Relationship selling through usenet newsgroups

Nov 28 22:00 2002 Jeff Gilman Print This Article

90,000 ... on usenet offer ... to ... Use ... selling to promote your web site and ... Get noticed on the internet for free. News groups, or usenet, is the internet e

90,Guest Posting000 newsgroups on usenet offer something to everyone. Use relationship selling to promote your web site and business. Get noticed on the internet for free.
News groups, or usenet, is the internet equivalent of a bulletin board. It was also one of the first internet technologies preceding the world wide web by years. There are over 90,000 DIFFERENT NEWSGROUPS covering every subject under the sun and this article will tell you how to get connected to the millions of people who interact through Usenet daily. Here are a few examples of the kinds of groups there are and the opportunities you have to market your services:

Groups with the word health in them
Groups with the word business in them
Words with park in them
Groups are set up and maintained by special interests including, but not limited to gov (government), us (local governmental or quasi governmental entities such as a state university or city), biz (business) or alt (for alternative - any thing goes). Some of these groups are deadly serious and aimed at specialized markets. For example, you can read the business process reengineering group news for a year without smiling. Some are pure commercial - and are about commercial transactions only. Some are for making public announcements such as and which are the internet equivalent of the public announcement section of the news paper. People with common and specialized interests join these groups to share their stuff. The groups are a meeting place and a place you should go to meet people who need you.

Groups are either moderated or unmoderated. A moderated group has a one member who reads everything to determine if it is appropriate to be posted to the group's bulletin board. Unmoderated groups allow anyone to post anything. The success of a moderated group depends on the quality of the moderator. If junk is let in, the value of the group goes down. The success of unmoderated groups depends on the group's community. A serious community will write some very nasty letters to people who post off message subjects to their group. My caution to you is to stay on subject for each group.

To my mind there are three key reasons to participate in newsgroups. First, you might learn something about your line of work or about the environment in which you function. Business and organizations monitor newsgroups for the explicit purpose of learning about their environments. Intel famously watches groups relating to its products and often hears about bugs and issues before they become generally known. They use the groups, in part, as an extension of their quality control system. The CIA monitors terrorist groups to get a handle on that famous buzz. I monitor non-profit organization newsgroups because I do a lot of work for non-profits and am a student of their management. We all learn something.

The second reason to participate is to market. Some newsgroups permit posting of blatant advertisements. Most of these groups are full of bottom-feeder-multi-level-marketing-pie-in-the-sky-scams. Posting stuff to these groups isn't marketing. It is, at best, advertising (which isn't to say you shouldn't do it - more on that later).

Real marketing on Usenet news groups is done in the classic model doctors, lawyers and professional service firms used back in the days before they were allowed to advertise. (Does anyone other than me remember those days? That was before professional athletes were allowed to wear Nike swooshes on their arm pits.) In this model, you met someone, listened and talked to them and attempted to form a relationship. This was when actual human communication - or more technically a single-threaded-bi-synchronous-data-exchange-process-between-liveware-unit-interfaces - was used to market. Marketing on Usenet groups is a one-on-one, relationship-building, thoughtful-and-fulfilling way to work.

The third reason to participate in newsgroups is to play the search engine game. The fact is, if your URL is in usenet postings it will likely get picked up by some search engines. A fascinating example of this is the Green Eggs Report ( Green Eggs uses a Rumor database system that monitors newsgroups. It identifies urls contained in postings and indexes those web sites. It is a hugely different model than the 'submit a web site to Yahoo for a couple of hundred bucks' approach. And of course, the more places you are listed on the internet, the higher your ranking will be in many searches.

So there you have it. All the newsgroup news fit to print. And three powerful reasons to participate. So get out there and learn something, build a relationship, and slip into a search engine through the back door. There are four places I can think of to find news groups. First, your ISP. Your internet service provider can give you the news server address for your system. The address will be something to the effect of You put this address into your newsgroup reader (often Outlook or Outlook Express for Windows users). Directions for setting up accounts is included in the on line help systems of most programs and access to usenet is generally free. The second place to learn about usenet is The third is Both Topica and Yahoo are a little more vanilla and maybe more commercial than the original usenet. But they haven't been at it as long. The last place to learn about usenet is to visit your search engine and search for usenet. You'll get lots FAQ's, information, and opportunities to subscribe to third party usenet service providers.

Comments on this article? Contact me!

Jeff Gilman

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Jeff Gilman
Jeff Gilman

Mr. Gilman is the President of Galileo Consulting and Marketing for Idiots. He brings over twenty years of diversified business experience to his businesses from government, private sector and international consulting.

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