Free, Online Discussion Groups

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    One of the most convenient means to get quick, useful advice is to join a free, online discussion group in which to pose your questions. There are 1,000s of these groups and that number continues to grow rapidly. There are a variety of names for the groups, for example, listservs, groups, and forums. Some people have strong feelings about which name should be used and why the names are different. Usually, groups have a home page that includes a description of the purpose of that group, and how you can participate in it.

    Groups use a wide range of technologies to support discussions. One of the first types was Usenet, or newsgroups, usually having names with words separated by periods, e.g., “alt. activism” or “” Often, these groups need special types of news readers, many of which are available for free on the Internet.

    The following lists by no means include all groups. However, many of the major ones are listed below. New ones are often announced in some or all of the following, as well.

    Sections in This Topic Include the Following

    Learn More in the Library’s Blog Related to This Topic

    For-profit and Nonprofit Groups

    Indices — Each Having Long Lists of Groups

    The following sites pertain to both for-profit and nonprofit topics.

    Some of the Most Common Groups (That Can Have Subgroups, As Well)

    Also consider

    Nonprofit-Specific Groups

    Indices — Each Having Long Lists of Groups