ADMIN: How to post messages to NNQ (news.newusers.questions)

If you want to post a news article to the NNQ newsgroup, or if you have tried to post a news article to NNQ and it was returned to you by e-mail, or it has not appeared on your news server after a day or two, then you should read this article to find out what to do.

News articles posted to moderated newsgroups first travel as e-mail messages to a moderation address. Most news server software will send messages posted to a moderated newsgroup to the appropriate moderation address automatically, but if you need it, <> is the moderation address for NNQ.

Messages arriving at the NNQ moderation address are scanned by a software package (or "robot moderator"), designed to allow messages appropriate for NNQ to be posted and to try to return other messages to their sender.

If your message is returned to you by the robot moderator, there are several possibilities:

If the overall content of your message is NOT appropriate for NNQ, then do not try to post it to NNQ again, but consider sending it to a more appropriate newsgroup, or by direct e-mail to an individual correspondent.

If the overall content of your message IS appropriate for NNQ, and you want to edit the message and re-send it to the robot moderator, be sure to delete anything "extra" such as any quoted text that is not part of a question or answer, or that is not needed to make the question or answer understandable, any text sent by the robot, and any copies of the NNQ "footer," and re-send the message to the NNQ robot moderator, at <>

If the robot moderator continues to return your message to you, and you think that the message that was returned is appropriate for NNQ, and should have been approved by the robot, then send your message to the appeal address <> for a volunteer human moderator to review, and allow a day or two to get a result.

Exploring Newsgroups and Mailing Lists

No matter what topic you want to discuss, there is usually someone else who has similar interests - all you have to do is to find out where discussion on those topics is carried on - and whether that might be in a newsgroup, a mailing list, in direct e-mail, or on IRC (Internet Relay Chat).

To find an appropriate newsgroup, use: Deja News
or post a query to news:news.groups.questions

To find an appropriate mailing list, use: XXX

Explore the newsgroups and mailing lists you find. "Explore" means: read the FAQ for the medium if there is one, and either read a few weeks of recent news posts from an archive like Deja News or AltaVista, or read the medium for at least a week or two before trying to post to it.

Also look for resources local to your Internet connection - information from your on-line service, or Internet service provider, or educational institution.

See if you have a local news hierarchy, <local>.*, perhaps called <isp>.* or <school>.* or <region>.* or <iso>.* depending on what your ISP, or school, or region, or ISO country code is. Look for an FAQ for your <local>.* hierarchy(ies), and explore.

Possible problems with NNQ

If your message has not appeared on your news server within a day or two after you sent it, and it has NOT been returned to you by the robot moderator, then there may be some other sort of problem:

The rest of this article should help you learn what is on-topic and appropriate for news.newusers.questions, and learn about some other restrictions that the newsgroup charter places on the form of messages.

What posts are appropriate for news.newusers.questions? (NNQ)

From the NNQ newsgroup charter:

>CHARTER: news.newusers.questions

>NEWS.NEWUSERS.QUESTIONS (n.n.q) is for questions, answers and advice
>about using Usenet news and other Internet newsgroups and services.
>Articles which do not contribute to educating or informing new users
>about Usenet are inappropriate for this newsgroup.

The complete charter and moderation policy for NNQ are at: NNQ Charter NNQ Admin Statement

In the items below, "relevant" means "contributes to educating or informing new users."

Articles containing significantly more quoted than new content

Delete some or all of the previously posted material.

People reading a "thread" of articles will see the previous message before they see your reply, so you do not need to quote the entire previous message. Delete the sections you aren't directly responding to.

Chain letters, including "Make Money Fast" articles

Chain letters ask you to send money to a list of addresses, and imply that other people will send money to you. Don't post chain letters on the Internet - they are illegal in many places, and fraudulent everywhere - in the US see: US Postal Service - Chain Letters

Known hoaxes (like the "Good Times Virus")

E-mail messages that encourage you to "pass this along" or "tell all your friends" are almost always a hoax or rumor. Research the message before sending any unconfirmed "warning" to anyone. has more information about Internet hoaxes.

Articles with no subject

Supply a short clear descriptive Subject line with each article.

Duplicate/rapidly reposted messages

You may have sent the article more than once.
In Netscape, only click the Send button once.

Due to the nature of moderation, your message has to travel to the robot-moderator by e-mail and back to your site by news transport - allow from a few hours to a day for this trip.

If the duplicate article(s) were returned to you, the first article you sent may have already been posted - look for it in news:news.newusers.questions before sending an article again.

