Rec.arts.anime.creative Volunteer's Handbook

Copyright (c) 1996-1998, Brian Edmonds

$Revision: 1.12 $ $Date: 1998/11/01 16:49:23 $

The latest version of this file can be retrieved from:

The raa.creative posting guidelines can be retrieved from:

Any inquiries, comments or suggestions should be sent to the group coordinator at <raac-coordinator@gweep.ca>.




Contents



Introduction

This file contains information which raa.creative moderation team volunteers should know before they begin approving articles for posting to the group. In addition, prospective moderators should also read the Usenet Moderation Handbook, available at

Be aware that UUNET is typically very busy, so it may take a number of tries to get through. There are also a number of moderation tools in the directory above there that you may wish to examine.



Submission Guidelines

In general, any original artwork or work of fiction based on or related to anime or manga is acceptable for posting. Use of non-original text or images may be acceptable for parody purposes, or in very small quantities under ``fair use'', but should otherwise be rejected.

Fanfic

Fanfic is typically any original prose or poetry (including song lyrics) which is based on or inspired by an established anime or manga series, or which simply has an anime feel. Considerable latitude should be given in evaluating exactly what constitutes an ``anime feel''. In general, unless the work is just a festering pile of garbage it should be considered acceptable.

Quoting of copyright material in a longer work, such as a few song clips, or a snip of dialog from an anime episode is acceptable as long as proper credit is given (or obvious). More extensive use of such material (including from other fanfic) for parody purposes, such as the Hou Bang works, is also acceptable so long as the parody makes a significant contribution to the work. Any other use of non-original material should be considered plagiarism and is not acceptable for posting to raa.creative.

We have had one case of a novelization of a couple manga chapters, which we discussed on the moderation team mailing list. Eventually the moderator responsible decided to approve it. I'm still not sure how I would have dealt with it personally, so it may well come up on the list again.

Artwork

See the section above on fanfic for most of what needs to be said here. The only real difference is that it's typically easier to judge ``manga style'' in the case of drawings, though again, give considerable latitude when making such a judgement.

Other

Announcements about fanfic related web or ftp sites are welcome, as are any significant updates on the state of fanfic writing projects. If posters want to repeat such announcements on a regular basis, they should send the information to Andy Coombs who has taken on the responsibility to coordinate a fanfic site list.

Most followups and other discussion about fanfic should be directed to rec.arts.anime.fandom. Detailed reviews or guides to larger bodies of work, such as Undocumented Features or Kimagure Orange College should be accepted in general, unless it's already been done better too many times before.

The usual collection of spams and off-topic flamewars are not welcome, and may be dropped without response. If you wish to take the time to file a complaint with the poster's ISP, feel free. Other topical questions and requests can be dealt with as you see fit, and feel free to consult with the other moderators on the mailing list. Requests for fanfic should be directed to the archive, as raa.creative is not a reposting service.



Approval For Posting

The next two sections describe the format that text and image posts are required to be in before being approved. It is left to each moderator's discretion if s/he will accept improperly formatted submissions and reformat them before posting. It is perfectly reasonable to return badly formatted submissions to the author and request that s/he reformat and resubmit them. Please do not encourage authors to submit works directly to you, as the moderation software's logs are handy for problem tracking.

If a number of episodes of an ongoing work arrive all at once, it is typically better to post them all as a single article, as this helps avoid the ``please repost part X'' problem. Historically Usenet has had a 64k maximum posting size rule of thumb, but systems which cannot handle larger posts are rare today, so even articles thousands of lines long should not be a problem. Images should always be posted as a single part, and any image which seems too big probably is, and the poster should be encouraged to scan it at a lower resolution and/or submit it in JPEG rather than GIF format.

Text Posts

All text postings must be in plain ASCII, and lines must be wrapped at less than 80 columns. Use of MIME and/or any strange (8 bit) characters is strongly discouraged, as these do not reproduce reliably on many systems. In particular be careful to avoid Quoted-Printable encodings. You should also keep an eye out for strange characters where one would normally expect single or double quotes. Apparently some common Mac software generates these to do nicely curled quotes, but they don't work right on other systems.

Postings with mild grammar and/or spelling problems should be accepted, while in the case of more serious problems, the author should be encouraged to take some time to proofread the work before resubmitting it.

Image Posts

Images may be in either GIF or JPEG format, and must be uuencoded before posting. Use of MIME enclosures is not acceptable. The author may (and is in fact encouraged to) add an introductory preamble to the image, which should appear before the uuencoded text in the message body. Again, use of MIME or any other form of digesting is to be avoided. The attachments used by Netscape in particular are in MIME format, so be wary.

