Free, Online Discussion Groups

One of the most convenient means to get quick, useful advice is to join a free, online discussion group in which to pose your questions. There are 1,000s of these groups and that number continues to grow rapidly. There are a variety of names for the groups, for example, listservs, egroups and eforums. Some people have strong feelings about which name should be used and why the names are different. Usually, groups have a home page which includes description of the purpose of that group, and how you can participate in it.

Groups use a wide range of technologies to support discussions. One of the first types was Usenet, or newsgroups, usually having names with words separated by periods, e.g., "alt.activism" or "" Often, these groups need special types of news readers, many of which are available for free on the Internet. (The following link might be helpful, usenet groups. Also see finding groups.) More recently, new customized software packages make it even easier to find the best newsgroups for you and help you to participate in them.

The following lists by no means includes all groups. However, many of the major ones are listed below. New ones are often announced in some or all of the following, as well.

If you want to add a new link now to a free, online discussion group, please first read the short section "Add to Library" referenced from the sidebar.

Sections in This Topic Include the Following

For-Profit and Nonprofit

Also See the Library's Blog Related to this Topic

In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blog that has posts related to this topic. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the sidebar of the blog or click on “next” near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library's Team Performance Blog

For-Profit and Nonprofit Groups

Indices -- Each Having Long Lists of Groups

The following sites pertain to both for-profit and nonprofit topics.

Discussion groups about human resources
Yahoo listing of many types of groups
Infinite Ink's Finding News Groups
L-Soft's list of listservs
Network Computer newsgroups: Introduction
lists of 100s of news and usenet groups

Some of the Most Common Groups (That Can Have Subgroups, As Well)

Google Groups
Social Media Platform Comparison - comparison of those most common groups

Also see
All About Social Networking
60+ Social Networking Sites You Need to Know About in 2018

Nonprofit-Specific Groups

Indices -- Each Having Long Lists of Groups

Coyote Communications' Discussion Groups List
TechSoup Community (nonprofit technology forum)
Coyote Communications' list of Internet/Online Communities/Discussion Groups
Social Enterprise World Forum

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