A Short History of the Alt.Support.Diabetes Newsgroup

April 1997 -- ASD is Formed

Not many people know that the formation of alt.support.diabetes was an accident. The group was formed in April, 1997 when attempting to form alt.support.diabetes.kids. Fortunately, the group was propagated over many news servers, and developed a following.

September 28, 1997 -- ASD Archiving Begins

On this date, deja-news.com, the original Usenet archive, started archiving the traffic of the group. Those original archives were transferred to Google.com, and are available there today.

April 1999 -- ASD is Almost Killed

During April, 1999, someone noticed that alt.support.diabetes was a "rogue group", i.e., it had never been formed officially, and had no Charter. As a result, a "rmgroup" message was sent to "kill" the propagation of the newsgroup. A regular poster, Jude Crouch, of Oak Park, Illinois, took issue with that decision, as the group was carrying considerable traffic. Jude single-handedly took it upon himself to save the newsgroup. During that month, he dealt with the original rmgroup issuer, convinced him that the newsgroup was useful, met traffic requirements, and should not be killed. Jude wrote the following:

First some background. For some considerable time, Alt.support.diabetes was a rogue group, created accidentally during the creation of alt.support.diabetes.kids and a byproduct of mis-configured news servers. It picked up quite a few participants, then one day someone decided to send a "rmgroup" control message to eliminate the group. When I saw that, I disagreed with that decision, but that person had valid points, the newsgroup had not been properly formed and had no charter.

So I went to the place where we discuss these things, alt.config , and worked out the charter and justification with the fine folks there. A new properly formed "newgroup" control message was sent and the group was propogated onto more servers than ever.

April 26, 1999 -- ASD's Re-Birthday

On this date, the Charter of the group was published, and an official "newgroup" message was sent to all news servers. This served to widen the reach of our group to servers which had never carried it before. Jude worked long and hard to satisfy numerous critics of the Charter, both within and without the group. He purposely wrote some portions in a vague manner:

During those discussions about the charter, we discussed the restrictions of spam at length. The wording we finally came to is:

"It is not intended that this group would carry commercial messages, binaries or HTML."

Note that is *purposely* nebulous, because I felt that we could better counter SPAM with peer pressure than with an enforcement, and better counter false claims with facts than with restrictions.

It is important to note that even today we enjoy the posts of some of the original posters to a.s.d. This is possible due to the hard work of Jude Crouch, who was lost to cancer in November, 2002.