In This Chapter
Finding out about newsgroups
Reading a newsgroup
Reading an RSS feed
Newsgroups were created to provide a distributed conferencing system that spanned the globe. The idea behind them was that you could (and still can) post articles — essentially e-mail messages to an entire group of people — and respond to articles others have posted.
Think of an Internet newsgroup as a gathering place — a virtual meeting place where you can ask questions and discuss various issues. (And best of all, everything you discuss is archived for posterity.) Internet newsgroups are similar to the bulletin board systems (BBSs) of the pre-web age or the forums that you may remember being offered on online systems such as AOL and MSN.
Participation in newsgroups required access to a news server and a newsreader (Linux almost always comes with software that you can use to read newsgroups). While the concepts remain the same, one big change in recent years is that blogs and microblogs have tended to rise in popularity at the expense ...