Translated with DeepL.com
The netiquette should help you to get to know the manners and customs that have become established in the German-speaking part of the Usenet (the "de.*" newsgroups). This will help you avoid some of the most common stumbling blocks. Following are some tips on how to (and should) use the net efficiently and also politely to everyone's satisfaction:
- Never forget that there is a human being sitting on the other side!
- First read, then think. Read again, think again.
- And only then post!
- Share something new!
- Your articles speak for you - be proud of them!
- Take your time when writing an article!
- Don't neglect the layout of your article!
- Pay attention to the "Subject:" line!
- Think about the readership!
- Be careful with humor, irony and sarcasm!
- Shorten quoted text to the minimum necessary!
- Use email!
- Share a collection of your findings with the network!
- Pay attention to the legal regulations!
- Use your real name, not a pseudonym!
- Be careful with commercial stuff!
- Be careful with binaries and multipart articles!
- "You" or "you"?
1. never forget that there is a human being sitting on the other side!
Unfortunately, when they write their articles, many people don't think about the fact that the messages are not read by computers, but by other people.
Your message can be read not only by people in German-speaking countries, but all over the world. So it's better not to get carried away with verbal outbursts.
Remember: The more outrageous and rude you are, the less people will be willing to help you if you ever need something yourself.
A simple rule of thumb: never write anything that you wouldn't say to the addressee's face in front of other people.
2. Read first, think later. Read again, think again.
The risk of misunderstanding is especially high in a written medium. Make sure several times that the author of the article you are about to respond to meant what you think. In particular, make sure that irony, sarcasm or a similar variant of humor may not have been used without marking it with the smiley symbol ":-)" to mark.
3. share something new!
Your article will be distributed to an audience of millions worldwide. Therefore, share something new when you write an article!
Make your point clear, and express yourself in an understandable way. By arguing coherently, you can avoid many misunderstandings from the start.
Remember, however, that no one likes to read articles that are several hundred lines long. Your article should be short and concise, but without sacrificing comprehension.
If you want to use a signature under your article, you should tell something there that is not yet clear from your article or its header. The signature should be a maximum of 4 lines long.
The so-called footer is unusual and undesirable in Usenet. It is generally used to describe a text created by the software itself, which is automatically added to the article content (message body). In contrast to the signature, the footer is essentially beyond the influence of the user (e.g. information about which programs processed the article).
Also undesirable are so-called "human gateways". One should not see his task in forwarding articles from various other newsgroups, networks or information services (e.g. Z-Netz, T-Online, Videotext, AOL, CompuServe etc.) accessible to everyone, to the net.
4. your articles speak for you - be proud of them!
Most people on the Net know and judge you only on the basis of what you write in News and Mail. Therefore, try to write your articles in a way that is easy to understand and as error-free as possible.
A dictionary next to your computer may seem like an exaggeration, but on the other hand, an article that is as error-free and well-written as possible will be taken more seriously than one that is almost illegible with errors or incomprehensible due to poor word choice.
Keep in mind that your concern will be poorly represented by an article that does not meet elementary requirements of style, form and level.
Maybe your future colleagues or your future boss will read it. Prejudices are easily formed.
5. take your time when writing an article!
Some people think it is enough to "hack" an article into the computer in a few minutes. However, especially with regard to the previous points, this is hardly possible. You should take your time to write an article.
Before writing, make sure that others have not already written an equivalent response. This way you will know a part of the following discussion and you can already take into account arguments presented in your contribution.
Each article should be read through and revised at least once before final submission.
Sometimes it is also advisable to sleep on the article again. Often it turns out the next day that you reacted too impulsively or wrote an insult.
6. do not neglect the presentation of your article!
Capitalization makes the text more readable. Paragraphs serve to structure and loosen up the text. Furthermore, dots and commas should be self-evident.
Your own text and quoted text should always be separated by a blank line. It is better not to use justification, since spaces of different widths make reading more difficult.
You should keep the width of your own lines below about 70 characters, so that even after quoting text several times (quotations), the standard line width of 80 characters is not exceeded. In addition, professional writers have long known that lines with more than about 70 characters can be read by humans only with effort (just count the characters per line in your daily newspaper).