Test articles

Test messages posted to the news:misc.test newsgroup should produce responses from several news servers around the world, showing that the message reached those distant news servers. You may be able to post test messages to a <local>.test newsgroup.

Irrelevant questions or conversation

You should explore other newsgroups and mailing lists to discuss any topics which are not appropriate for NNQ, or use direct e-mail or IRC (Internet Relay Chat) to carry on personal conversations.

Keep in mind that every message posted to worldwide net newsgroups is stored on tens of thousands of machines, and may be archived for years at some sites. So, if you are simply "making conversation" in a message then you should probably be sending it in a direct e-mail or on IRC instead of transmitting it to sites around the world as a news article.

Personal introductions or requests for e-mail

See A Guide to Social Newsgroups and Mailing Lists

Explore the unmoderated news:soc.misc newsgroup for miscellaneous socializing.

Explore the news:soc.penpals newsgroup - but read the group for a week or two before posting a penpal request.

If you are looking for a relationship that involves more than exchanging e-mail with a penpal, read the FAQ for the newsgroup, and perhaps explore the news:soc.personals newsgroup and the alt.personals.* hierarchy or a <local>.personals newsgroup if one exists.

Excessively long articles (more than ~200 lines or ~10K bytes)

Make the content available on a Web page or ftp site, and announce the URL of that site to the Web.

If the site covers the same topics as a newsgroup or mailing list, you may want to post the URL and a brief description of the site to an appropriate newsgroup or mailing list. Post the URL to NNQ only if the content is appropriate for NNQ.

If the content is something that might already be available on the Web, search for it and post a pointer to the sites that make it available rather than copying the content to your site.

Articles which aren't primarily text in a standard alphabet (e.g. binaries, pictures, Rot13).

Anything posted to newsgroups should be plainly readable by anyone who reads news, regardless of what software or hardware they have.

This means: don't attach or include HTML, word-processing, picture, or sound files in messages, since many people can't read them.

To reach the widest possible audience, use plain text formatted to 72 columns or less, in ASCII text in NNQ and most other Usenet 8 newsgroups, or in Latin1 (ISO-8859-1) and similar character sets in language-based or national news hierarchies (de.*, fr.*, ru.*, etc.) to be compatible with whatever character sets the people in those hierarchies use.

Handle binaries like long articles - don't post the binary (picture, gif, jpeg, jpg, audio, etc.), but make the content available on a Web page or ftp site, and announce the URL of that site to the Web.

Articles cross-posted to several newsgroups

Only FAQs (Frequently Asked Question articles) may be cross-posted to NNQ.

If an article is cross-posted to many newsgroups, and you are angered by the article, consider that it may have been cross-posted deliberately in hopes of provoking many angry responses.

Don't fall into the trap of replying angrily to such a "troll" - instead learn to spot them and ignore them, instead of giving the poster the satisfaction of seeing angry replies.

Configure your newsreading software to display the Newsgroups: and Followup-To headers.

To learn which newsgroups are most appropriate for your topic, see: Deja News

Try to post to only one newsgroup, or, if you must, cross-post only to the smallest possible set of *appropriate* newsgroups, and use a "Followup-To:" header to suggest that responses to your posted article should be mailed to you or posted to just one newsgroup.

If you want to suggest that responses to your posted article should be e-mailed to you, add to your message headers:

Followup-To: poster

Or, if you want want to suggest that responses be posted to just one newsgroup, supply that newsgroup name, such as:

Followup-To: news.newusers.questions

Articles posted as separate copies to many newsgroups ("spam")

Either pick one newsgroup to post to, or learn how to cross-post to newsgroups that accept cross-posted articles.

Announcements and commercial messages

Announcements of non-relevant Web pages
Announcements of non-relevant services
Articles offering items for sale
Commercial advertisements

Net newsgroups generally have a strong non-commercial tradition, and advertisements of all kinds are expected to be found only in the few newsgroups or other places where they are appropriate.

For services or items only available locally, explore your local hierarchy. Look for a newsgroup called <local>.forsale or a similar name, and post appropriately.

Other newsgroup groups/hierarchies to explore include:

Businesses that offer products or services over a large area generally find that announcing their offerings on a Web page is more effective over the long run than posting to newsgroups.

Create a Web page or site and then use a web site announcement method, such as:

or a web site registration service, such as:

to register your Web page with Web directories, such as:

and dozens of search engines such as:

and you will find that people looking for the kinds of services or products you offer will come looking for your Web site.