There are a number of ways to search or gain information on the Internet: (1) conduct a search using a Web search engine, (2) participate in an e-mail discussion group or Usenet newsgroup
, and (3) use a known URL to directly access information.
Perhaps the part of the Internet most under utilised is Usenet newsgroups
. A newsgroup is akin to an electronic message board.
Listserv subscriptions, or mailing lists, are similar to Usenet newsgroups
but are less public.
But it also offers benefits never before available, not even through telephone calls or faxes: the possibility to address many correspondents at a time -- through mailing lists -- or to reach a middle ground between personal and public messages, through electronic bulletin boards, Usenet newsgroups
, and other MUDS (Multi User Domains) and MOOs (Multi-user Object Oriented).
At the next level (of interactive uselessness) we find the Usenet newsgroups
Presented by The Cleveland Free-Net Music SIG (special interest group), the MLoL is update sporadically.(16) Charles Bailey maintains the frequently updated Library-Oriented Lists and Electronic Serials.(17) The Directory of Scholarly Electronic Conferences, compiled by Diane Kovacs, et al., contains descriptions of electronic conferences on topics of interest to scholars.(18) Included are discussion lists, interest groups, electronic journals, electronic newsletters, USENET newsgroups
, forums, etc.
* Usenet resources: The most easily accessed and largest area for discussion groups on the Internet is the Usenet newsgroup
. Each group is devoted to the discussion of a particular issue.
COUNTRYSIDE is like a hardcopy version of a USENET newsgroup
. I've done some searching (surfing) through the Internet, and found very little of anything similar to COUNTRYSIDE, though.
Setting up a USENET newsgroup
with a fellow faculty member teaching a similar course would expand the range of ideas to which our students are exposed.
AllPicturez a newsgroup browser for Windows 95,/98 and Me is designed to got and view pictures from Usenet newsgroup
.AllPictruez automatically filters out Spam messages from Usenet postings and converts newsgroup names to human readable text.
Or, if you can stand the low signal-to-noise ratio and hundred messages a day, a Usenet newsgroup
may be of service.
"One evening I was reading a Usenet Newsgroup
about fly-fishing," explained Wickham, "and I saw a post whose author's e-mail address originated at the local ISP (Internet Service Provider) I had been working with.