|Chapter 12: Searching Email Discussion Group Archives and Usenet Newsgroup Archives|
Exercises and Projects
1. Subscribe to a test discussion list and post a test message.
a. Send an email to the administrative address firstname.lastname@example.org with the message
subscribe test-listproc your full name
In a little while, you should receive an email confirming your addition to the list. Briefly describe the contents of this email.
b. Lurk for a couple of days. How many messages from this list land in your email inbox each day?
c. Send a test message to the list address email@example.com. How long did it take to show up in your inbox?
d. Unsubscribe from the list by following the instructions given in the email you received when you joined.
2. Use one of the three following search services to locate three discussion lists on topics of your choice. List the administrative addresses and list addresses of your three discussion lists.
3. Now go to two of the search services you did not use in the previous exercise to look for one of your three discussion groups. For each service, describe the type of information it had available. Do you prefer one service? Why?
4. Search the archives of a discussion group in the following ways:
a. Search using the Web-based services at Classroom Connect, http://listserv.classroom.com/archives. Click on the hyperlink NET-Happenings, http://listserv.classroom.com/archives/net-happenings.html, and then select the hyperlink Search the archives. Search the archives for messages about women and science. Describe what you find.
b. Search using the Web-based services at http://listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu/archives. Select a discussion list based on your interests and do a search. What list did you choose? What did you search for? What were the results of your search?
5. Use the following two search services to locate a Usenet newsgroup on any topic of your choice (mythology, creative anachronism, classic cars, your favorite performer/actor, etc.). Choose a topic you are very knowledgeable about, so that you will be able to do the exercises that follow! Be sure to use the same search terms when you try out each search service.
6. Locate the FAQ, if there is one, for the newsgroup you found in exercise 5. Search at http://www.faqs.org/faqs/by-newsgroup. Read the FAQ. Is it up to date? Formulate a question that the FAQ doesn’t answer. What is it? (Don’t worry, we’ll find you an answer to it in question 8!)
7. Use Google Groups to subscribe to the newsgroup you selected in exercise 5.
a. Go to Google Groups, http://groups.google.com/, and search the Usenet archives for an answer to your question. Write the search expression you used here. Did you find the answer? What article provided the answer?
b. If you didn't find an answer then search for the newsgroup you selected in exercise 5 using the advanced groups search form at http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search?hl=en. Once you're on a Web page with a listing of messages click on Post a new message to get ready to post a message. If you're not registered at Google Groups then follow the instructions to register. Now post your question. After a day or so you'll need to check the newsgroup to see if you've received an answer. Write the name of the newsgroup, your questions, and the date and time you posted the question. When you get an answer, write the date and time it was posted.
8. Remember your question from exercise 6? Look for the answer to your question by using the search service at Google Groups, http://groups.google.com. What answers did you find? If you do not find an answer, post a query to your newsgroup to get one. Did you get an answer?