Last Home Local Next

How not to post to the Net!


How long should my article signature be?
Please try and make your signature as long as you can. It's much more important than your article, of course, so try and have more lines of signature than actual text.

Try and include a large graphic made of ASCII characters, plus lots of cute quotes and slogans. People will never tire of reading these pearls of wisdom again and again, and you will soon become personally associated with the joy each reader feels at seeing yet another delightful repeat of your signature.

Somebody just posted that Roman Polanski directed Star Wars. What should I do?
Post the correct answer at once! We can't have people go on believing that! Very good of you to spot this. You'll probably be the only one to make the correction, so post as soon as you can. No time to lose, so certainly don't wait a day, or check to see if somebody else has made the correction.

And it's not good enough to send the message by mail. Since you're the only one who really knows that it was Francis Coppola, you have to inform the whole net right away! Use the most confrontational language you can to make sure everybody knows what an idiot this poster is.

I saw a long article that I wish to rebut carefully, what should I do?
Include the entire text with your article, particularly the signature, and include your comments closely packed between the lines. Be sure to post, and not mail, even though your article looks like a reply to the original. Everybody loves to read those long point-by-point debates, especially when they evolve into name-calling and lots of "Is too!" -- "Is not!" -- "Is too, twizot!" exchanges.

Be sure to compare the poster to Adolph Hitler in some way. That's a novel, underutilized rhetorical technique. In fact, the poster is probably worse than the Nazis.

Be sure to follow-up everything, and never let another person get in the last word on a net debate. Why, if people let other people have the last word, then discussions would actually stop! Remember, other net readers aren't nearly as clever as you, and if somebody posts something wrong, the readers can't possibly realize that on their own without your elucidations. If somebody gets insulting in their net postings, the best response is to get right down to their level and fire a return salvo. When I read one net person make an insulting attack on another, I always immediately take it as gospel unless a rebuttal is posted. It never makes me think less of the insulter, so it's your duty to respond.

How can I choose what groups to post in?
Pick as many as you can, so that you get the widest audience. After all, the net exists to give you an audience. Ignore those who suggest you should only use groups where you think the article is highly appropriate. Pick all groups where anybody might even be slightly interested.

How should I pick a subject for my articles?
Keep it short and meaningless. That way people will be forced to actually read your article to find out what's in it. This means a bigger audience for you, and we all know that's what the net is for. If you do a followup, be sure and keep the same subject, even if it's totally meaningless and not part of the same discussion. If you don't, you won't catch all the people who are looking for stuff on the original topic, and that means less audience for you.

What sort of tone should I take in my article?
A: Be as outrageous as possible. If you don't say outlandish things, and fill your article with libelous insults of net people, you may not stick out enough in the flood of articles to get a response. The more insane your posting looks, the more likely it is that you'll get lots of followups. The net is here, after all, so that you can get lots of attention. Be sure as well to make your lines really long, so that they wrap at column 85, just to annoy those few people with 80 column screens.

What about other important questions? How should I know when to post?
Always post them. It would be a big waste of your time to find a knowledgeable user in one of the groups and ask through private mail if the topic has already come up. Much easier to bother thousands of people with the same question.

Somebody just posted a query to the net, and I want to get the answer too. What should I do?
Immediately post a following, including the complete text of the query. At the bottom add, "Me too!" If somebody else has done this, follow up their article and add "Me three," or whatever number is appropriate. Don't forget your full signature. After all, if you just mail the original poster and ask for a copy of the answers, you will simply clutter the poster's mailbox, and save people who do answer the question the joyful duty of noting all the "me (n)s" and sending off all the multiple copies.

I'm having a serious disagreement with somebody on the net. I tried complaints to his sysadmin, organizing mail campaigns, called for his removal from the net and phoning his employer to get him fired. Everybody laughed at me. What can I do?
Go to the daily papers. Most modern reporters are top-notch computer experts who will understand the net, and your problems, perfectly. They will print careful, reasoned stories without any errors at all, and surely represent the situation properly to the public. The public will also all act wisely, as they are also fully cognizant of the subtle nature of net society.

Papers never sensationalize or distort, so be sure to point out things like racism and sexism wherever they might exist. Be sure as well that they understand that all things on the net, particularly insults, are meant literally. Link what transpires on the net to the causes of the Holocaust, if possible. If regular papers won't take the story, go to a tabloid paper -- they are always interested in good stories.

By arranging all this free publicity for the net, you'll become very well known. People on the net will wait in eager anticipation for your every posting, and refer to you constantly. You'll get more mail than you ever dreamed possible -- the ultimate in net success.

I'm a man. How should I treat the women who post to the net?
As babes for the taking! Women post to the net to advertise their sexual availability to you. If they deny it they're just playing hard to get. One way to make sure that more women participate in the network world is to send them sexual advances wherever you see them. Women just love it. And they're sure to want to go out with you. There's nothing a woman finds more seductive than a come-on from a total stranger who knows nothing more about her than that she's female and can type. It's so flattering; guys that discriminating turn us all on.


Editor's note:

Last Home Top Local Next
Top of