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Detailed Instructions Page Index



How do I get a Personal People Newsgroup?
The option to have a personal newsgroup comes with an SFF Net Basic or Professional membership. If you are here as a guest or on one of the more limited access plans such as Mail & News, SWFA or others, you can upgrade your membership.

The SFF Net Account Wizard lets you see your current membership level, review all the possible membership levels, and request a change. We'll work out the best schedule with you for the change and credit your new account with any remaining balance on your old account.

How do I get people to post in my group?
The most effective way to attract people to post in your group is to post regularly yourself in as many groups as you feel comfortable doing so. Regular posting in the general public newsgroups and in other SFF People groups lets people get acquainted with you. The more people see your posts, the more likely they'll be interested in you, your work and your life.

Another way to get people interested is to include your newsgroup name anywhere you normally let people know about you. A friendly invitation to stop by your newsgroup or web page can attract lots of people you never would expect. The popularity of the Internet makes it likely that many of your friends, family and business associates are already online, and would happily be part of your discussions - if they only knew. The address to give out which allows anyone with a web browser to visit your group is

http://webnews.sff.net/read?cmd=xover&group=sff.people.YourName

Now, that looks a bit imposing, but if you cut and paste it into an email, they can usually just click on the resulting link (or copy it into their browser) to get here.

How do I delete unwanted posts?
As an owner of an SFF People newsgroup, you have the ability to delete any posts in your group. However, you will want to only delete posts that you feel are seriously off-topic or otherwise make you uncomfortable.

It's a very good idea to warn people before you delete anything - it's simply possible that there's a misunderstanding in progress, and a gentle notice that you're not comfortable with the line of discussion is usually enough. If it's not, then you have the ultimate club. Use it wisely.

To delete a post, Login to WebNews using your SFF Net username/password and find the post in your newsgroup that you want to delete. When you click to read the post, one of the links at the top of the page will be Cancel Article. Click that link and the message will be deleted from the server.

Newsgroup Netiquette
  • Do - be courteous to everyone. SFF Net is a community, and just like in any gathering of people, manners make living with each other possible. We realize there are sometimes boors and bullies, but the majority of people you'll meet here, even those that may seem crusty on the surface, respond well to kindness.

  • Don't - jump into an existing conversation without reading the previous messages. Some discussions you'll encounter have a lengthy history or an emotional tone that will make an uninformed new poster (particularly one who repeats items or questions already discussed) somewhat unwelcome. Take some time to get a feel for the kind of discussion in progress before diving in.

  • Do - introduce yourself in the main SFF Net Introductions topic (sff.introduce-yourself). Also, if you are a member of private areas, many of these have introduction topics of their own.

  • Don't - post "This is a test"-type messages in active newsgroups. We have a special newsgroup (sff.test) devoted to letting you test your ability to reply and post new messages without disrupting conversations in progress.

  • Do - quote only the smallest portion of a previous message to which you are responding (or simply avoid quoting altogether). Readers get very weary of scanning through many paragraphs of messages they've already read looking for the new message, particularly if it's in the nature of a one-line "Me Too!"-type response.

    In most cases, people will have just read the previous notes and will remember very well what was said. Also, avoid point-by-point refutations and lengthy (more than a screenful or two) responses, you'll get more attention to your point if folks can grasp it quickly.

  • Don't - use HTML, Rich-Text, graphics or post binaries to newsgroup pages. People who don't have readers for those will see many pages of what appears to be garbage. Plain-text is your best choice.

  • Do - be tolerant of others' spelling and grammar. Although it is certainly more pleasant to read a well-written post, this is not a permanent medium and few have time or inclination to carefully craft each line or to proofread to correct typos. A good rule of thumb is to be as careful as possible when writing and as lenient as possible when reading.

  • Don't - use large or obnoxious signature files. Although a quick, clever tagline can be enjoyable, seeing multiple posts from someone with a lengthy signature is like fingernails on a chalkboard. And if you do use them, change your signature regularly.

  • Do - stay on topic, if possible. Although good conversations are often free-ranging, it is frustrating to users who come to a newsgroup to learn about publishing and find a discussion of pet grooming in progress instead. Take off-topic conversations to an appropriate newsgroup, or create one for it if none exists.

  • Don't - cross-post to multiple topics, people groups or private areas. People often read multiple groups, and seeing the same conversation or announcements in several places is tiresome. Also, private discussions are intended to remain private, and cross-posting from private areas to public ones (or vice versa) is verboten.

    Similarly, discussions in people groups are the purview of the owner of the group, and cross-posting to or from them is often considered rude. Check with the owner of a group to get their permission before cross-posting.

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