Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Newsgroups, Forums - real or fake ?

" When you discuss anything with people in Net newsgroups, forums etc, remember that they may not be the person they portray in that area. Keep your personal information private. Take a while to check around about anyone that starts to ask questions not directly related to the subject. There have been many viruses and other nasties developed for delivery through chat rooms etc."
These are discussion lists that operate through a section of the Net called UseNet. It could be compared to communal noticeboards with notes (news, notions and nonsense, depending on the topic) from people that share a common interest in the subject that they post their views on in that particular
Think of a subject and there will probably be several groups that focus on different aspects of it. You could actually spend almost all of every day just reading and responding to the traffic (yes, this counts in your bandwidth!)

They are immensely popular meeting places for good and otherwise.

They range from:
Simple forums where people register with a “nickname” and some basic personal information, then enter the chat room where everyone sees a message on their screens. Each person’s posts appear like entries in a film script:
Mickey: “How’s the weather where you are?”
Moovystar, “Cloudy. How is it where you are?”

Not very exciting?
There are chat rooms where each person is represented by a cartoon character. These are more visually interesting but require a bit more computer power. You select the cartoon character from the available range when you sign up to use the Chat Room. Remember, some people give information about themselves that is no more real than the cartoon character or nickname.

These are on-line discussion groups and they cover about the same range of subjects and sub-groups as the News Groups. As well as thousands of publicly accessible Forums, there are many that restrict access to people that demonstrate an active interest in the area that the Forum covers, or are prepared to pay a regular fee to exchange views and information with other Members of the Forum on the topic, which is often business related.
All these areas have their own rules and etiquette. Blatant advertising is frowned upon as well as disruptive behavior. But it’s common in many business related forums for people to put a small
“Sig” after their name at the end of their post. The sig may be about four lines and have a link to the poster’s business site or other information. Yes it’s similar to the “signatures” that many people use in the emails that they send.

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