| Lesson 6 || Searching Internet Newsgroups |
| Objective ||Utilize Usenet discussions as Information Sources |
Utilize Usenet discussions as Information Sources
In an earlier lesson, you learned that the part of the Internet called Usenet, and its discussion groups ("Newsgroups"), contained information that you can search.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to searching in Newsgroups for information:
Advantages: Posting a message takes much less time than creating a Web site or updating information on an existing site; you can often read of something in a Newsgroup days before it shows up on a key site.
This can be helpful, for example, in keeping up-to-date on new viruses or Internet hoaxes.
Disadvantages: In most cases, Newsgroups are unmoderated; no one checks the correctness or truth of what is contained in a posting.
Postings can, and do, contain gossip, rumors, and unverified "facts." Some messages are posted for the purpose of deception or a prank.
Still, Newsgroups devoted to users of a particular software program or computer chip or peripheral, particularly if sponsored by the manufacturer, are useful as a source of tips and solutions to common problems. Other Newsgroups are forums for suggestions and recommendations on purchasing computer hardware and software, choosing an Internet Service Provider, an auto mechanic, a hotel in Venice, or the best fish for an aquarium.
As long as you understand that anyone can post and some posters may have a vested interest behind their comments, Newsgroups can augment information you locate through search services.
The following MouseOver demonstrates a Usenet search with deja.com.
Searching Internet Newsgroups - Exercise