Table Of


Previously known as

The FAQs for

by robin-of-lox


PRE-Proposing and "officially" Proposing
the alt.discuss Newsgroup

1) Why should anyone PRE-propose their group?
2) How do you "officially" propose?
3) What's the deal with all these people in config complaining about how I named my group?
4) I pay my $20/25 per month, so why can't I have my own newsgroup?

These are the most commonly asked questions in alt.discuss.config. I'll cover them here one by one, but they are all intertwined and meshed together, so if something is not totally covered in one answer, it will be explained more fully as you read the whole page.

1) PRE-proposing

PRE-proposing your newsgroup will

a) get you more yes votes because it is the polite thing to do, and people respond positively to politeness.

b) cover any problems that the name you have chosen might bring up, before you "officially" propose.

c) get you feedback from the "config regulars" about whether a similar group is up for votes,
if your idea has been tried before and failed,
if your idea is covered in other groups,
or if there is an empty group with a similar name/purpose that you might revitalize instead of creating a new group.

2) Officially Proposing

The official Newsgroup Creation Rules can be found by clicking this link. They are automatically posted once a month in alt.discuss.config. I have archived them here for your convenience.

A good site for further explanation of the Creation Rules is Datipster's Proposing a Newsgroup .

Some people find the Creation Rules to be confusing. If you still have a question about how to propose, please feel free to post and ask in news:alt.discuss.config.

3) Responses in config

There are a handful of people who post regularly in config. Most of them have been around since before the beginning of alt.discuss. They are very knowledgable about the system and how it works.

They are known as "config regulars". Who are they? I (robin-of-lox) am one. So are Sandi B and P.O.Box (who host the Voting Pages). Return-To-Oz (he created a single page listing of all the groups), Windstorm (she has an alt.discuss information page), Cornburglar (he has a Naming FAQ page), and others. (Each of those pages can be gotten to via the links on the Intro page)

The "regulars" change from time to time, but each one contributes their knowledge and expertise on Naming, and answering varied questions in config. They are passionate about alt.discuss, and deeply love the newsgroup forum that we have been given.

There are other people who post "regularly" in alt.discuss.config, who may not be quite as helpful as some others. You will have to read the responses to see if they are simply trolling your proposal, or offering genuine help.

So, why are these people trashing the name of your proposed group? They are not trashing the name, but simply suggesting alternate names for your group. They are trying to keep the Main Topic List in an order that is reasonably logical and easy to navigate. If you have read the pages on Naming you will avoid getting nearly as many suggestions, and you will probably get a "Thank You for placing this within the correct topic" post.

The "regulars" in config have no great power to make or break your proposal. They each get one vote per webtv box just like anyone else. What they do have is the wisdom of having been involved with alt.discuss for a long long time, and a desire to help and teach those who don't know the ins-and-outs of proposing as well as they do. They offer their help freely and with no strings attached.

But I deserve my own group

No, you don't. Nowhere in your WebTV Contract does it say that you will get a newsgroup when you sign up for service. The alt.discuss system is set up to be democratic. Each webtv box (not each user) gets the ability to vote Yes and to vote No ONCE per proposal. If the other posters in alt.discuss decide to vote No for your group, the majority rules.

alt.discuss is like a community, each person having their say about the possible addition of a newsgroup by voting for or against it. It is not an individual user's "right" to have a group. It is a community decision.

Click for the Newsgroup Creation Rules

Table Of Contents o Intro o Naming
Charter Creation o Proposing
Group Maintenance o Usenet o Tidbits
History o Archive