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A newsgroup is a discussion that takes place online, devoted to a particular topic. The discussion takes the form of electronic messages called "postings" that anyone with a newsreader (standard with most browsers) can post or read. There are over 10,000 newsgroups in existence, covering every imaginable topic. To find one that interests you, check out one of the specialized databases mentioned below, just for searching newsgroups.
To join a newsgroup you must first make sure you have a news reader. Typically, the newsreader is part of your browser, located near the email function. AOL provides its own easy-to-use newsgroup reader. Outlook Express takes you straight to the account setup wizard directly from its front page. You will need to get the name of your news server from your Internet Service Provider. After setting up an account, you can subscribe to the newsgroups of your choice. How do you find out what newsgroups are out there? The following includes descriptions of two methods, complete with graphic illustration.
1. Search for Google Groups
Browse newsgroups by clicking on a newsgroup prefix.
Or view ALL newsgroups.
2. Search list-servs and newsgroups at TILE.NET. (Webmaster's Note: I find this search much more useful and easy to use than the Google browse.)
Just click on the list button or the newgroup button, and type a keyword into the search bar. Click "search." You will see a list of matching results. Consult the "help" section of your browser if you need help setting up a newsgroup account.
You can also click on the main categories.
This will take you to an index page that allows you to browse all groups/list-servs alphabetically, by description, or by newsgroup hieracrchy.
Still confused? Email me!