You can find further basic advice on text layout in the Duden (rules for typing), for example, or in the corresponding DIN 5008 (writing and layout rules for word processing).
7. pay attention to the "Subject:
" line! When writing an article, please pay special attention to the content of the "Subject:" line (colloquially also called "Subject" or "Topic"). Here the content of the article should be described in short words (under 40 characters if possible), so that a reader can decide whether it is of interest to him or not.
In longer-lasting discussions, it may happen that the topic being debated differs from the original "Subject". Please change the "Subject:" line accordingly. It is a good habit to additionally indicate the old subject as well; however, when replying to such articles (follow-ups), the old subject should be removed. An example:
In case of a follow-up, your newsreader will suggest the old (previous) subject by default:
But the discussion has long since digressed to the topic "peas in the greenhouse". Use the special keyword "what:" and change it as follows:
Subject: peas in the greenhouse (what: kohlrabi in the front garden)
Follow-ups on your new article should only include the topic
Subject: Re: peas in the greenhouse.
8. think about readership!
Before posting an article or follow-up, think about the people you want to reach with your message. An article titled "TV Bj. 1972 an Selbstabholer" is certainly much better off in a regional newsgroup than in a worldwide readable de.* group.
Choose the group (or groups) you post to carefully. You should also read these groups yourself. Post to only one group, if at all possible.
Cross-posting an article to several groups that may be related in content is not recommended. If you do crosspost (by specifying multiple group names in the "Newsgroups:" line), please direct subsequent articles to one group using the "Followup-To:" line.
Use a newsgroup with the extension ".misc" if no special group more appropriate to the topic exists.
Crosspostings across multiple news hierarchies should be avoided as a matter of principle.
Especially for buying and selling the sub-hierarchy "de.markt.*" was created to keep corresponding articles out of all other groups. Please respect this!
9. be careful with humor, irony and sarcasm!
Make sure that you mark your ironically meant remarks in such a way that no misunderstandings are provoked. Remember: In a written medium, none of your facial expressions and gestures come across that you would use in personal conversations.
On the web, there are a number of symbols called smileys for this purpose; the most common are ":-)" and ":-(". If you don't immediately notice what these smiley symbols are supposed to mean, just put your head on your left shoulder and look again ... :-)
For the reader: If a text seems misleading or illogical, consider that it could be meant ironically or sarcastically.
If in doubt, ask the author for an explanation by e-mail instead of posting a follow-up immediately.
10. shorten quoted text to the minimum necessary!
It's a good habit to quote short excerpts of the text you're referring to verbatim and preface your own text.
Make it a habit to leave just enough original text so that the reader does not lose the context. Quoted text (quote) is only a rough guide to your thoughts; what is more important is what you have to add in terms of new, interesting thoughts of your own.
If possible, do not quote text that has already been quoted again. Instead of quoting text verbatim, you can replace it with a short paraphrase enclosed in square brackets .
>> If you are writing a follow-up article, the entire >> text you are referring to will be offered to you by your newsreader program >> for editing. >> [further discussion of newsreader programs deleted] >> > The original text is generally indented by the character '>' > indented (similar to this paragraph), to make it clear that it is > that this is quoted text. Leave > for clarity between quoted text and your own text. > a blank line between the quoted text and your own text. Quote only text that you refer to.
Do not leave out the original text completely! The reader of your article will most likely not remember the exact article to which you refer and will have great difficulty recognizing the meaning of your remarks without a thought support.
Quoting signature or signature is an unfortunately widespread bad habit and undesirable.
When quoting, initials preceding the individual lines are not necessary, because newsreader software can display this individually on request using the internal article linking (which is what the "References " keyword in the header of articles is for). For the same reason, the introductory salutation by name does not need to repeat the subject, message ID, newsgroup name, date, and most other header lines.
11. use e-mail!
If you have something to say to the author of an article, please consider whether it would be an asset to the ongoing discussion and might interest others - or whether a simple e-mail would be more appropriate.
Example: Heated discussions sometimes degenerate into wild orgies of abuse (so-called "flame wars"). Then, at the latest, the time has come when no one other than the disputants is interested in the discussion.
