Finding and evaluating information
Projects Widening the Web
Promoting your site (& Webring)
Other publishing on the web
Other considerations of access
Webring Resources Ring
A newsgroup is sort of a cross between a mailing list and a website: an Internet-accessible forum where messages and replies to those messages can be read at any time, without storing all those megabytes on your own hard-drive. Most newsgroups are publicly available, although your ISP does have to subscribe to a particular newsgroup before you can access it.
Usenet is the major network of newsgroups, which has worked out methods of chartering new newsgroups and organizing access to make the groups most useful.
The rules of survival and effective posting on a newsgroup are pretty much the same as on an email list.
The added advantage is that it is easier to track a thread of discussion, it is easier to trace a history of discussion without over-loading your hard-drive, and you get an wider variety of input than on even a very large email subscriber list.
The disadvantage is, with wider access there is a higher incidence of spam, flame-bait, flame-bait-taking, and general balderdash. The noise-to-signal ratio can be rather high, and while there is a lot of very valuable material posted, the time and effort to sift it out can be enormous.
I have collected two tips for finding useful posts on the newsgroups:
Some tips on writing effective email