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Practical Internet Groupware by Jon Udell

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We live and breathe Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) email, but its close cousin, NNTP conferencing, isn’t something that most people routinely use to collaborate. In this part we’ll explore what NNTP conferencing is, why it’s such a valuable groupware tool, and how it complements email. We’ll discuss why certain kinds of messaging should inhabit shared rather than interpersonal spaces, and how to organize and work within and among those shared spaces, both on public sites and on the intranet. We’ll see how a discussion server is a knowledge repository and explore ways to make the best use of it.

Why conferencing is the essential groupware application; the uses and limits of email; definitions of conferencing; how conferencing and email work together; varieties of discussion tools.

How the Usenet came to be; advent of the promiscuous newsreader and site-specific newsgroups; building and managing public online communities; hybrid web/NNTP discussions.

Conferencing and email; principles of information exchange; sharing and privacy; read/write web servers; the art of content aggregation; HTML authoring strategies; reaching your audience.

Scoped zones of discussion; giving information to receive information; inviting colleagues into discussions; packaging and layering messages; using discussion hierarchy; routing and managing email; message-driven data entry.

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