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Chapter 6
Netiquette for Discussion Groups

You and your virtual buddies

Much of your cyberspace interaction will take place in discussion groups -- areas where notes on a topic of common interest are posted and stored for anyone to read. Discussion groups are also known as newsgroups, message boards, bulletin boards, and forums. To participate, you read the notes that people have posted over the last few days. You write your own response and post it yourself. Then you check in the next day and see how other people responded to you.

When you first start posting messages to discussion groups, you may feel shy. That's good -- it's a sign that you're concerned about the impression you're going to make on a bunch of people you've never met. Fortunately, most discussion group readers are there in the first place because they're friendly people who enjoy interacting with others. (Although there's a very loud minority that takes pleasure in tearing down other people and their ideas; see "The Art of Flaming" on page 71 for more.) Here are some hints on making friends, not enemies, in cyberspace:

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