| Thanks for posting this. I'm new to posting in newsgroups and I'm not
| sure what proper netiquette is here. Is there a post that goes over the
| do's and don'ts for alt.home.repair?
The general edicate for newsgroups is that posts
should be on-topic. A post that's a bit off-topic
should be labeld with "OT" in the subject line. So
for this group, asking about siding your house is
on-topic. Asking about repairing a fishing rod is OT,
but it's sort of related because it involves handy skills
that are of interest to the group. Posts about the
Bible, Obama, Rush Limbaugh, or "Falling ice nails
Serbian official in head" are not related and are
considered to be anti-social behavior in that they
ignore the whole point of the group.
The basic idea is just that people choose to come
here for the topic, as opposed to a chat group where
people gather for social reasons. So no one should have
to wade through unrelated posts. Unfortunately, there
are often people looking for attention in one way or
another. Or sometimes someone wants to be in charge.
Other times there are compulsive arguers who make
it difficult for anyone to talk. It varies by group. For
the most part it works out pretty well, considering
there's no way to enforce polite and considerate
behavior. (And even some people who are trying to be
polite are borderline anti-social, but have no idea that
they are. :)
I frequent a lot of computer-related groups
and for the most part people are considerate, with
little tolerance for irrelevant posts or nasty insults.
This group tends to be a bit more unruly, but it's at
least still usable, with a lot of knowledgeable people
who are considerate.
There used to be more detailed Usenet (newsgroup)
edicate rules, which are probably still online. In the
early days it was more well defined and reader software
for it was more limited. For example, it used to be the
norm to post one's comments at the bottom of the
thread because people were reading/writing in a single,
long text window. We've had the luxury of "treeview"
display of threads and subthreads since the late 90s,
but there are still many people who got so used to
the single window that they'll leave all the foregoing
text in a message and then post their comment all the
way at the bottom. That's why you might see some
posts where you have to scroll way down to read what
someone wrote. There are even some people who
will fight about that and insist that it's "illegal" to
"top-post" or to trim out the foregoing posts.
I don't think you need to worry about all that. It's
really just like anywhere else: If people are reasonably
considerate then it works out.