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Lesson 10A: Newsgroups -- Be sure to go on to Lesson 10B next.
Like bulletin boards
Newsgroups are great ways for Internet users to share information with others of similar interests. They work like bulletin boards. You post a message, wait for someone else to see it, and then hope to get a reply. Newsgroups, called Groups for short, are similar to this kind of bulletin board that you might see hanging in a college dorm where they might be so many postings that each of several boards might be devoted to a different topic -- just like this one is on Kayaking. Perhaps another bulletin board in the dorm might give information on different items students are trying to sell. On this bulletin board below, just as you will find on an Internet Newsgroup, the writers might use nicknames and give the dates of their posts.
Newsgroups posting or messages and all their related replies are called a thread. In the bulletin board above on Kayaking, the thread is made up of three messages.
Newsgroups are divided into interest categories. There are thousands of Newsgroup categories. You can find one for just about any topic imaginable. Interested in exchanging information about Russia culture? jewelry making? diabetes? collies? kayaking? whatever -- there will be an Internet Newsgroups for you.
Google makes viewing Newsgroup posts easy
There is an easy way to read past Newsgroup messages. Just go to this Web site sponsored by the search engine Google: http://groups.google.com/ But in using this search-site, you will be searching through Newsgroup postings instead of Web sites.
Try a simple search. Look for Newsgroup messages that have been posted related to the topic kayaking. Insert kayaking into the search box, and once you click on Google Search, you will see a long list of messages all mentioning the word kayaking. Click on the Re (subject) link to read each message.
Below you see the Google search window.
Now below are two of the "hits" for the Google search for Newsgroups posts mentioning the word kayaking.
Reading a newsgroup postTo read a Newsgroup post, just click on the title-link for the post. For example, for the second hit above, click on the blue underline link "Kayaking popularity rises".
Can reply to newsgroup message
When you view a newsgroup message ("Group" message for short), you will notice at the end of the message will be a "Reply" link. Click on Reply, and you will be able to send in a response to the message you have just read, but first you will be asked to give yourself a screen name and a password. Be sure to use an email address that you don't use for your important, private email messages because once you use an email address in publishing a Newsgroup message, the email address you use will most likely be bombarded by many responses, including spam messages. For this reason, when I write Group messages, I always use a Yahoo address I created for the specific purpose of writing and responding to Group messages.
The first screen shot below shows the Reply link used to respond to a kayak message. I have only included part of the Kayak message.
ResourcesHere you will find additional information related to this lesson at these Internet sites. Other sources for all the lessons are found in the Links page.
Question BankAnswer the Question Bank questions to make sure you have learned this lesson. Remember that your final exam will be made up of questions selected from this Question Bank.
ExercisesBe sure to do the Exercises for each lesson.
The next lesson is Lesson 10B.