A question about netiquette and topicality (on-topic for this group)

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by Kenny McCormack, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. A common scenario on Usenet is that someone will post an item to a
    bunch of groups (this is referred to as "crossposting"), some of which
    are "on-topic" and others are not (by whatever definition is in effect
    in each affected group). What often happens is that posters from groups
    who deem it to be "off topic" will post, to all affected groups, that it
    is "off topic". But, of course, the problem with this is that they are
    posting this message of off-topicness to groups in which the posting
    *is* on-topic. This then leads to recriminations from those groups
    where it is "on-topic" and of course re-recriminations/re-re-recrimination,
    etc, etc.

    What do people think? Should the bearers of the off-topicness just STFU
    about it, or do they have a right to make their views known?
    Kenny McCormack, Jan 7, 2010
    #1
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  2. Re: A question about netiquette and topicality (on-topic for thisgroup)

    In article <>,
    Tim Streater <> wrote:
    >On 07/01/2010 02:20, Kenny McCormack wrote:
    >> A common scenario on Usenet is that someone will post an item to a
    >> bunch of groups (this is referred to as "crossposting"), some of which
    >> are "on-topic" and others are not (by whatever definition is in effect
    >> in each affected group). What often happens is that posters from groups
    >> who deem it to be "off topic" will post, to all affected groups, that it
    >> is "off topic". But, of course, the problem with this is that they are
    >> posting this message of off-topicness to groups in which the posting
    >> *is* on-topic. This then leads to recriminations from those groups
    >> where it is "on-topic" and of course re-recriminations/re-re-recrimination,
    >> etc, etc.
    >>
    >> What do people think? Should the bearers of the off-topicness just STFU
    >> about it, or do they have a right to make their views known?

    >
    >Only in the group(s) where they think it's off-topic, I'd have thought.


    A sensible position. However, in practice:
    1) People never do it. Basically, it is the limit of most people's
    ability to do a "reply all". This is a technical limitation,
    not a social limitation. However, see next.
    2) I think that some people think it is their mission in life to
    tell everyone that such and such is OT in "my newsgroup".
    I.e., an offense has been committed and it is their duty to tell
    one and all.
    Kenny McCormack, Jan 7, 2010
    #2
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  3. Kenny McCormack

    Tom St Denis Guest

    Re: A question about netiquette and topicality (on-topic for thisgroup)

    On Jan 7, 9:05 am, (Kenny McCormack) wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Tim Streater  <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    > >On 07/01/2010 02:20, Kenny McCormack wrote:
    > >> A common scenario on Usenet is that someone will post an item to a
    > >> bunch of groups (this is referred to as "crossposting"), some of which
    > >> are "on-topic" and others are not (by whatever definition is in effect
    > >> in each affected group).  What often happens is that posters from groups
    > >> who deem it to be "off topic" will post, to all affected groups, that it
    > >> is "off topic".  But, of course, the problem with this is that they are
    > >> posting this message of off-topicness to groups in which the posting
    > >> *is* on-topic.  This then leads to recriminations from those groups
    > >> where it is "on-topic" and of course re-recriminations/re-re-recrimination,
    > >> etc, etc.

    >
    > >> What do people think?  Should the bearers of the off-topicness just STFU
    > >> about it, or do they have a right to make their views known?

    >
    > >Only in the group(s) where they think it's off-topic, I'd have thought.

    >
    > A sensible position.  However, in practice:
    >     1) People never do it.  Basically, it is the limit of most people's
    >         ability to do a "reply all".  This is a technical limitation,
    >         not a social limitation.  However, see next.
    >     2) I think that some people think it is their mission in life to
    >         tell everyone that such and such is OT in "my newsgroup".
    >         I.e., an offense has been committed and it is their duty to tell
    >         one and all.


    You're right in that some people get off in being the net-cop. Just
    like some people get off on trolling USENET.

    ....

    just saying...

    Tom
    Tom St Denis, Jan 7, 2010
    #3
  4. "Kenny McCormack" <> wrote in message
    news:hi3ge1$t44$...
    > A common scenario


    Common? I'd say no. IMO, a few comp.lang.c regular posters are the biggest
    contributors to the problem you've described.

    > A common scenario on Usenet is that someone will post an item to a
    > bunch of groups (this is referred to as "crossposting"), some of which
    > are "on-topic" and others are not (by whatever definition is in effect
    > in each affected group).


    People in other groups don't take anywhere near as much offense as do some
    of the people with anger management or control issues who post here. A
    small percentage of people primarily from the UK and AU (Australia) seem to
    be particularly finicky in regards to topicality. Frequently, they are
    rather rude, arrogant, wrong, intolerant, and inhospitable. Occasionally,
    they blow an emotional fuse, initiate tirades and temper tantrams to any
    response they don't like. If you really want peace, politeness, and respect
    in that group, it's best to torment them until they leave. Fortunately,
    they don't represent most UK or AU posters who are decent, knowledgeable,
    and polite.

