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Why should I not ask for a reply by email?

Many posters asking questions also ask for a reply to be sent to their email address instead of posted to alt.html. This does a disservice to the poster and people replying to that post and to other readers within the group.

Replying to the newsgroup is the norm, for a very good reason - peer-review. By posting to a newsgroup, all replies and answers are open to correction and clarification by the regular readers. This process allows both the original poster, and the participants in that thread to learn more about the topic of discussion since incorrect or inappropriate answers are pointed out and corrected, alternatives are suggested and discussed.

If a reply was done via email, then the onus is always on the original poster to check every single answer before actually implementing the solution. This treats Usenet as a lazy man's search engine, instead of a knowledge base of expertise and collaboration.

Many people ask for email replies because, they claim, that their newsserver doesn't keep posts for any length of time. This points out three common misconceptions about Usenet:

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