Thanks to the community-oriented efforts of Google, Yahoo, MSN, and AOL, you can create your own discussion groups. Your group can be joined by whomever you want to hang out with, and you can talk about whatever you want. Class reunion committees, vintage car enthusiasts, and gecko owners have all found uses for online groups as a way to organize events, trade tips, and participate in a discussion where everyone doesn't have to be online at the same time.
Once you've signed in, creating a group is as uncomplicated as clicking through a few Web pages and filling out some forms. To get started, look for the "Create a new group" link or button on the main Groups page.
Here are the basic steps you need to complete:
Give your group a name.
As shown on Yahoo's "Start a group" page (see Figure 16-5), you need to give your group a name like "UTexas Alumni in LA" or "The Piping Gecko Owners" so people can find it when they search for keywords (like Texas or geckos), as well as a description. Your new group's name becomes part of the URL for its Web site, as in http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/pipinggeckos.
The group-creation page automatically generates a similar email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) that your members can use to post messages by mail.
Rate your groups and set your membership policy.
Any group you create can be public or private. For public groups that anyone can join, you should indicate an age rating in the description, to tell people the intended ...