    > What often happens is that posters from groups
    > who deem it to be "off topic" will post, to all affected groups, that it
    > is "off topic". But, of course, the problem with this is that they are
    > posting this message of off-topicness to groups in which the posting
    > *is* on-topic. This then leads to recriminations from those groups
    > where it is "on-topic" and of course

    re-recriminations/re-re-recrimination,
    > etc, etc.


    It only takes a second to be polite and remove other groups from the
    newsgroups or follow-up line. Failure to do so indicates immaturity and
    disrepect.

    > What do people think?


    There is a small group of ruthless and inconsiderate people here who
    consistently cause problems for people, both here and elsewhere by posting
    even more messages about "off-topic" or "trolls" etc.

    > Should the bearers of the off-topicness just STFU
    > about it,


    Yes, but how many of them are familiar with STFU? They are a problem
    because they know little restraint or control.

    > or do they have a right to make their views known?


    Honestly, how many groups, other than c.l.c., have you ever seen someone
    complain about "off-topic" posts? If they complain, they complain about
    spam.


    Rod Pemberton
    Rod Pemberton, Jan 7, 2010
    #4
  5. Kenny McCormack

    Seebs Guest

    On 2010-01-07, Rod Pemberton <> wrote:
    > Honestly, how many groups, other than c.l.c., have you ever seen someone
    > complain about "off-topic" posts? If they complain, they complain about
    > spam.


    I have never participated in a newsgroup that did not have fierce complaints
    about off-topic posts. Except maybe alt.folklore.computers. In
    comp.lang.ruby, there are a ton of people who post Rails questions, and a
    ton of people who redirect them to a rails group. In rec.games.frp.dnd,
    people are regularly directed to the marketplace newsgroup for forsale/wanted
    posts, to the fiction group for fanfic, and to other groups for material
    related to other games. Etcetera. About 40% of the content of
    soc.religion.quaker consists of complaints about off-topic posting (because
    about 50% of it is off-topic posting).

    -s
    --
    Copyright 2010, all wrongs reversed. Peter Seebach /
    http://www.seebs.net/log/ <-- lawsuits, religion, and funny pictures
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology) <-- get educated!
    Seebs, Jan 7, 2010
    #5
  6. Kenny McCormack

    Paul N Guest

    Re: A question about netiquette and topicality (on-topic for thisgroup)

    On 7 Jan, 12:26, Tim Streater <> wrote:
    > On 07/01/2010 02:20, Kenny McCormack wrote:
    >
    > > A common scenario on Usenet is that someone will post an item to a
    > > bunch of groups (this is referred to as "crossposting"), some of which
    > > are "on-topic" and others are not (by whatever definition is in effect
    > > in each affected group).  What often happens is that posters from groups
    > > who deem it to be "off topic" will post, to all affected groups, that it
    > > is "off topic".  But, of course, the problem with this is that they are
    > > posting this message of off-topicness to groups in which the posting
    > > *is* on-topic.  This then leads to recriminations from those groups
    > > where it is "on-topic" and of course re-recriminations/re-re-recrimination,
    > > etc, etc.

    >
    > > What do people think?  Should the bearers of the off-topicness just STFU
    > > about it, or do they have a right to make their views known?

    >
    > Only in the group(s) where they think it's off-topic, I'd have thought.


    On the grounds that you can get confusion if a group only carries some
    of the posts in a thread, I'd be inclined to recommend replying in all
    the newsgroups of the original. But the onus is on the responder to
    spot that there are other groups involved, and to say *which* group(s)
    it is off-topic in.

    Just my thoughts.
    Paul N, Jan 7, 2010
    #6
  7. Re: A question about netiquette and topicality (on-topic for thisgroup)

    On 7 Jan, 20:53, "Rod Pemberton" <> wrote:
    > "Kenny McCormack" <> wrote in message
    > news:hi3ge1$t44$...
    >
    > > A common scenario

    >
    > Common?  I'd say no.  IMO, a few comp.lang.c regular posters are the biggest
    > contributors to the problem you've described.
    >
    > > A common scenario on Usenet is that someone will post an item to a
    > > bunch of groups (this is referred to as "crossposting"), some of which
    > > are "on-topic" and others are not (by whatever definition is in effect
    > > in each affected group).

    >
    > People in other groups don't take anywhere near as much offense as do some
    > of the people with anger management or control issues who post here.


    I've seen no sign of the syndromes you describe. This is just using
    pop psychology to try and score points. I don't have penis envy
    either.


    >  A
    > small percentage of people primarily from the UK and AU (Australia)


    Australia? Who's from Australia? Just curious.

    > seem to be particularly finicky in regards to topicality.


    obviously "finicky" is a matter of opinion but posts that are Windows
    (or whatever) specific would be better off on a topic specific ng.

