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14. Archiving postings to the group

14. Archiving postings to the group

It is very common for a moderator to keep an archive of the discussion in their group. While this is recommended, disk space limitations may prevent it. Newsgroup archives are more feasible on Internet sites where they can be made available via anonymous FTP. If you keep an archive accessible via UUCP you'll probably get requests for back issues that you may have to fill by hand. LISTSERV gatewayed lists can do this very conveniently, complete with automatic archival and on-demand retrieval.

14.1. FTP Archives

You should list archives that you consider official in your group's policy posting. There are tools to assist you in keeping your archives up to date with a minimum of effort. An example is the "rkive" package written by Kent Landfield <kent@landfield.com>. It allows you to automatically archive some or all articles as they arrive in a newsgroup and will create the appropriate Index files.

14.2. Email Archives

You may find it useful to set up email-based access to your archives. If so, see the FAQ titled

"Mail Archive Server Software List,
A Summary of Available Mail Archive Server Software",

initially written by Jonathan Kamens and currently maintained by Piero Serini. (piero@strider.st.dsi.unimi.it) and is posted periodically to comp.mail.misc, comp.sources.wanted, comp.answers and news.answers. It is also available from sites that archive news.answers.

For reference purposes, email-based archive access programs are often known as “mailservers.”

14.3. Archives of selected articles

Some moderators find it useful to set up selective archives of noteworthy articles from their groups. For example, rec.food.recipes has an FTP archive of categorized recipes, and alt.sewing has an archive of collected posts about specific sewing techniques. Although it takes a great deal of human effort to maintain such archives, they are generally more useful than wholesale archives, especially for high-volume discussion groups.

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