Date: Wed Oct 20 01:52:57 1982
Subject: Re: help wanted ads and for-profit info on netnews
Posted: Tue Oct 19 13:07:21 1982
Received: Wed Oct 20 01:52:57 1982
I tend to agree with Andy, that advertisements are OK. However, they
will remain OK only as long as they don't annoy the people on the net.
This means they should NOT resemble TV or radio commercials. In
They should not be repeated. Announce it once, then forget it. Only
if there is evidence that some netnews failure threw it away, or after
a certain amount of time (e.g. six months) has elapsed should an
advertisement be repeated (for the benefit of new readers) and even
then it would be better if the new ad would emphasize something new
that wasn't available before.
They should be segregated. That is, ads should be in a separate
newsgroup so the systems or persons can easily turn them off. We
already have net.jobs for help wanted ads, and net.wanted for general
purpose "I want an x" queries. We could have another newsgroup for
product announcements, such as net.products or net.ad or some such thing.
I have noticed a reluctance on the part of the commercial ventures on
USENET to talk about their products. I'm talking especially about
such places as Microsoft or HCR, which are clearly doing things of
general interest to the UNIX community. I think that, as long as the
general population appreciates the information, such places should be
encouraged to post product announcements to USENET, in such a
segregated category. This is one area where the Yates Perspective
newsletter seems to outshine USENET: they have their ear to the ground
regarding what people are planning.
I do think that we should confine the ads to things that are relavent.
If someone starts trying to sell me dog food over USENET the whole
thing will fall apart. I'm not sure where the line would be drawn -
I don't think I want to hear about the latest version of Z80 BASIC
for the TRS 80, but there may be some of you out there who do.
In this light, it would be very helpful if the subject of the message
indicated what type of product was involved so the reader can make an
intelligent choice about whether to say "no". (The advertisers really
only want to reach people who are seriously interested, anyway, right?)
By the way, this is very much a "majority rule" kind of issue. The last
time this issue came up, people seemed to agree with the position I
just stated. But if things change, people should be encouraged to
gripe - if at some point (even now) most of you DON'T want to see
ads, you should speak up. The last thing we want is to turn your CRT
into another soap opera.