Your Internet Consultant - The FAQs of Life Online

5.20. How do I choose a "distribution" area when posting to the Usenet?

As you post to the Usenet, your posting software (Pnews or postnews for UNIX users) will ask for a distribution. It wants to know how widely distributed you want your article: who should see it? Just people in your city, your state, or the whole wide world?

You may be shown a list of distribution areas; the list differs depending on your site's location. My site offers the following distribution choices:

Your local distribution prefixes are:
local           this site only
ba              Bay Area
ca              California
usa             USA
na              North America
world           the universe
If you send your posting everywhere--that is, to "world" distribution--your message will indeed go everywhere the Usenet goes: Finland, Korea, even Cleveland. Consider whether your message really needs to go to these places. A used car ad or request for a bridge partner in your city shouldn't leave your city, let alone the state and country.

It is generally impossible to post an article to a distribution that your own machine does not receive. For instance, if you live in California, you can't post an article for distribution only in Toledo or Botswana unless your site happens to exchange those particular distributions with another site. If you need to post to a local newsgroup that's not local to you, try mailing the article to someone in that area and ask them to post it for you.

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