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All About...
. . . Chat

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

How to Find . . .

Internet Relay Chat FAQ
This FAQ provides a general introduction to IRC. It contains links to client software for various operating systems as well as IRC connection information and resource links.

IRC Related Resources on the Internet
An extensive list of links to IRC resources with critical commentary of an academic bent. Subjects include general, technical reference, academic, channels and logs of news events.
Sad as it may seem to animal lovers, is not a site devoted to large, wild, shaggy-haired, mountain-dwelling Central Asian oxen. is, however, a site devoted to providing extensive listings of Internet chats, so if you want to talk about yaks, will help you find fellow large-mammal lovers. The site both provides a well-designed calendar, with a list of chats on different systems that day, and a search function, called listings, that lets you both see chats listed by subject and search by keyword. also provides a pull down menu of the chat offering of 48 different systems (including, we were pleased to see, the chats that are a part of the Electric Minds Palace). Upon clicking on a particular listing, provides information about the chat, including whether it's moderated and what software you need to participate. Another click on the "Go Yack!" button connects you directly to the chat site. You can also provide your email address to receive a reminder before the chat commences.'s clarity and comprehensiveness (it also provides listings of web-based chats as well as IRC and other chat modes) make it a terrific resource to find like-minded people on the 'net to talk to in real time - it's a notably useful resource.

How to Create . . . 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 IRC Area and information about graphically-based chats (with avatars) are in the 3D Worlds Area.

. . . Conferencing Systems

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

How to Find . . .

Forum One
If you have been asking yourself questions like "Where on the Web can I talk about Nepalese orchids?" (or any other subject, really), then Forum One will interest you. Forum One is a search tool and information resource for World Wide Web based discussion. That is, it searches selected conferencing systems for mentions of specific terms and generates a lists of URLs that, when clicked, lead you directly to that discussion. For those sites that require registration, you're forewarned so you can take care of that in order to read the discussion.

Forum One may not be completely comprehensive - for example, it failed to generate any links to web-based discussions about Howard Rheingold, Electric Minds, Willie Mays, John the Baptist, beagles (the canine breed) or Morocco (the country). Not all web-based conferencing systems are represented by the results of a Forum One search. Nevertheless, if you would like a guide to some web-based discussion, Forum One is a fairly useful tool.

How to Create . . .

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

How to Find . . .

America Online Internet Mailing List Directory
While it is designed for AOL members, this site offers a very good introduction for anyone wanting to delve into mailing lists. This resource provides detailed, well-organized information on nature and use of mailing lists, netiquette, FAQs. The "America Online Internet Mailing List Directory" is a database of 2400+ lists sorted by subject and searchable by keyword.

CataList, the catalog of LISTSERV lists
Run by L-Soft, the company that sells LISTSERV, a very popular mailing list host software, CataList maintains a constantly updated database of over 9,000 public LISTSERV lists on the Internet. CataList does not include any lists distributed by other list software, such as Majordomo. CataList allows list searches by site, by country and by size. Automatic updates ensure current information but generally are not as descriptive as manually updated lists.

List of Lists (www)
List of Lists (gopher)
List of Lists (ftp)
The web and gopher sites offer keyword searches of Vivian Neou's compilation of special interest group mailing lists available on the Internet. These addresses provide detailed summaries and subscription information. The ftp site offers a text download of the whole list.

Liszt: Directory of E-mail Discussion Groups
Liszt searches over 66,000 LISTSERV, Listproc, Majordomo and independently managed lists (any they can find) and provides information on joining and summaries of some. "Liszt Select" is a smaller browsable database of well-documented, public lists sorted by subject. The site includes good basic tips for beginners. Lizst also includes a search tool for newsgroups.

Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists
A comprehensive database of internet and UUCP mailing lists. "Publicly Accessible Mailing Lists" includes descriptions of lists and subscription information and is sorted alphabetically by list name and subject.
How to Create . . .

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 List Owner's Guide
This guide clearly and comprehensively describes the ins and outs of creating and maintaining a Majordomo mailing list and contains a pointer to information useful to mailing list participants ( "Majordomo for list subscribers").

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

How to Find . . .

Colin Moock's The MUD Starter Kit
This resource, Chapter 6 of "Teach Yourself the Internet: Around the World in 21 Days," is an excellent general introduction to MUDing with links to more specific resources. It includes basic history and useful information about how to get started.

Colin Moock's 51 Places of Note in the MUD World
51 Places of Note in the MUD World is a reference guide with in-depth descriptions of very useful MU* resources: FTP sites, WWW sites, Usenet groups, Gaming MUD/MOO Sites and Social/Academic/Non-Gaming MUDs.

Index of The MUD Resource Collection
Maintained by Lydia Leong, aka "Amberyl," a long-time MUDder, these pages offer an extensive catalog of links to Internet sources of information on MUDs and related forms of multi-user environments including: FAQs and General Information, Research-Oriented Links, MUDlists and MudWHO, Web Servers and WWW Interfaces to Games, FTP Archives and a tremendous list of MUSHes divided into eight categories. A great resource whatever your interest level, from novice to scholar.

The Lost Library of MOO
A collection of Manuals, Tutorials, and FAQs, MOO Research Papers, and General MOO/MU* Resource Pages, this library is simply a list of links, but it is comprehensive and quite extensive, a great general resource.

MOO Resources from around the Web
Maintained as part of MiamiMOO's web site, this page offers excellent links to MOO-related references including FAQs and Collections of information, scholarly references and links to MOOs.
How to Create . . .

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

How to Find . . .

Have you ever wondered where all of the collective wisdom that's out there on the net goes? It goes, in large part, to Deja News. This site archives newsgroups and provides a search capability to let you careen through the riches (and dregs) of Usenet's history. You can look through the archives of any newsgroup to see, for example, if that question you have about Venetian glass beads has been asked and answered or not (Deja News pulls up 996 posts that include references to Venetian glass beads, so the chances are high that the answer's waiting for you).

Deja News helps you find what's already been posted and it allows you to access newsgroups directly to post your own thoughts, should they not already appear. Because you can see what a newsgroup already contains, you can find where your interest are being discussed, and once you do, you can be an excellent netizen by not creating repetitive conversation.

Liszt: Directory of Newsgroups
In addition to its comprehensive mailing list directory, Liszt also provides listings of and searches through newsgroups. Newsgroups are listed hierarchically, by the nine main prefixes (alt, soc, rec, etc.) and by country, system or other affiliation. Therefore some familiarity with Usenet structure will help you use these listings efficiently, though Liszt does provide a couple of useful FAQs that describe the distinctions among the categorizations. Once you locate a newsgroup you think you want to peruse, Liszt connect you directly to it (be sure that your browser is configured correctly, connecting with a newsreader). Liszt's news listings are an easy way to find what you're looking for in the sometimes wild land of Usenet.
How to Create . . .

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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