Conducting Electronic Research

Newsgroups, Discussion Forums, Chat Rooms and Email List Searches

Newsgroups and Discussion Forums, Email Lists and Chat Rooms are similar to Blogs in that they support ongoing, Web-based conversations ranging from adult education to immigration reform, from pickling eggs to making violins. They are among the oldest forms of communication on the Internet and bring together individuals who share common interests or belong to a particular community.

Different from Blogs, these types of venues generally require permission from the server before joining the conversation. Some contain detailed analyses of issues and events by contributors who range from interested members of the general public to recognized experts in their specific fields: science, religion, the arts, sports and business to name a few.

Most, though not all, groups and forums are part of a worldwide electronic bulletin board called Usenet that contains over 100,000 sites, all of which are accessible through a Web browser.

A small number of sites have been developed that specifically search for these types of venues. If you know the name of the one you are looking for, just enter it in the URL field of a Web browser such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN Search or Ask.com. If not, here is a short list you may want to bookmark:

Steps of a Newsgroup and Email List Search Using Tile.net

Step One

The following demonstration illustrates a Newsgroup and Email list search. In this case, the researcher uses Tile.net to begin the search. Feel free to click on Tile.net and become the researcher yourself. The screen-shot below illustrates the home page with the keyword conservation already entered.

Take a moment and study the page. Notice the standard Google bar and that you may search either the whole Web or just this site. The top two link choices cover newsgroups, newsletters and Ezines.

Screen shot of TileNet Website

Step Two

The screen-shot below illustrates the results when the search is activated with just the default Tile.net option selected. Notice that the results include both newsgroups and email lists.

Screen shot of TileNet Website

Step Three

The first screen-shot below is reveals the email list checccons and the second reveals the newsgroup tnn.forum.nature. As you can see, the tile.net search has returned an Email Newsletter - Ezine list selection with some simple instructions on how to subscribe or unsubscribe using the subject line of an ordinary email draft.

Screen shot of TileNet Website

Step Four

As you can see in this example, the tile.net search has returned a Newsgroup selection dedicated to wildlife and nature conservation. Clicking on the URL activates the Internet Connection Wizard that will walk you, step-by-step, through the connection process.

Screen shot of TileNet Website

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Introduction