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Re: Crossposting

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Smirnoff wrote:

> Using Windows Live Mail.
> I know crossposting is not that popular with usenet users (but not as
> unpopular as multiposting).
> However, I would sometimes like to ask a question both in this group and
> in microsoft.public.windowsxp.general.
> I cannot see 24hoursupport.helpdesk when searching in Microsoft
> newsgroups but I can in BT newsgroups.
> If I use the drop down menu in WLM to select a different news server, I
> am told that the group already selected will be deleted.
> Have noticed a post in this group by johngood___ - "Can I wipe old Java
> upgrades?", which appears to be crossposted to both the groups I'm
> interested in (or is it a multipost?).
> Anyway, is there a way to crosspost between two news servers?

You cannot crosspost between servers. Crossposting between groups
creates one record for the post and multiple pointers to it in each
group but those pointers are defined within the NNTP server. If you
want to crosspost, the groups must be carried by same NNTP server. The
cross-posting pointers, or keys, are setup at the server. There are
some newsreaders that can merge posts between different servers to
provide a unified *view* but the client doesn't manage the article
database on the servers. Servers don't manage the cross-posting on
other servers. Cross-posting is one server with one instance of the post
with references to it in multiple groups on that server. Posts may be
proliferated to other servers but not their databases.

"An article can be cross-posted to multiple newsgroups, so there may be
multiple keys that point to the same article on the same server; these
MAY have different numbers in each newsgroup. However, this type of key
is not required to be globally unique, so the same key MAY refer to
different articles on different servers" (RFC 3977, section 6;

Below are my rants on crossposting, and the idiots that use FollowUp-To
incorrectly (which is almost always when used since there are rare few
groups where it applies).

--- Rant on crossposting ---

Learn to cross-post:

A point not made is that N multiposted copies will consume N times the
disk space for each of the separate copies of the same post.
Crossposted messages have just *one* copy on the server with links in
the newsgroups back to the same single copy. Multiposting wastes disk
space on the server. Yes, your post may be small but remember that you
consume N times the space on one server and then do so again on all the
newsgroups servers worldwide. You waste more bandwidth getting N copies
of your multiposted message distributed to all the newsgroups servers
worldwide. Cross-posting has just one copy of the message on an NNTP
server, and only one copy gets propagated to other NNTP servers.

To those visiting the newsgroups, crossposting helps them see ALL the
replies from those in the other RELATED newsgroup to which you linked
your post. That way, they don't waste their time duplicating similar

Don't cross-post to more groups than needed, if at all. Many consider
cross-posting to more than 4 groups as rude and may filter out your
post. The more groups you add, the less likely that they are related,
the less accurate or focused are the targeted groups, or some of the
included groups may already encompassed by another included but more
general group. If the are subgroups under a topic, choose whether you
will be specific or general in the targeted groups to which you post.
Don't go shotgunning your post across multiple groups trying to capture
as large an audience as possible as you will offend netizens with your
poor aim.

--- Rant on inappropriate use of the FollowUp-To header ---

Don't use the FollowUp-To header. Posting to, say, 3 newsgroups but
moving replies to just 1 of them or to a completely different one means
you disconnect the visitors of those other 2 (or 3) newsgroups from the
rest of the discussion. If a newsgroup is appropriate for your post
then it is also appropriate for the replies. Or, converserly, if the
continued discussion of your post is not appropriate in all the
newsgroups to which you cross-posted then you should not have posted to
those other newsgroups in the first place. You are using the
FollowUp-To header to move replies to YOUR "home" newsgroup but which
the users of the other newsgroups may not visit. After all, if you
cross-post and include your "home" newsgroup then you'll see all those
replies in your home newsgroup and meanwhile all the other users can
still see the replies in their newsgroup where you decided to also
publish your post.

In, it says, "For a
cross-post, you may want to set the Followup-To: header line to the most
suitable group for the rest of the discussion". Read another way, that
means you disconnect the discussion from all the visitors of the other
newsgroups to which you decided to publish your post. Why did you
publish to those other newsgroups if you are going to yank the
discussion away from those users and perhaps even from the respondents
you were attempting to elicit? It is exasperating to post a reply and
never see it in the newsgroup where you read the original post. If your
post was appropriate for all the groups to which you cross-posted then
why wouldn't those same groups be appropriate for the replies? To yank
away the discussion to your "home" group is rude since that is probably
not the "home" group for your respondents. You wanted replies which may
require further replies but now your respondents no longer see the
thread in the newsgroup that they visit to where you published your
post. Also, the respondents may not know if their reply is appropriate
in the "home" group that you happen to choose. In general, malcontents
and spammers use the FollowUp-To header to hide negative replies to
their flame or spam posts, often sending the replies off to a *.test

There are some cases where FollowUp-To should be used. For example, say
a newsgroup is supposed to only get used for citing the content of a
spam e-mail. Discussions about that spam are not supposed to be
published in that citing newsgroup. Just the exhibits are published
there. If someone wants to discuss that particular spam, their replies
should go into a different newsgroup meant for those discussions. I
believe that is how some of the NANAE newsgroups operate but the
principle may apply elsewhere but it is rare few newsgroups where
FollowUp-To is appropriate. For the vast majority of newsgroups,
FollowUp-To is *not* appropriate. If you do not want continue the
discussion in the other newsgroups then don't cross-post over there (and
then use FollowUp-To to yank away the continued discussion). If the
discussion is not appropriate in those other newsgroups then it seems
you have nominated your post to be spam.

If you do use the FollowUp-To header, you are expected per netiquette to
alert the readers of your post that you used that header. Be polite and
add a note (at the start of your post) saying that you used the header
(ex., "WARNING: FollowUp-To was used and points to <newsgroup>". You
might also want to explain why any further discussion in the other
newsgroups is inappropriate despite your rudeness in posting to those
other newsgroups. Many times respondents wonder where their reply post
went because they expect to see it in the group they visited and where
they read your post. Not all NNTP clients alert the user that the
poster used the FollowUp-To header. Think about it: you post to
multiple newsgroups but yank the replies to a different newsgroup than
where your respondents visited, then you need more help and reply to
those replies but which are now only in your "home" newsgroup, but the
respondents won't see their posts nor will they see your replies to them
asking for more help. FollowUp-To is not required when you cross-post
since your "home" newsgroup should be one those that were specified in
the list of newsgroups. You'll watch the discussion in your home
newsgroup and the respondents or lurkers can watch that same discussion
in their own newsgroup. If you don't want replies to show up in all the
newsgroups to which you cross-posted then don't cross-post over there in
the first place!

When crossposting, there are not multiple copies of your post that
wastes bandwidth for each to get them propagated to other NNTP servers
and there aren't multiple copies of your post consuming disk space. A
single copy gets sent to the other NNTP servers and a single copy
resides on each NNTP server with pointers to it to make it show up in
multiple newsgroups. You aren't saving bandwidth or disk space by
redirecting replies for a cross-posted message to a single newsgroup.
You are just being rude to the visitors of the other newsgroups to which
you cross-posted but tried to yank away the discussion.

--- End of rant ---
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