Subject Line Tags

Each post should be identified with a set of subject line tags. In the case of fan works, the first tag should identify the anime series, such as [Ranma] or [BGC]; for crossovers use [Xover]; for totally original works use [Orig]. The second tag should indicate the type of posting, typically one of [Fanfic], [Filk], [Poem], or [Art]. Lastly, if the work contains depiction of nudity or anything approaching explicit sex, you should add a [Lemon] or [H] tag.

In the case of an announcement, typically using an [Info] tag is most appropriate, with [Admin] being used for announcements about the newsgroup itself (the moderation coordinator will make most of the latter posts). If the announcement is about an ftp or web site, feel free to add a [FTP] or [WWW] tag as appropriate.

Other tags, such as [Review] or [Guide], may well be appropriate at your discretion. If you have any concern about which to use on a particular post, feel free to contact the coordinator and ask.

Following discussion on the moderator's mailing list the general opinion seems to be that mixed-case tags are preferred, as shown above. This is not enforced, but is encouraged. I also think of the tags in a primary and secondary classification, and list them in that order. Primary tags are the series the work is based on, while secondary tags describe characteristics of the work. Some sample subject lines are:

Subject: [Ranma][Fanfic] The Usual Mayhem at Tendo Dojo
Subject: [Xover][Fanfic][Lemon] Ryo Saeba meets Lum
Subject: [Tenchi][Art] Ryoko in a cute sailor suit
Subject: [BGC][Review] A Gay Guide to Daley Fics
Subject: [SM][Info][WWW] Serena and the Meat Bun fics on the web

Signatures and Such

You should leave the author's original signature intact, though if it is excessively long you may wish to request that the poster resubmit the work with a more moderate signature.

There is no raa.creative signature or other such vanities at this time, though one may be instituted in the future. In particular, do not PGP sign postings unless a decision is made that all posts will be PGP signed, which is not anticipated in the near future. If you're making a posting as yourself, however, feel free to sign it if you normally do so.

Required Headers

First, each post must obviously have a Newsgroups header which includes rec.arts.anime.creative. Crossposting fanfic to related groups is typically acceptable, for example BGC fanfic is welcome in alt.fan.bgcrisis. Be very careful, however, not to approve crossposts to other moderated groups without first getting the other moderator's approval. Also, please do not crosspost images or other binaries outside of raa.creative, as this is a bit of a touchy subject in some circles.

Second, each post must have a Followup-To header to direct replies away from raa.creative. In general, this should be rec.arts.anime.fandom, but if some other reasonable group has been provided by the poster then you should follow the poster's wishes.

Lastly, each post must have an Approved header to indicate to the news software not to just send it back to the moderator. This should simply be your name and email address, just as in your From header. The actual content of the header is ignored, but following this convention should make it easier for the coordinator to diagnose problems. Some software combinations do not allow users to add this header, so you may need to talk to your news admin about getting around this if you find you're having problems.

How To Practice Posting

There are a number of moderated groups which have no moderator, and where posters are expected to approve their own posts. The best group for such tests is alt.dev.null. Please be careful to read a number of postings in any group before posting, so you know any local conventions you should follow.

New moderators who are confident that they have acquired both the tools and understanding to approve posts should contact the coordinator to request a submission to approve for raa.creative. Assuming no problems arise, you will be added to the active moderation team shortly after that.



Archiving

The primary archive site is located at

When you approve a fan work, you should upload a copy into the incoming directory located under the main archive directory. Please give it a meaningful name, preferably following the naming scheme already in use for the archive. The incoming directory is not readable via ftp, so once uploaded you will not be able to see the files.

Announcement posts and such are not being archived, though README posts containing information about particular fanfic series should be. The descriptive text associated with an image or other binary post should also be uploaded in a README file. If the name of an image is image.gif for example, then the readme file would be image.README.

It is also very helpful if you can assemble multi-part posts, including any parts already in the archive, before you upload them. My time, like anyone, is quite limited, and assembling stories that I'm not familiar with takes longer than it probably would for the moderator to do so.



Mail Contact Addresses

There is a mailing list for discussion and coordination between moderation team members at raac-volunteers@gweep.ca. Note that this is a closed list, to which only team members will be subscribed, and to which only team members may post. Any technical inquiries regarding the moderation team may be directed to the moderation coordinator at <raac-coordinator@gweep.ca>


Brian Edmonds, November 1, 1998
EOF