Absolute Beginner's Frequently Asked Questions

13. What is meant by On-Topic and Off-Topic?

Each newsgroup has a 'topic', or subject for discussion in that group, as defined in its Charter.

For example, the Charter for uk.music.folk states that "uk.music.folk is for discussion of folk/roots/acoustic music in and from the UK". Anything which is not broadly within that description is therefore off-topic for that group and should not be posted there.

The fact that the group name has the word 'music' does not mean that discussions about Stockhausen or the Spice Girls will be welcome there or that it is a suitable place to advertise raves, as the name also contains the qualifier 'folk'.

Before posting to any group it is advisable to have read the group's Charter, and FAQ if one is available, to find what is and is not on-topic for that group.

Most groups set their own unwritten limits on what is or is not acceptable in off-topic posts and sometimes this will relate to the identity of the poster. A newcomer posting something off-topic is more likely to be pounced on than an old regular. It is wise to lurk for a while before posting to get the feel of what the group regards as acceptable.

FAQ 12


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