Working The Newsgroups
Article 010: Working the Newsgroups
Copyright ©, Neil Shearing.
Posting to newsgroups is a tricky situation for most online marketers. We all know that the most vicious flames (vitriolic emails) come from regular newsgroup users who are bombarded by irrelevant posts and spam because their email addresses are regularly harvested by software programs which then generate lists of thousand of people who are then sent huge amounts of spam. What's worse is that some spammers then sell the lists to other marketers who send yet more spam to the original recipients! So, yes, people who regularly read and post to newsgroups are quite sensitive and you had better make sure you post appropriately!
The best way to access the newsgroups (or Usenet as it's often referred to) from the Web is to use Dejanews. All you have to do is find an appropriate group, take a look at the posts to see if the group really *is* relevant, and then send off your post. Dejanews conveniently allows you to select that your 'real' email address is hidden which prevents you receiving huge amounts of junk email. In order to post to newsgroups you first have to register, and use your real email address as your details will be sent to this email address. As a registered user of Deja News, you automatically receive a free Web-based, spam-filtered email account, sponsored by Deja News. Your Deja News Web-based email account will be in the form of "email@example.com," using the user name you supplied when you registered for Deja News. Then all the spam you do get will be at this Deja News address and not flooding your regular inbox. To be fair, Deja News even tries to filter spam coming into your Deja News email address, which is a vast improvement over the not-so-distant past when you actually had to post using your real email address and suffer the consequences!
It has to be said, before you rush off and post a thousand ads (not recommended...post selectively!) that newsgroups are not supposed to be an advertising medium. The idea behind newsgroups is that people post questions and others post answers on the topic of the newsgroup. In this fashion, you should not post adverts but rather see if you can help answer another person's query. OK, I see you ask, what's the benefit in that? Well, firstly, you get you name seen and, if you post useful information, appreciated. Secondly, you are allowed to add your signature file to the bottom of your post. Your signature file identifies you and also your website or autoresponder address. It is vital that your signature file is done properly, there is a complete article which deals with sig. files, and I suggest you take a look before launching into the Newsgroups.
This article was written by Neil Shearing, webmaster at
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