Microsoft Newsgroups usage recommendation document
Although there is actually an official FAQ listed on Microsoft web-site, I would like to make an additional document, which will help newbies to stick to general etiquette of newsgroup communities.
I’ve been answering on newsgroups for approximately 2 years. During these 2 years I analyzed quite big amount of questions and answers, and I guess, I can highlight some useful information in the form of a small document. I hope, I will have enough time to keep this document updated. So, let’s hit the road:
1. Avoid long post. Make it simpler.
Long posts usually do not attract wide attention of people who usually answer on newsgroups. I guess there is simple reason for this. Responders usually do not have much time.
Responder would better answer 3 or 4 questions, which are smaller, clearer (they might be even more complex in comparison to long posts). If, at any case, you cannot express your question in a short form, then I suggest you to highlight the main problem, and write it in the first post. Later, in next posts any additional information might be added.
2. Do not paste source code into message. Attach it instead.
It’s a big pain to cut out the source code from OE (Outlook Express) NG messages, and then compile it. Because usually, the code is ugly formatted, wrapped and in 99 % of cases it contains huge amount of unnecessary code which is not related to problem.
If you just copy & past code from your Visual Studio project into NG message in OE I am pretty sure, that only 10 % of people will try to compile it. Believe me, that is true. Also, take into account, that if you past the code into a post, it becomes long. Read item number 1 in this document.
I suggest attaching source file to the post. This feature perfectly works for OE. Make sure the file you attach compiles. This simple action increases the probability of helping you in several times.
3. Do not multipost. Crosspost instead.
Okay, questions are different. Some of them can touch different technologies, and it’s better to post such questions into multiple newsgroups simultaneously in one time, so that people from, for example, both kernel and networking NG will read your post.
Life shows, that usually people post a question on networking NG. Then, they post a copy of this message to kernel NG. However, it makes duplicates of messages, and splits the discussion into two threads – which is not actually a good idea, because you probably want to concentrate people of different profiles in one thread.
If you just crosspost message to both newsgroups, it will appear simultaneously on both NG’s and will be synchronized between them, i.e. if someone from kernel NG will make a post in that thread, it will be shown in networking NG as-well. To crosspost just put the names of newsgroups in “cc” field.