How to form a newsgroup

How to form a newsgroup

Post by Rick Emers » Thu, 30 Jul 1992 01:21:51

The following should be kept in mind when discussuing moving or reorganizing
this newsgroup.


Newsgroups: news.announce.newusers,news.groups,news.admin,news.announce.newgroups,news.answers
Subject: How to Create a New Newsgroup
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Date: 20 Jul 92 06:49:20 GMT
Expires: 18 Sep 92 18:49:19 GMT
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Archive-name: creating-newsgroups/part1
Original-author: (Greg Woods)
Last-change: 30 Nov 91 by (Gene Spafford)

                                 GUIDELINES FOR USENET GROUP CREATION


   These are guidelines that have been generally agreed upon across
USENET as appropriate for following in the creating of new newsgroups in
the "standard" USENET newsgroup hierarchy. They are NOT intended as
guidelines for setting USENET policy other than group creations, and they
are not intended to apply to "alternate" or local news hierarchies. The
part of the namespace affected is comp, news, sci, misc, soc, talk, rec,
which are the most widely-distributed areas of the USENET hierarchy.
   Any group creation request which follows these guidelines to a
successful result should be honored, and any request which fails to
follow these procedures or to obtain a successful result from doing so
should be dropped, except under extraordinary circumstances.  The
reason these are called guidelines and not absolute rules is that it is
not possible to predict in advance what "extraordinary circumstances"
are or how they might arise.
   It should be pointed out here that, as always, the decision whether or not
to create a newsgroup on a given machine rests with the administrator of that
machine. These guidelines are intended merely as an aid in making those

The Discussion

1) A request for discussion on creation of a new newsgroup should be posted to
   news.announce.newgroups, and also to any other groups or mailing lists at
   all related to the proposed topic if desired.  The group is moderated, and
   the Followup-to: header will be set so that the actual discussion takes
   place only in news.groups.  Users on sites which have difficulty posting to
   moderated groups may mail submissions intended for news.announce.newgroups

   The article should be cross-posted among the newsgroups, including
   news.announce.newgroups, rather than posted as separate articles.  Note that
   standard behaviour for posting software is to not present the articles in
   any groups when cross-posted to a moderated group; the moderator will handle
   that for you.

2) The name and charter of the proposed group and whether it will be moderated
   or unmoderated (and if the former, who the moderator(s) will be) should be
   determined during the discussion period. If there is no general agreement on
   these points among the proponents of a new group at the end of 30 days of
   discussion, the discussion should be taken offline (into mail instead of
   news.groups) and the proponents should iron out the details among
   themselves.  Once that is done, a new, more specific proposal may be made,
   going back to step 1) above.  

3) Group advocates seeking help in choosing a name to suit the proposed
   charter, or looking for any other guidance in the creation procedure, can
   send a message to; a few seasoned news administrators
   are available through this address.

The Vote

1) AFTER the discussion period, if it has been determined that a new group is
   really desired, a name and charter are agreed upon, and it has been
   determined whether the group will be moderated and if so who will
   moderate it, a call for votes may be posted to news.announce.newgroups and
   any other groups or mailing lists that the original request for discussion
   might have been posted to. There should be minimal delay between the
   end of the discussion period and the issuing of a call for votes.
   The call for votes should include clear instructions for how to cast
   a vote. It must be as clearly explained and as easy to do to cast a
   vote for creation as against it, and vice versa.  It is explicitly
   permitted to set up two separate addresses to mail yes and no votes
   to provided that they are on the same machine, to set up an address
   different than that the article was posted from to mail votes to, or
   to just accept replies to the call for votes article, as long as it
   is clearly and explicitly stated in the call for votes article how
   to cast a vote.  If two addresses are used for a vote, the reply
   address must process and accept both yes and no votes OR reject
   them both.

2) The voting period should last for at least 21 days and no more than 31
   days, no matter what the preliminary results of the vote are. The exact
   date that the voting period will end should be stated in the call for
   votes. Only votes that arrive on the vote-taker's machine prior to this
   date will be counted.

3) A couple of repeats of the call for votes may be posted during the vote,
   provided that they contain similar clear, unbiased instructions for
   casting a vote as the original, and provided that it is really a repeat
   of the call for votes on the SAME proposal (see #5 below). Partial vote
   results should NOT be included; only a statement of the specific new
   group proposal, that a vote is in progress on it, and how to cast a vote.
   It is permitted to post a "mass acknowledgement" in which all the names
   of those from whom votes have been received are posted, as long as no
   indication is made of which way anybody voted until the voting period
   is officially over.

4) ONLY votes MAILED to the vote-taker will count. Votes posted to the net
   for any reason (including inability to get mail to the vote-taker) and
   proxy votes (such as having a mailing list maintainer claim a vote for
   each member of the list) will not be counted.

5) Votes may not be transferred to other, similar proposals. A vote shall
   count only for the EXACT proposal that it is a response to. In particular,
   a vote for or against a newsgroup under one name shall NOT be counted as
   a vote for or against a newsgroup with a different name or charter,
   a different moderated/unmoderated status or (if moderated) a different
   moderator or set of moderators.

6) Votes MUST be explicit; they should be of the form "I vote for the
   group as proposed" or "I vote against the group
   as proposed". The wording doesn't have to be exact, it just needs to
   be unambiguous. In particular, statements of the form "I would vote
   for this group if..." should be considered comments only and not
   counted as votes.

7) A vote should be run only for a single group proposal.  Attempts to create
   multiple groups should be handled by running multiple parallel votes rather
   than one vote to create all of the groups.

The Result

1) At the completion of the voting period, the vote taker must post the
   vote tally and the E-mail addresses and (if available) names of the voters
   received to news.announce.newgroups and any other groups or mailing lists
   to which the original call for votes was posted. The tally should include
   a statement of which way each voter voted so that the results can be

2) AFTER the vote result is posted, there will be a 5 day waiting period,
   beginning when the voting results actually appear in
   news.announce.newgroups, during which the net will have a chance to
   correct any errors in the voter list or the voting procedure.

3) AFTER the waiting period, and if there were no serious objections that might
   invalidate the vote, and if 100 more valid YES/create votes are received
   than NO/don't create AND at least 2/3 of the total number of valid votes
   received are in favor of creation, a newgroup control message may be sent
   out.  If the 100 vote margin or 2/3 percentage is not met, the group should
   not be created.

4) The newgroup message will be sent by the news.announce.newgroups moderator
   at the end of the waiting period of a successful vote.  If the new group is
   moderated, the vote-taker should send a message during the waiting period to
   Gene Spafford <> and David C. Lawrence <> with
   both the moderator's contact address and the group's submission address.

5) A proposal which has failed under point (3) above should not again be
   brought up for discussion until at least six months have passed from the
   close of the vote.  This limitation does not apply to proposals which never
   went to vote.

| Richard B. Emerson     | Replies may be sent to:                         |
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