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How To Create Your Own NewsGroup

Posted by nobody@vote.munitions.com at the NewsGroup news:alt.discuss.config

Group: alt.discuss.config 
Date: Tue, Dec 1, 1998, 12:45am (EST-3) 
From:  nobody@vote.munitions.com

alt.discuss Newsgroup Creation Rules (Modified 16 Sep 98)
An automated system has been created to allow readers of the alt.discuss newsgroups to create new newsgroups in the alt.discuss hierarchy. 


Creating a new newsgroup

The steps in creating a new alt.discuss newsgroup are:

Proposing a new newsgroup
Cancelling a newsgroup proposal
Voting for a proposed newsgroup

And while we're at it...

Deleting an existing newsgroup (you can't)

Proposing a new newsgroup

To create a new alt.discuss newsgroup, someone must first "propose" it. This is done by sending email to  advotes@vote.munitions.com with a Subject line of "propose alt.discuss.group-name", i.e., if you wanted to propose the creation of alt.discuss.lightbulbs, you would send in email with a Subject of 

Subject: propose alt.discuss.lightbulbs 

Do not include quotes around the subject. Do not put a period at the end of the subject line. 
"propose" MUST be the first thing on the Subject line. It doesn't matter whether it's upper case or lower case or a mixture - PROPOSE, Propose, propose and PrOpOsE will do the same thing. The next thing in the Subject MUST be the newsgroup name and it MUST begin with alt.discuss. Only letters, numbers, periods and hyphens are allowed in newsgroup names. If you ignore any of these rules, your proposal will be thrown away with no notice to you. 

The body of the email should describe what the newsgroup would be used for. If you send in a proposal, the charter for the newsgroup (whatever you put in the body of the proposal) will be posted to alt.discuss.config under your name. 

WARNING: when you propose a group, that doesn't constitute a vote for it. You must still send in a vote for a group that you propose as a separate piece of email. 

Each WebTV box (not account) can only send in one newsgroup proposal in a 30 day period. Additional proposals sent from a particular WebTV box will be silently ignored. If a vote is cancelled by its proposer, another group can be proposed from that box immediately. This allows someone to change their mind about a newsgroup they've proposed. 

Cancelling a newsgroup proposal

The person who proposed a new newsgroup (and only that person, or more accurately, that account name) can cancel a newsgroup proposal. This is done by sending email to advotes@vote.munitions.com with a Subject line containing "cancel alt.discuss.group-name". If you decide that alt.discuss.lightbulbs isn't a good name for the newsgroup, you can cancel the proposal by sending in email with a Subject line of 

Subject: cancel alt.discuss.lightbulbs 

Voting for a proposed newsgroup

You can vote for or against a proposed newsgroup. To vote for a newsgroup send email to advotes@vote.munitions.com with a Subject line containing "vote yes alt.discuss.group-name", i.e., 

Subject: vote yes alt.discuss.group-name 

To vote against a proposed newsgroup, send email to advotes@vote.munitions.com with a Subject line containing 

Subject: vote no alt.discuss.group-name 

No quotes around the subject. No period after the subject. The subject MUST begin with "vote", MUST have "yes" or "no" after "vote", followed by the name of the group you're voting for, which MUST begin with "alt.discuss." Any deviation from these rules will result in your vote being ignored. Here are a few examples of Subject lines with errors that caused the vote to be ignored. 

Each WebTV unit gets a single vote for AND against each proposed newsgroup. In other words, one box, one vote each way. This is to prevent people from voting over and over again by creating and deleting accounts. You are allowed to vote both for and against the same group, in which case your votes cancel each other out. Once you have voted, you cannot undo your vote. Voting more than once is a harmless waste of time. You can send as many votes as you want from as many accounts as you want, but only one will be counted on the "for" side and only one on the "against" side. 

Votes are tallied every night at 1 A.M. If a newsgroup proposal has 50 more yes votes than no votes when the votes are tallied and the vote has been going on for at least 7 days, the newsgroup is created. When a new group is created, an article announcing it is posted to alt.discuss.config and alt.discuss.announce. 

The vote for a particular newsgroup only goes on for 60 days. If the group hasn't been created by then, the vote is cancelled. Also, if a proposal doesn't get any yes or no votes for 30 days in a row, the vote is cancelled. When a vote is cancelled, a notice is posted in alt.discuss.config. 
If a group doesn't receive any "yes" votes in the first 7 days after it has been proposed, the vote is cancelled and a notice is posted in alt.discuss.config. 

If a vote fails for any of the reasons described above, that same newsgroup (in other words, the EXACT same name) cannot be proposed again for 60 days after the date that the vote is terminated. Note that cancelling a newsgroup proposal does not constitute a failed vote. 

Some people, to make voting for an alt.discuss group easier, will make a web page available, either on a non-WebTV site or in a news article, which contains "voting buttons." Both "yes" and "no" buttons may be provided, or only one or the other. By clicking on the appropriate button, you cause a piece of email to be sent in your name to advotes@vote.munitions.com containing your vote. While this is a clever idea, it is a bad way to cast your vote. You are depending on someone else to both cast your vote correctly and to cast it the way you want them to. There have been many cases in which voting buttons failed to send a correctly formatted email message to the vote-counting bot. All of these votes were ignored. There have also been cases where a button claiming to represent a "no" vote actually sent a "yes" vote for the group. It's possible that there has also been voting button fraud going the other way, where both buttons caused you to vote against the group. 

If it can be determined with certainty that an alt.discuss group has been created through voting fraud, that group will be permanently deleted without warning. Any alt.discuss news article which contains fraudulent voting buttons will be deleted and a request will be sent to "abuse" requesting that the poster's WebTV subscription be suspended or cancelled. 

Deleting an existing alt.discuss newsgroup

There is no mechanism for requesting that an existing alt.discuss newsgroup be deleted; however, an alt.discuss newsgroup will be deleted automatically if no articles are in it for 30 consecutive days. Certain newsgroups which seasonally alternate between having many articles and having none will be excluded from deletion. If an alt.discuss newsgroup hasn't had any articles in it for 25 consecutive days, daily warnings about its imminent deletion will be posted to alt.discuss.config and alt.discuss.announce until it is deleted. 

WARNING: email replies to this message or to any other message originating from "nobody" are automatically discarded without being read. Questions and comments about this voting system should be posted to alt.discuss.config. 

Here are examples of Subject lines which caused the incoming article to be IGNORED: 

Subject: Alt.discuss.ozzy&floyd 
(no propose and contains illegal character &) 

Subject: alt.discuss.mid 
(no vote keyword, no yes/no) 

Subject: yes-alt.discuss.mid 
(no vote keyword, hyphen instead of space after "yes") 

Subject: Vote yes news:alt.discuss.mid 
("news:" shouldn't be there) 

Subject: Vote yes webtvunderground 
(no alt.discuss.) 

Subject: vote 
(no yes/no, no group) 

Subject: Alt.discuss.mid 
(no vote keyword, no yes/no) 

Subject: "vote yes alt.discuss.mid". 
(quotes around Subject) 

Subject: Vote yes alt.discuss.cats. 
(period at end of group name) 

Subject: no alt.discuss.webtvunderground 
(no vote keyword) 

Subject: propose alt.discuss group-Glover Genealogy 
(space after discuss, space in group name) 

Subject: Vote YES alt:discuss cats 
(':' instead of '.' after alt, space instead of '.' after discuss) 

Subject: Vote Yes for alt.discuss.javascript 
("for" in front of group name) 
                     ------The End------ 

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