This page was last edited 05/27/02
In addition to the Internet links that I have given you there is also a series of newsgroups that are essentially Internet message exchange areas that are public. Much as you would send email to individuals one-on-one these same type of messages can be sent only they are 'public' and available to all that subscribe to the newsgroup. I use a newsgroup reader called Agent (by Forte). Agent, like other newsgroup readers, allows you to pull down the header for a message to your computer in a newsgroup that you have subscribed to. There are over 30,000 newsgroups and out of these there are several that are related to the RV/Camping industry. It would be quite undesirable to try to get all the newsgroups of course and that is why you 'subscribe' through your news reader to the areas of interest to you.
Messages can be selected and when you do so the news reader goes out and pulled the body of the message down for you to read. You can then do one of several things which include simply reading the message, answering the message or making a comment on topic about the message in the newsgroup, or you can send a response to the message using email for a more personal continuation of the conversation.
It is also possible to use one of the many web-based newsgroup readers available out there on the Internet. That allows you to participate in a newsgroup without setting up a newsgroup reader program. At times this is desirable. I find it cumbersome at times.
Newsgroups are great because you can learn a lot simply by being a 'silent observer' and reading what everyone has to present on various subjects. This is of course of great value. You can also go to the newsgroups at your leisure and pulling down the headers on your own time schedule... daily, weekly, or whatever. In an highly active newsgroup it is desirable to pull the headers frequently to keep volume down.
On the down side there are one heck of a lot of messages being exchanged and some of them are of course irrelevant to any interest that you may have. You can quickly scan the headers and dismiss the message areas that you have no interest in. You will also find that there are newsgroup participants that continually 'post' the same message in multiple newsgroups. I find that aggravating.
My main interest area is rec.outdoors.rv-travel although I personally have the following newsgroups subscribed. I also prefer to be a quiet observer in most cases so that I can 'learn'. If appropriate I'll throw out a message now and again.
Additional Information Examples:
RV Forum is one of the best sites for serious RVers to go for information. It is moderated and very well so. You won't have the people with bad attitudes spoiling things for the rest and the conversation stays on track.
MSN Message boards: http://communities.msn.com/LiteWeightTravelTrailersandCampersRV
eGroups: www.egroups.com has some areas that are RV/Camping related.
Every once-in-a-while you see some abbreviations being used in the newsgroups. For those of you that are not long-time newsgroup users...
DH - Dear Hubby or Dear Husband
DW - Dear Wife
SO - Significant other
SWMBO - She Who Must Be Obeyed (from TV show)
LOL - Laughing Out Loud
ROTF... - Rolling On The Floor
BTW - By The Way
OTOH - On The Other Hand
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
Yahoo Clubs - http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/boondocking
These areas on Yahoo have both chat and messaging between members. You can join a club or create a club here.
Yahoo Clubs - http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/freecampgroundsofthewest
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