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Group Creation

As discussed above, Usenet is not a democracy. Nevertheless, currently the most popular way to create a new newsgroup involves a "vote" to determine popular support for (and opposition to) a proposed newsgroup. See section Newsgroup Creation, for detailed instructions and guidelines on the process involved in making a newsgroup.

If you follow the guidelines, it is probable that your group will be created and will be widely propagated. However, due to the nature of Usenet, there is no way for any user to enforce the results of a newsgroup vote (or any other decision, for that matter). Therefore, for your new newsgroup to be propagated widely, you must not only follow the letter of the guidelines; you must also follow its spirit. And you must not allow even a whiff of shady dealings or dirty tricks to mar the vote.

So, you may ask: How is a new user supposed to know anything about the "spirit" of the guidelines? Obviously, she can't. This fact leads inexorably to the following recommendation:

 If you're a new user, don't try to create a new newsgroup alone.

If you have a good newsgroup idea, then read the news.groups newsgroup for a while (six months, at least) to find out how things work. If you're too impatient to wait six months, then you really need to learn; read news.groups for a year instead. If you just can't wait, find a Usenet old hand to run the vote for you.

Readers may think this advice unnecessarily strict. Ignore it at your peril. It is embarrassing to speak before learning. It is foolish to jump into a society you don't understand with your mouth open. And it is futile to try to force your will on people who can tune you out with the press of a key.

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National Technical University of Athens