Like any discussion group, there are some topics that are usually best left out of the NANOG list, but occasionally they are relevant. In general, these topics are technical topics, they involve the network, and they have some level of impact on the organizations who operate many networks attached to the public network.
There are two main reasons why these topics are not usually relevant and should not normally be on the NANOG list. The first and major reason is that there is usually one or more specialty mailing lists which are primary sources for information on the topic. Botnets and SPAM are two examples of this sort of thing. The second reason they should not normally be on NANOG is that they gum up the works. They take up space that could be used for other topics, cause numerous complaint messages to the list, and cause list members to go away, thus lowering the value of the list.
But, sometimes it is relevant to discuss these items on NANOG. A prime example was the Code Red virus/worm. When a peripheral topic has a direct impact on network operations, then it is OK to talk about it. But when the impact settles down, then the discussion should too.
Another situation is a periodic summary or report of activity in some domain, like botnets, that is normally discussed elsewhere. In this case, it is best to make clear that you are posting an occasional report and to direct people to other forums where details will be discussed. Some followup to this kind of posting is reasonable a long as it is technical in nature and deals with network relevant issues. Otherwise, just ask people to go elsewhere to find their answers.
There are probably other types of peripheral topics that are OK to discuss on NANOG but only once in a while, like meeting logistics in the run-up to a meeting. Please add your suggestions to this list:
- item one
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- item three