What are the basic rules of Netiquette?
An excellent site for learning about Usenet, Netiquette, and the Internet generally is Brendan Kehoe's Zen and the Art of the Internet at:
There are a few courtesies with which posters are asked to comply throughout Usenet generally. They fall under the blanket term "Netiquette" (Usenetetiquette), a simple code of behaviour which developed for practical reasons. Here's a quick rundown:
In most newsgroups, you are requested to "lurk" (read but not post) around a newsgroup for a few days before joining the conversation. By lurking, you get a feel for a group's character, its conventions, and the people who post to it. You don't have to do this in AS3! Jump right in and post as often and as much as you need to, BUT if you're thinking of posting to an ongoing argument or an angry thread which seems to focus on personalities and not on smoking/quitting issues, it might be a good idea to hold that post aside for a day or two, before you join the fray. In fact, the best defense is often no defense. See "Flaming," below.
To flame someone is to insult them, their post, their dog, etc. Flaming someone who posts to the group in order to sell something is a time-honoured AS3 tradition which can help you release your anger and frustration. Go ahead! It's always open season on Composters (just be sure that's what you've got in your sight). But it helps no one when you flame your fellow AS3 members. Your flame will in turn get a flaming response, a flame war ensues, and soon the "support" in "alt.support.stop-smoking" goes out the window. The best way to put the fire out is to not feed it.
A cross-post is one that has been directed (i.e., in the To line of the header) to more than one newsgroup. If it is necessary for you to cross-post, then do so; if not, avoid it - it can cause trouble. Often people don't look at the headers of posts and therefore don't realize that you've cross-posted. Suppose you wanted to send fan mail to Will Wheaton and you asked for his address in both rec.tv.star-trek and alt.wesley crusher.die.die.die ? You can imagine the ensuing fireworks caused by bringing these two groups together.
The thing to remember about a cross-post is that whenever anyone follows-up to the thread, that post is also going to all the other groups in the header. You can avoid this by checking the header of your reply and deleting any groups not appropriate to your reply.
It is often necessary to include some of the post to which you're replying when you follow-up, because you'll want some context in order for your comment to make sense. But it is seldom necessary to quote the *entire* post. Cutting out any text you don't need saves bandwidth (what information travels on from one computer to another) and helps the Internet community in two ways: first, it saves your readers time (and often money) by not making them download any more bytes than necessary; and second, the less information crowding the bandwidth, the faster and smoother the Internet operates for everyone.
IMHO, it's just plain rude to post private e-mail. If someone is sending you aggravating, harassing, or threatening e-mail and they don't stop when you ask them to, complain to their Internet provider. You can usually reach someone's ISP by mailing [email protected]; or you can look for the ISP's home page on the WWW, which will usually offer links to the e-mail addresses of their staff. If that fails, contact the staff at your own ISP and ask them to filter out that person's mail.