join a discussion with US West's Tom Cullen in Mind to Mind!


How to Create...
. . . a Chat

Conferencing | Mailing Lists | MOOS, MUDS, MUSHes | Newsgroups Chat Index
Chat is more and more popular, and it's perceived as one of the easier ways to create a community element. Which chat application you chose, though, depends very much on what you want to spend and what purpose you want the chat to serve. Do you want it able to be launched from the Web? Can it be IRC/telnet based? Do you want to pay for software? Do you want something that's free?

Even once you refine your needs, this is a dicey subject, because we have not found an impartial guide to chat software and we might seem to be promoting a particular piece of software. That's not the aim of Barnraising. So we invite you to explore Yahoo's listing of chat applications. Some are commercially high-end, and some are free. Some are web-based, but not all are.

Please note that IRC applications are in the Chat Area and information about graphically-based chats (with avatars) are in the 3D Worlds Area.

. . . a Conferencing System

Chat | Mailing Lists | MOOS, MUDS, MUSHes | Newsgroups

Conferencing on the World Wide Web
"Conferencing on the World Wide Web": A guide to software that powers discussion forums on the Web, is maintained by David R. Woolley, who happens to be (drwool) right here on Electric Minds is a longtime leading voice in the development of computer-based conferencing. "Conferencing on the World Wide Web" is an extensive collection of commercial and freely available web-based conferencing software systems. New additions to Woolley's lists are arranged by date as well as category, creating a clear and up-to-date way to look for the conferencing software for your web site, whatever the purpose. We suggest that you also look at Woolley's home page for more links to computer conferencing resources.

WELL Conferencing and Community Building
"WELL Conferencing and Community Building: Notes from the WELL Conferencing Team" is a collection of thoughts on computer-mediated conferencing from The WELL's conferencing team (Gail Williams, Michelle Fox, and, at the time the document was written, Alan Turner and Yvette Bonaparte Thor). "WELL Conferencing and Community Building" contains an excellent, succinct description of conferencing itself, reflections on how best to make the best of participating in online discussions and a description of the role of hosts/moderators. Though the document is geared toward WELL users, it's useful for participants of other conferencing systems as well as those of us interested in the mechanics and philosophy of online conversation.

. . . Mailing Lists

Chat | Conferencing | MOOS, MUDS, MUSHes | Newsgroups

Internet Mailing Lists Guides and Resources
This site, produced by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, is a good introductory explanation of LISTSERV lists and basic netiquette with excellent links for detailed resources, including LISTSERV manuals and guides, directions on how to create a mailing list, related newsgroups, lists of lists and more.

Internet Mailing Lists Guides and Resources
The IFLA's list training page is a good place to start learning about setting up a list of your own. There's a basic introduction to how LISTSERV works plus some great links to sites with information on managing a list.

L-Soft International, Inc.
Home page of the company that owns LISTSERV, a leading commercial list management product. Here you can get company information on L-Soft's products and services. This includes LISTSERV (you can download a free demo copy) and LISTSERV Lite (available free through Dec. 31). They also offer a commercial hosting service. For extensive information on running a list, access or download the LISTSERV list owner's manual.

Decided to run a majordomo list? Subscribe to list-managers-digest to ask questions and learn from those who are already doing what you want to do. In the body of the message, type subscribe list-managers-digest.

Mailing List Management Software FAQ
This mailing list management software FAQ by Norm Aleks, available by FTP, is a great place to get started to learn about many popular software applications for running a mailing list as well as advice on the major issues to consider when getting started.

Majordomo Frequently Asked Questions
An excellent FAQ reference for setting up Majordomo, a popular freeware list server host software.

Majordomo User Group Mailing List Archive
This archive contains e-mail that Majordomo list administrators sent to work out their problems and issues. Feel free to check out the mailing list itself (see below), and remember that archives can be incredibly valuable if you'd like to find out something quickly.
. . . MOOS, MUDS, MUSHes and More

Chat | Conferencing | Mailing Lists | Newsgroups

LambdaMOO Programmer's Manual
An excellent resource for programmers available at Xerox PARC's ftp site.

Maintained by Ken Fox, the MOO-Cows FAQ handles questions for anyone interested in setting up a MOO server or programming for LambdaMOO.
. . . Newsgroups

Chat | Conferencing | Mailing Lists | MOOS, MUDS, MUSHes

If you're thinking of setting up a Usenet newsgroup, the following newsgroups can really help: news.misc, news.admin.misc,, and news.answers. Several very good articles are frequently updated and posted to any or all of these groups. Also, if you're having any problems, you're likely to get help and support by posting your needs to a group like news.admin.misc - with a major caveat: spend time as a newsgroup reader and really understand Usenet culture and operations before you begin. Get help from experienced Usenet administrators. And, read any FAQs you can find before asking questions.

Before you begin, we recommend reading the two posts: "What is Usenet?" and "What is Usenet? A second opinion". Besides some good advice on what Usenet is or is not about, these posts give good insight into the attitudes of some of Usenet's "old-timers." The posts are also available from DejaNews's web site. DejaNews is a commercial site dedicated to preserving the multitudes of Usenet postings that might otherwise disappear into the cyberether once they cease being "news."

How to Become a Usenet Site
How to Become a Usenet Site is an introduction to becoming a Usenet site with basic instructions on configuring a machine to store Usenet news as well as discussion of the various delivery choices.


jlennon said:

Business organizations, generally speaking, are virtual communities, irregardless of the presence of computers. Not in the same way that Electric Minds is. people who work (live) in business organizations are socialized into a cultural "norm" (norm, that is, with respect to the particular company). There is also infrastructure and government. They are virtual because one doesn't actually live there. However, given the work atmosphere of many companies in this day of "reorganization" one could argue that the company is the real community and the place (home) where the individual resides is virtual.

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