Internet Discussion Venues

This section includes the subsections Newsgroups, Electronic Mailing Lists, Communities & Forums, and Chat.

··· Newsgroups ···

NewsReaders.com is a popular, no-frills website for newsgroup related information, including a page for those who are getting started. If your news server doesn't provide a usenet newsgroup that you want, or you prefer web-based access in the form of a message board, try Google Groups or InterBulletin.

Cyberfiber's public affairs newsgroups listing includes newsgroups under the subtitles Current Events, Law & Enforcement, Military, and Organizations & Politics. Their Society, Personals, Talk & Miscellaneous listing covers activism & rights.

Newsville and InterBulletin provide lists of newsgroups under alt.activism and alt.politics. There isn't much difference in the lists between these two sites, but one may occasionally be more up-to-date than the other:

Newsville Lists
InterBulletin Lists

Newsville and InterBulletin also provide lists of newsgroups under alt.society, alt.current-events., soc., and talk. Not all of the newsgroups in these hierarchies are politically oriented, but enough are to make it worth while to take a look. There isn't much difference in the lists between these two sites, but one may occasionally be more up-to-date than the other.

The InterBulletin lists include newsgroups that contain "soc." and "talk." in any hierarchy.

Newsville Lists
InterBulletin Lists

··· Electronic Mailing Lists ···

Topica provides listings of Email discussion lists in numerous categories including Government, Social Science, and News & Media.

··· Communities & Forums ···

Communities, forums, message boards, and discussion boards are synonyms for websites that let you post messages and read the posts of others.

The Newbie Guide and F.A.Q. page of PoliticsForum.org says "Who ARE you people? Just a group of people from all over the world who enjoy discussing politics in a mature, legitimate manner. Our members hold the whole gamut of political views, from far left, to far right. We welcome everybody provided they agree to comport themselves with a certain level of maturity."

The main sections of PoliticsForum are Discussion and Debate, National Politics, Issues, and Ideologies. These sections contain 28, mostly active subsections.

ezboard is a system of communities with a central access point. This makes it easy to search for the community you're interested in by using keywords or by looking at your list of recently visited communities. You can get special benefits by becomming an ezSupporter.

··· Chat ···

irchelp.org provides all the information you'll need to get started with Internet Relay Chat (IRC). Basically, you have to download an IRC client, select an IRC network, and select one of the channels offered by that network. Each channel deals with a particular subject. Once you're on a channel, you can type a message and get an immediate response from others, as with all forms of internet chat.

Irchelp.org dedicates this page to information about the best and most popular Windows IRC client, mIRC. According to this page of mIRC's website, "mIRC is a shareware program....If during or after the 30 days evalution period you decide to continue to use mIRC, you're asked to pay a small registration fee of $20....Once you registered one version of mIRC, you're allowed to use all future versions for free!"

There are several free IRC clients, but none are especially good. If you use a Mozilla based browser like Firefox, you can try ChatZilla. For non-Mozilla users, Gaim is an option. There currently aren't any decent political IRC channels anyway, and IRC in general is a festering hell hole.

Google provides links to sites that offer various kinds of internet chat. These sites are listed by catagory, in alphabetical order and in "Google PageRank" order.

Yahoo Messenger conversations allow those who've downloaded Yahoo Messenger to join or start a political discussion.