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Old January 19th 08, 05:42 AM posted to rec.radio.amateur.moderated,uk.radio.amateur,aus.radio.amateur.misc,rec.radio.info
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Posts: 325
Default Seeking advice about crossposted Amateur Radio bulletins

The rec.radio.info newsgroup, first established in 1993, has been
recently revived by an active moderation team. We are currently seeking
suitable information, FAQ, and bulletin articles from the entire
rec.radio.* newsgroup hierarchy for simultaneous cross-posting to our
newsgroup.

Consistent with rec.radio.info's past usage and message traffic, we had
resumed collecting and aggregating many popular weekly amateur radio
bulletins and crossposting them to the newsgroups. We selected
bulletins that were available via E-mail or Web page, had reprint/relay
permission, were in the English language, and could be automatically
gatewayed to the newsgroups in plain text. These included:

AMSAT Weekly Satellite Report (Amateur Satellite Corporation)
AMSAT News Service Weekly Bulletins (Amateur Satellite Corporation)
WIANews (Wireless Institute of Australia)
DXNL (Deutscher Amateur Radio Club)
IRTS Radio Bulletin (Irish Radio Transmitters Society)
GB2RS News (Radio Society of Great Britain)
SARL News in English (South African Radio League)
The ARRL Letter (American Radio Relay League)
Amateur Radio Newsline (Newsline, Bill Pasternak)
RAC Bulletin (Radio Amateurs of Canada)

(The Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin had continued to be directly posted, via prior
arrangement and authorization, during the absence of an active
moderation team.)

The original charter of rec.radio.info:

http://www.faqs.org/ftp/usenet/news....rec.radio.info

was to serve as a crossposting target for information bulletins,
newsgroup charter announcements, and newsgroup Frequently-Asked
Questions (FAQ) lists. Implicitly, that rec.radio.info should not
"steal" articles from other newsgroups, or require readers to know that
rec.radio.info exists and that all bulletins/FAQ's/etc. have been
redirected to it. It was also potentially awkward (possibly rude) for
us to redirect followup discussion from the FAQ's/bulletins to a
newsgroup where the original root article of the thread wasn't posted in
the first place. Also, as indicated by its place on the namespace
hierarchy (rec.radio.*, not rec.radio.amateur.*), rec.radio.info was not
intended to be just an amateur radio newsgroup. Other newsgroups'
bulletins that were intended to be crossposted included
rec.radio.broadcasting, rec.radio.shortwave, and rec.radio.scanner.

When an article is simultaneously crossposted, only one article is
propagated over the networks, and most newsreaders should show it only
once. In this way, the rec.radio.info newsgroup becomes an information
concentrator of articles that already exist in the news spool, not
contributing extra bandwidth or duplication, much like rec.music.info or
news.answers. It was also felt that a good test of whether a bulletin
was worthwhile to post to the newsgroups was whether or not it was
tolerated in a subject-specific "home" newsgroup. When we took over the
newsgroup in February of 2007:

http://www.big-8.org/dokuwiki/doku.p....info-announce

we originally sought to continue both the letter and intent of the
original charter.

In cooperation with the rec.radio.amateur.moderated newsgroup and
moderation team, we chose that newsgroup as the principal crossposting
target for general amateur-radio related bulletins. Some members of
that moderation team felt that crossposting the bulletins, and allowing
followup discussion, could serve as useful discussion starters for their
new newsgroup. Due to their size, frequency, and special interest
topic, the AMSAT bulletins continued to be crossposted to
rec.radio.amateur.space only. The DXNL bulletin was also crossposted to
rec.radio.amateur.dx. The country-specific bulletins that had their own
country-specific newsgroups were also crossposted to those newsgroups
(aus.radio.amateur.misc for WIANews and uk.radio.amateur for GB2RS
News).

We commenced a 90-day test of relaying the bulletins, from March to May
of 2007, and considered both internal and external feedback. There were
no internal objections, though about half of the moderation team wanted
a disclaimer at the bottom of each bulletin (to supplement the
disclaimers already in the headers of each approved message for the
moderated newsgroups). We only received one external objection, from an
individual who felt that the ARRL Letter was more of a public-relations
and advertising message than a true news bulletin.

Concluding that we had readership support for relaying these bulletins,
we then continued to post these bulletins, and as simultaneous
crossposts. Starting around October of 2007, the
rec.radio.amateur.moderated Moderation Team started to have internal
discussion about whether crossposting bulletins to
rec.radio.amateur.moderated was worthwhile. Some felt strongly that if
posted, they should be posted to rec.radio.info only, and not any other
newsgroup, with followups directed either to poster, or possibly even to
a newsgroup for which the bulletin was not originally posted. This
would be a change of charter for rec.radio.info. Because of this, we
decided to have a 90-day test and moratorium, from October 2007 to
January 2008, where we would not relay the bulletins and see if anyone
noticed or complained. We received no external feedback regarding these
bulletins during that time, nor did anyone complain about their absence.

Since our two 90-day tests, one with the bulletins, and one without,
were inconclusive with respect to reader feedback, we would like to now
explicitly solicit reader feedback at this time in order to make an
appropriate decision about the format and target newsgroups of any
relayed bulletins. Examples of feedback that would be useful to us
would include answers to the following questions:

- Do you read the bulletins?

- Which bulletins do you read?

- Which bulletins, if any, do you feel have inappropriate advertising or
public relations content for posting to the newsgroups?

- In what newsgroup do your prefer to read the bulletins first, or read
them at all (subject-specific, rec.radio.info, or none)?

- Would you read the bulletins if they were posted to rec.radio.info
only?

- Would you be interested in initiating followup discussion based on the
contents of the bulletins? To which newsgroups? Via E-mail to the
originators?

- Would you be able to follow any followup discussion that was directed
to newsgroups other than to which the original bulletins were posted?

We would be most interested in hearing about how *you* personally have
read, or intend to read, the bulletins on the Usenet newsgroups, and
intend to submit followup discussion (or not). Speculation or demands
concerning how others "should" or "should not" read or react to the
bulletins would be much less helpful to us. In particular, we wish to
avoid expending a lot of ongoing effort to relay bulletins that will be
substantially ignored, or shunted off to newsgroups that are not widely
read.

Please respect the "Followup-To: poster" line and direct all feedback
via E-mail to the Reply-To: address of .

Consistent with their newsgroup charters, followup discussion posts on
this subject made to rec.radio.amateur.moderated or rec.radio.info will
be rejected.

Thanks in advance for any thoughtful feedback on this subject. Such
feedback will weigh strongly on our decision how to proceed in the
future.

--
The rec.radio.info Moderation Team




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