While a proliferation of newsgroups is not good, since when does one need to “ask permssion” for a news group, and of whom?
The following is historical information – how it used to work.
There are defined procedures for creating a Usenet 8 newsgroup in one of the standard categories ‘comp’, ‘humanities’, ‘misc’, ‘news’, ‘rec’, ‘sci’, ‘soc’, and ‘talk’. A news server administrator can add any newsgroup at any time. However, most news administrators add only those groups that follow the guidelines described below.
First, create a Request For Discussion (RFD) that describes your new proposed group, containing the following information:
- Charter. A charter description for the group.
- Justification. The reason that you want to create the group.
- Moderation. Whether or not it will be moderated.
- Mailing list. Whether or not it will be linked to a mailing list.
The RFD should be in the format described in the messages “How to Format and Submit a New Group Proposal” and “How to Write a Good Newsgroup Proposal”, which can always be found in the newsgroup news.announce.newgroups, or linked at the bottom of this page.
Each part of a newsgroup name is separated by periods and can be up to 14 characters long, and may be composed of letters, digits, and the characters “+” and “-” to separate words to increase readability. You should avoid acronyms, unless they are very well known, so that people who search a list of newsgroups will be able to find the group easily.
You should search the existing newsgroups first to find an existing hierarchy that the new group can fit into, and not create extra levels of hierarchy unless absolutely necessary. For example, you may want to create a newsgroup to discuss a new database product called “DataSmart”. There is already a “comp.databases” news hierarchy, so the name “comp.databases.datasmart” would be much better than “comp.datasmart”.
You should then post your RFD to news.announce.newgroups, news.groups, and any existing groups related to the topic of your new group.
After posting, exactly thirty days of discussion are set aside in news.groups for finalization of the details of the group, such as the exact name, the charter description, whether it will be moderated, and if it is to be moderated who the moderator will be.
A vote on the newsgroup creation will then be taken by the Usenet Volunteer Votetakers, at uvv.org, a group of neutral third-party vote-takers who manage the voting on all new group proposals, and call themselves “The Knights who say ACK!”. The voting itself takes place as follows.
- First the UVV posts a call for votes to news.announce.newgroups and other groups on which discussion of the new group has been held. The voting period may last between 21 and 31 days, as specified in the call for votes.
- At the end of the voting period the vote count will be taken. The vote taker will post the tally, the email addresses of the voters, and each voter’s vote to verify the results. Only votes with unambiguous wording for or against the new group are counted.
- If at least two thirds of the votes are in favour of group creation, and the number of yes votes exceed the no votes by at least 100, the group creation is passed, and a group creation message is sent to news administrators by the moderator of the group news.announce.newgroups.
- email@example.com — a group of volunteers that can help you with a group creation request.