It is also better to point out spelling mistakes, technical problems, obvious errors or netiquette violations by e-mail.
It is usually impolite to post answers by e-mail also again in addition publicly. You should decide: either e-mail or news, but not both. If you do it anyway, you should definitely point this out at the beginning of the message, such as "[posted and mailed]". But remember: it's better to choose one communication medium - email or news!
In general, if you want to communicate something that is likely to interest millions of other people, use news. Otherwise, e-mail is more appropriate.
12. share a collection of your findings with the net!
If you have asked a question to the net community and received answers to it by e-mail, which could possibly also interest other people, summarize the results (sensibly shortened) and thus let others also profit from the answers to your question.
If you have used the keyword "Followup-To: poster" in the header of your article to ensure that answers to your article are not published but are automatically sent only to you by e-mail, you should publish a summary of your findings after a reasonable period of time (and also announce this intention in your article).
Point this out up front if you are going to post a summary anyway. This will help you avoid redundant responses of the type "Please do post a summary.", "Please email me a summary.", "Send me a copy.", "Me too.", "Add me.", etc.
Accordingly, for readers: If you would like someone to post a summary, ask them to do so by email, definitely not publicly (follow up).
Remember: It's considered rude to just ask questions in a newsgroup you don't read and demand answers via email. No one likes to read newsgroups that only have questions, but no answers.
13. pay attention to the legal regulations!
Be careful not to break any laws with your article.
Be careful when quoting from copyrighted works. Do not commit crimes. Do not incite crimes.
If you are unsure whether you might be violating someone else's rights, ask them beforehand via email what they think of your intentions.
Email publishing, aside from its possible legal consequences, is rude and should not be done without the explicit consent of the author.
Since your articles are read by an audience of millions, be cautious about what you say about others. "Usenet is not a right", but of course this does not make Usenet a rights-free space.
14. use your real name, not a pseudonym!
In the mailbox scene and with some Internet providers, users hide their true identity behind a pseudonym and sometimes write things that they would not otherwise have allowed themselves to write. Due to the negative experiences that many people on the net have had with the bearers of such pseudonyms, you should label your articles with your real name ("real name").
In some newsgroups dealing with very sensitive topics (e.g. sexual habits etc.), pseudonyms or articles posted via so-called anonymous remailers (also called "anon servers") are tolerated in exceptional cases.
By the way, pseudonyms or anonymous remailers do not offer any protection if one wants to harm the net or its participants or if one wants to commit crimes. As with most electronic media, subsequent tracing is possible in serious cases.
15 Be careful with commercial content!
A certain amount of commercial information is tolerated on the Internet. For example, addresses of companies offering a particular product that someone has asked for. On the other hand, the dissemination of purely advertising information is considered impertinent. Especially if a certain volume is exceeded or posted without being asked.
Remember: This is a non-commercial network, and no one wants to pay the transmission costs for unsolicited advertising.
16. be careful with binaries and multipart articles!
Binary files (graphics, music, executable programs, etc.) are not wanted in the discussion groups of this net. There are special newsgroups for binary files. In general it is better not to include binary files in the news and instead only refer to corresponding download possibilities via FTP or WWW.
The same applies to so-called "multipart" articles. Some news reader software encodes the article content in various alternative display formats (normal text, HTML, LaTeX, Word, etc.), although most net participants can only display plain text. Be considerate and offer alternative presentation formats better via FTP or WWW. In the "de.*" hierarchy it is common to use plain text only.
17. "Du" or "Sie"?
From the German language of the "de.*"-hierarchy arises the question, whether one should "duzen" or "Siezen" other net participants in news and mail. It usually applies: If you are on first-name terms, you want to be on first-name terms. If you are on first-name terms, you want to be on first-name terms.
However, most participants in the "de.*" hierarchy are on first-name terms, regardless of their social position. And many of those who are on a first-name basis do so only at first, because they did not yet know that most people prefer a "you". If you are addressed in a formal way, you should not start with the "Du" right away, but ask first if this is okay for the other person.
Probably this netiquette is one of the few articles in the net, in which you are fully intentionally gesiezt.