or bulletin boards can be read by anyone with an Internet connection
and appropriate software (both Netscape and
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Getting info from Newsgroups
Newsgroups or Bulletin Boards can be read by anyone with an Internet connection and appropriate software (both Netscape and Microsoft browsers have news readers built in). Newsgroups (aka Usenet) are a valuable source of independent information.
Newsgroups are public bulletin boards to which anyone can send information. The information is then sent around the Net and held by Internet Service Providers for access by their customers. Because of the volume of traffic, Service Providers will only hold News postings for a short period of time (days) before they are deleted. A number of the Newsgroups are "moderated - one person or a panel is able to edit submissions to decide whether or not they are 'posted' to the Newsgroup. However, a large number of Newsgroups are a free-for-all, particularly those with name beginning with "alt."
you use them to find information?
How do you find the right groups?
Lists of Newsgroups can be downloaded from your Internet Service Provider, as long as they carry a "news feed". However, it is at the discretion of each ISP as to which groups they carry. You can then use your newsreader softwear to search the list for keywords or parts of keywords. Searching for "engin", for example, will help you to find all the Newsgroups with "engineering" in their title (such as "alt.building.engineering" and "pdaxs.jobs.engineering").
Although the popular browsers have newsreader softwear built in, these are "online" readers, designed for use when you have a connection to the Internet opened. If you are going to use Newsgroups frequently, it is better to use a dedicated "offline" reader, where you can download headings of postings, go offline and then select which postings you want to download in full.
Here are two free newsreaders available for download:
able to find other Newsreader software from one of our sources on the
Software page - or check
out our Software Portal
One of the most useful sources of Newsgroup info is Google, with its fully searchable archive at:
There are currently over 700 million Newsgroup postings here!