    I'll plead guilty to posting software engineering and general
    programming issues to clc when i feel like it. And I generally get
    away with it...


    > Frequently, they are
    > rather rude, arrogant, wrong, intolerant, and inhospitable.


    no, not usually. Sometimes the /reponses/ to the "you're off-topic"
    get that way though, and then things toboggan down hill. Can you give
    a recent example of an "you're off-topic" that was rude, arrogant,
    wrong or intolerant?

    <snip>
    Nick Keighley, Jan 8, 2010
    #7
  8. Richard Heathfield <> writes:

    > Nick Keighley wrote:
    >> On 7 Jan, 20:53, "Rod Pemberton" <> wrote:

    >
    > <snip>
    >
    >>> A
    >>> small percentage of people primarily from the UK and AU (Australia)

    >>
    >> Australia? Who's from Australia? Just curious.

    >
    > Peter "Shaggy" Heywood.


    and Chris McDonald.

    --
    Ben.
    Ben Bacarisse, Jan 8, 2010
    #8
  9. Kenny McCormack

    stan Guest

    Seebs wrote:
    > On 2010-01-07, Rod Pemberton <> wrote:
    >> Honestly, how many groups, other than c.l.c., have you ever seen someone
    >> complain about "off-topic" posts? If they complain, they complain about
    >> spam.


    I've never seen a newsgroup that never had a complaint about
    topicality. On the other hand I've never seen a group without the
    disgruntled who insist on posting off topic and complaining about the
    "topic cops". It seems to be much like gravity; existing everywhere
    and not much to be done about it.

    > I have never participated in a newsgroup that did not have fierce complaints
    > about off-topic posts. Except maybe alt.folklore.computers. In
    > comp.lang.ruby, there are a ton of people who post Rails questions, and a
    > ton of people who redirect them to a rails group. In rec.games.frp.dnd,
    > people are regularly directed to the marketplace newsgroup for forsale/wanted
    > posts, to the fiction group for fanfic, and to other groups for material
    > related to other games. Etcetera. About 40% of the content of
    > soc.religion.quaker consists of complaints about off-topic posting (because
    > about 50% of it is off-topic posting).


    You should see the chess or electronics groups.
    stan, Jan 8, 2010
    #9
  10. Kenny McCormack

    stan Guest

    Kenny McCormack wrote:
    >
    > A common scenario on Usenet is that someone will post an item to a
    > bunch of groups (this is referred to as "crossposting"), some of which
    > are "on-topic" and others are not (by whatever definition is in effect
    > in each affected group). What often happens is that posters from groups
    > who deem it to be "off topic" will post, to all affected groups, that it
    > is "off topic". But, of course, the problem with this is that they are
    > posting this message of off-topicness to groups in which the posting
    > *is* on-topic. This then leads to recriminations from those groups
    > where it is "on-topic" and of course re-recriminations/re-re-recrimination,
    > etc, etc.
    >
    > What do people think? Should the bearers of the off-topicness just STFU
    > about it, or do they have a right to make their views known?


    It seems you are right; everyone should never post anything on topic
    and only post complaints about people who believe in topicality. What
    what usenet look like if everyone followed your lead?

    bye
    <plonk>
    stan, Jan 8, 2010
    #10
  11. Kenny McCormack

    Default User Guest

    Seebs wrote:

    > I have never participated in a newsgroup that did not have fierce
    > complaints about off-topic posts.


    I think that's fairly common for technical newsgroups. There are many
    others that are more "social" in nature. rec.arts.sf.written always has
    a significant portion of posts off-topic (often political or cultural),
    in fact usually a majority. Those who would complain have largely given
    up. Topical threads do start and get traction, and the participants are
    still by and large interested in the subject of the group.

    In one of my favorite groups from the past, alt.fan.tom-servo, the only
    topical posts were off-topic ones. Alas, it is moribund these days.

    The group that I think does a pretty darn good job is comp.lang.c++.
    For whatever reason, the people there are more matter-of-fact and
    generally decline to engage trolls and idiots in protracted debate. I
    wish that the people here would try to do a similar job. There's really
    no reason for anyone to be responding to Kenny, Twink, Richard NLN, etc.




    Brian
    Default User, Jan 9, 2010
    #11
  12. Ben Bacarisse <> writes:

    > Richard Heathfield <> writes:
    >
    >> Nick Keighley wrote:
    >>> On 7 Jan, 20:53, "Rod Pemberton" <> wrote:

    >>
    >> <snip>
    >>
    >>>> A
    >>>> small percentage of people primarily from the UK and AU (Australia)
    >>>
    >>> Australia? Who's from Australia? Just curious.

    >>
    >> Peter "Shaggy" Heywood.

    >
    > and Chris McDonald.


    and me, but I don't recall any of us engaging in behaviour such as Rod
    accuses us of.

    mlp
    Mark L Pappin, Jan 17, 2010
    #12
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