What is Alt.Support.Stop-Smoking?
Alt.Support.Stop-Smoking is a Usenet newsgroup - a public forum for discussion of a particular topic - formed in the Spring of 1994 to support those who have quit or are planning to quit smoking or using tobacco in other forms (e.g., dipping). The group's creator, Bob Munzenrider, formed AS3 under the 'alt.' hierarchy because it was the most expedient way to get the group on the 'net. Anyone who gets something out of, and perhaps contributes to, the group can consider themselves to be a member - there are no forms to fill out, dues to pay, or hazing rituals. :) Some members have years of smoke-free time behind them; others are just beginning to think about quitting. No matter what stage you are in, your experiences and thoughts will help someone, and someone else's will help you.
In our newsgroup we strive to respond to every initial post made by a newcomer. Therefore, even if you are brand-new yourself, please jump right in and help us meet that goal. You don't have to have 10 years of freedom from smoking to tell someone who is having a bad craving, "Hang in there, we are rooting for you!" In fact, the person with 3 smokeless days behind her can be the best help to someone in their first hours of quitting; and the one who's going through the first hours can help remind those with months and years of smobriety behind them why they don't want to start smoking again.
Venting one's frustrations is encouraged in this group, and you are certainly welcome to pour your heart out. We do ask, however, that you keep the flames (angry or testy replies) to a minimum. Usually, prefacing a controversial or alternate opinion with "IMO" or "IMHO" ("in my [honest] [humble] opinion"), or qualifying with "YMMV" ("your mileage may vary") or "in my experience ..." will keep the fur from flying.
John Diedrichs ([email protected]) offers some words of wisdom on the topic of virtual communication [taken from a longer post on Usenetiquette]:
"Communicating without misunderstandings is hard enough when you're standing face-to-face and speaking the same language. It's harder when you're on the telephone. Here in Usenet, it's almost like two tin cans tied together with a string. Add to that the linguistic and stylistic differences that go with all the different flavors of English spoken by so many around the world, and it makes for a very "interesting" form of communication.
"And, since we cannot *hear* your voice over Usenet, it can help if you use 'emotional punctuations' like smileys :-) grins winks ;-) and frowns :-( in your writing. This helps to avoid misunderstandings.
"Happy quitting to all... and to all a good life!"