Absolute Beginner's Frequently Asked Questions

9. What is Crossposting and should I do it?

Crossposting is posting a message with more than one group in the Newsgroups header. That is, posting the same message to several groups at once rather than posting it individually to each of those groups.

But someone told me it's a bad thing to do!

Whoever told you that was talking nonsense. If you have a message which you think might be of relevance to the readers of more than one group then it is much better to crosspost than to post the same message individually to each.

Example: I want to tell readers of uk.music.folk about this wonderful new book of Celtic songs that has just been published. But the readers of rec.music.celtic and rec.music.folk will also be interested in this - so I crosspost it to all three.

But why is it better to crosspost than post individual messages?

Because it saves bandwidth and storage space. When an article is crossposted, it is only retrieved and stored once. If you subscribe to both uk.music.folk and rec.music.celtic you would only retrieve my message once (assuming you're using a proper newsreader). The message will then appear in whichever group you read first and, when you've read it, it will be marked read in both groups.

Had I posted it individually, you would have had to retrieve it twice and it would be stored twice on your drive. If you read it in uk.music.folk then began to read rec.music.celtic, you would find exactly the same article there but marked unread - you would have to start reading it to know it was a duplicate. Waste of bandwidth, waste of storage space, waste of your time and effort.

But if you are crossposting, make sure it is relevant to ALL the groups you crosspost. And if you are replying to a crossposted article, have a think about whether your reply needs to go to all of them - if it doesn't, then remove the unnecessary groups.


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