auction on
Ebay and similar services are generally accepted by most
austin.forsale regulars, as long as they fit all the other rules for
the group (most importantly, you must be in or very near to Austin,
and don't post too often.) Also, putting a FA: in the Subject of your
post (rather than FS:) is appreciated so that people can filter out
these posts if desired. Please do so.
Moreover, guests are asked to limit the number of their postings to a
reasonable number (five a day), avoid inappropriate or excessive
cross-posting (particularly when following up to an austin.* message),
and generally desist from "trolling" behavior.
There's more. See the commercial posting policy and abuse policy
in the following sections.
Some newsgroups operate under specific guidelines that may extend,
modify, or replace this charter.
Subject: Commercial Posting Policy
[[[ DRAFT - please review and comment to austin.usenet.config ]]]
The austin.* groups are not intended for use as an outlet for
Commercial postings, however, may be acceptable when done right.
The distinction between an unwanted advertisement and an acceptable
commercial posting is sometimes rather fine. If you are new to
the austin.* community, then please refrain from commercial postings,
until you obtain a feel for what is acceptable. Unless you have
plans of going bankrupt in the next month, you can afford to wait.
Failure to do so will result in a backlash against your business
-- possibly even loss of your Usenet access.
Here are some guidelines for commercial posters:
Acceptable notices will be brief (a paragraph or two), informative
(lay down the facts, but lay off the hype), significant (we want to
hear when your restaurant opens a new location, not this week's menu),
and occasional (as in rarely, not weekly).
The business must be Austin based. Yes, we know FedEx delivers to
Austin. It delivers to Kalamazoo too. If you seek a national or
regional audience, then use the appropriate newsgroup.
Note that `Austin based' extends 50 or so miles from Austin, but it
does *not* extend to Dallas, Houston or San Antonio. If you're closer
to one of these cities than Austin, you are expected to post there
(subject to their charter/guidelines, of course) and not to austin.*.
Finally, the posting will be limited to the most appropriate newsgroup
for the topic, not splattered all over the net. Use austin.forsale if
it doesn't fit into some more specific group -- not austin.general.
If your announcement does not meet ALL of these requirements then it
doesn't belong in austin.*.
This policy is offered as a trial experiment, in recognition that some
forms of commercial posting can be helpful and worth paying to
receive. Please don't be a jerk about it.
Does this policy apply even to individuals selling items in
austin.forsale? Yes, it does -- but since it's basically just common
sense, most people should never have a problem with it. Feel free to
discuss this on austin.usenet.config if you have suggestions or
Subject: Abuse Policy
Network abuse will not be tolerated in the austin.* newsgroups.
By network abuse we mean abuse OF the network, not abuse BY
the network. If somebody wrongs you or insults you, we can't help.
To a newcomer, that might seem like misplaced priorities. The
problem is not that we *don't* want to help you, it's that we
*can't* help you. You must take it up with the offending person's
network provider, or, if appropriate, the legal authorities.
What we are talking about here are people who do things that abuse
the network equipment and resources. That costs money. Our money.
And most of us don't like to see our money wasted.
Certain violations are so egregious that they are subject to deletion
by an "advisory cancellation" request. They are advisory in that
individual Internet providers decide whether or not to honor those
cancellations. These violations are so annoying, however, that most
every local provider does.
The cancel able violations include:
- Excessively re-posted messages (aka "spam"). This means the
same message posted over and over to multiple newsgroups.
It also includes messages reposted frequently or endlessly.
If you want to post a message into multiple newsgroups, don't
spam it. Do it as a cross-post. Post just once, with all
the newsgroups specified as a list with commas (but no spaces)
between their names.
- Chain letters and pyramid schemes. These are commonly called
MMF postings. That's because the prototypical one (it started
"My name is Dave Rhodes.") always seemed to be posted with
a Subject that said "Make Money Fast".
Not only do these violate local newsgroup policy, they are
illegal (18 USC 1302). Not only are they illegal, they are
like a virus that preys on the stupid.
- Postings in discussion groups that contain binary encoded
attachments, such as pictures, sounds, documents, and the
like. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but it
consumes the network resources of *twenty thousand* words.
There are newsgroups that were created specifically for binary
documents. None of them are in austin.*. If you wish to
provide a binary, either do so e.g. on a web page or ask
people to email you for a copy.
- People outside the Austin area who willfully violate our
guidelines. We say to you: your invitation as our guest is
hereby revoked. Please go away.
Notice that we haven't placed any restrictions on *what* you say,
only *how* you say it. You can say whatever you want, so long as
you don't abuse the network. Enforcement of these guidelines,
therefore, is not a free speech issue.
Subject: Some suggestions for austin.* posters
Here are some suggestions you might consider BEFORE posting your
message to an austin.* newsgroup. These suggestions are provided
to help you make your postings more effective, and keep the austin.*
- If you haven't already done so, please read the periodic
postings in news.announce.newusers entitled "A Primer on How
to Work With the Usenet Community", "Answers to Frequently
Asked Questions about Usenet" and "Hints on writing style
- Check whether the newsgroup has specific guidelines or charter
BEFORE posting there. If so, read them and follow them.
- Use an appropriate newsgroup. The "List of austin.* Newsgroups"
section (earlier in this message) lists all of the newsgroups
in town. If, for example, you have a question about automobile
repair, then please post it to "austin.autos" and not
"austin.general". Similarly, if you want to complain about
City Council, use "austin.politics".
- Please do NOT post to austin.general if there is a more
specific group that covers the topic matter. In particular,
buying and selling things happens in austin.forsale, and political
discussions belong in austin.politics.
- These newsgroups are for discussion among people in the Austin
area, and about things having to do with Austin. Most major
cities have their own similar set of newsgroups. Some people
abuse these regional groups, and post their message to lots
of regional groups to reach a world-wide audience. Do not
do that. If your message is appropriate to a statewide or
national audience, then use a statewide or national newsgroup
- Please refrain from reposting entire articles you find
elsewhere on the net. These repostings are a significant
annoyance, a waste of network bandwidth, and (very possibly)
a copyright infringement. Instead, post a pointer (such as
a URL) where people may access the article. You may wish to
summarize or include excerpts from the article in your posting.
(Visit <http://fairuse.stanford.edu/> to learn what the "fair
use" copyright provisions entail.)
- If your posting belongs in more than one newsgroup, do NOT
re-post your message multiple times to each group. That's
spamming. Instead, use "cross-posting". To do this, just
list all of the newsgroups on the Newsgroups: line, separated
by commas (but no spaces). When you cross-post, your message
gets transmitted just once (thus conserving our precious
natural resources like electrons and disk space), but appears
in all of the newsgroups that you selected.
End of austx-usenet-list periodic posting
austin.announce is the MODERATED newsgroup for announcements of interest to
Austin-area Usenet readers. See <http://frenzy.austin.tx.us/austin.announce/>
for information on submitting announcements to this group.