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
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  2. 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
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  3. Kenny McCormack

    Tom St Denis Guest

    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 St Denis, Jan 7, 2010
  4. Common? I'd say no. IMO, a few comp.lang.c regular posters are the biggest
    contributors to the problem you've described.
    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.
    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
    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.
    Yes, but how many of them are familiar with STFU? They are a problem
    because they know little restraint or control.
    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

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

    Seebs Guest

    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).

    Seebs, Jan 7, 2010
  6. Kenny McCormack

    Paul N Guest

    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
  7. 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

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

    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?

    Nick Keighley, Jan 8, 2010
  8. and Chris McDonald.
    Ben Bacarisse, Jan 8, 2010
  9. Kenny McCormack

    stan Guest

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

    stan Guest

    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?

    stan, Jan 8, 2010
  11. Kenny McCormack

    Default User Guest

    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.

    Default User, Jan 9, 2010
  12. and me, but I don't recall any of us engaging in behaviour such as Rod
    accuses us of.

    Mark L Pappin, Jan 17, 2010
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