Usenet has an established culture with traditions, rules and regulations, and standards of conduct. These conventions are collectively referred to as "Usenet etiquette" or "network etiquette" or just "netiquette" for short. In most cases, they are not enforced by any central authority, rather by very strong peer pressure. Most of these rules are simple common sense.
For an amusing and instructive satire on netiquette, see the news.announce.newusers article titled Emily Postnews Answers Your Questions on Netiquette. Other excellent articles in the same group are A Primer on How to Work with the Usenet Community and Rules for posting to Usenet.
* Don't threaten, abuse, or slander people. Don't post copyrighted material without the permission of the publisher. You are responsible and legally liable for your postings, and you could be sued. Take this seriously-it has happened.
* Try to be nice to each other. Feel free to be critical, but be polite. Avoid attacking people's intelligence or character. Remember that real live human beings will read your posting. Don't post comments which you wouldn't say to a person face-to-face. For example, say "I don't agree with this idea" rather than "I think you are full of shit." The former is much more likely than the latter to lead to an intelligent and productive discussion.
* Try to avoid posting flames or participating in flame wars. It's just not worth it. Most people consider excessive flaming to be a sign of immaturity and emotional instability. If you get flamed, try not to take it personally. Take some time to cool off a bit before posting a followup. Better yet, just ignore the flame and don't followup at all.
* When being sarcastic, if there's any danger of misinterpretation, use a smiley. Excessive sarcasm is often counter-productive and hurts people's feelings, even when it's unintentional.
* People discuss anything and everything on Usenet, including politics, religion, and sex. If you are at all sensitive about any of these topics, or if you are at all easily offended, avoid the groups devoted to these topics.
* Be coherent and concise. People hate long rambling articles which don't get to the point quickly.
* Use concise but descriptive subjects. People should be able to get a good idea of what your posting is about just by looking at the subject line.
* Use correct grammar and spelling, but don't bother to flame other's bad grammar and spelling. It's not worth it, and it's flailing at windmills anyway.
* Avoid long rambling signatures. Keep your sig short and simple, at most four or five lines of text. Jokes, quotes, aphorisms, and music lyrics are fine, as long as you keep it short.
* Avoid unnecessary quoting. For example, it is considered very bad form to quote all of a long article and then add a single line of text saying "me too". Take the time to edit the quoted text to the bare minimum. Only quote text which is directly relevant to your replies. Place your replies so that they immediately follow the relevant sections of quoted text. Don't quote people's signatures. This convention is such a tradition on Usenet that many news servers are configured to reject postings with more quoted text than new text.
* When you subscribe to a new group, lurk for a while to get used to the group's focus and culture before posting. Check to see if the group has a FAQ. If it does, read it before posting, especially before asking questions. Nothing annoys regular readers of a group more than newbies asking the same simple questions from the FAQ over and over again.
* If you are asking a question on a computer group about some particular program, check the user document for the program before asking the question. For example, it's amazing how many questions get asked about NewsWatcher on comp.sys.mac.comm which are answered in the Munual of this sotfware. Often, such a question on comp.sys.mac.comm elicits an annoyed "RTFM" response from other readers or from your humble author.
* Avoid excessive cross-posting. In most cases, it's best to avoid cross-posting altogether. Pick the group which is most appropriate for your posting and use that one. Cross-posting to a huge number of groups is called "spamming", and it is universally despised.
* If you must cross-post, consider using the Followup-To header line to limit followup postings to a single group. Also consider using a "Followup-To: poster" header line to request that replies be sent to you via email rather than being posted. If you use a Followup-To header, mention it in the body of your posting so that people know what you are doing.
* Don't post test messages to the regular groups. Only use special test groups which were explicitly created for this purpose.
* In almost all cases, it is considered very bad form to use Usenet for blatantly commercial purposes. When selling something, use the groups explicitly created for posting for-sale articles. There are also several groups for job offers and job requests. Use them.
* Advertising for commercial products is inappropriate in almost all groups. Non-hyped announcements of new products, offers of free demos of products, and technical support for products are welcome in many groups, however.
* Post articles to appropriate groups. For example, technical Mac programming questions belong in comp.sys.mac.programmer, not in the other Mac groups. Don't assume you know which groups are appropriate just from the group names.
* When asking a question, consider offering to gather replies via email and post a summary.
* If you change the topic of conversation in the middle of a thread, change the subject header.
When answering a question, consider a direct email reply in addition to or instead of a followup posting.
* When posting information which is of interest only to an audience in a limited geographical area (e.g., a local restaurant review), post to a group which has its distribution limited to that area (e.g., chi.eats).
* In many binary groups, the tradition is to post only binaries to the group. Questions and answers and discussions about the binaries often take place in a different group devoted to that purpose.
* Don't use all capital letters in your posts. Nothing screams "newbie" more than this. This practice is called "shouting".
* Some groups are devoted to discussing a particular band, author, kind of computer, TV show, or whatever. You may not like that band, author, kind of computer, TV show, or whatever. Don't post flame-bait articles denigrating the subject of the group. For example, posting a "Pearl Jam Sucks" article on alt.music.pearl-jam would not be viewed kindly.
* Read the entire thread before following up to an article in the thread. Often, you will find that someone else has already answered the question or made the same point you were thinking of making. This is a common source of embarrassment for posters.
* Don't quote private email in postings without the author's permission. This is very rude.
* Don't get sucked in and spend all your time on the net. Addiction is bad. Moderation is good. Get a life. Go outside every once and a while. Talk to real live people face-to-face as much as possible. The net can be fun, and it can even be very seriously productive and important, but it's not the real world.
* Don't believe everything you read on the net (or anywhere else, for that matter). There's tons of misinformation, silliness, and downright stupidity on Usenet. There's also some useful correct information and some intelligent commentary posted on rare occasions. Be discriminating. After you have participated in a group for a while, you'll get to know which people know what they are talking about (if any). :-)
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Dernière modification de cette page : 7 novembre 1996