Google Groups vs Traditional Usenet Newsgroups

We get the occasional email asking which is better – Google Groups or traditional Usenet newsgroup access.  Should you join Google Groups  or look at traditional Usenet providers?  The answer really depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

In 2001 Google purchased Deja News and in doing so acquired a search engine to access archived newsgroup posts.  The Usenet search has had some technical issues of late but Google is still offering access to newsgroup articles.  However, Google Groups does not offer access to certain content and groups including the alt.binaries hierarchy.

Google Groups provides two types of groups.  One being traditional Usenet newsgroups and the other non-Usenet groups.  If you want to create your own group then non-Usenet is your only option.  The non-Usenet groups can be created as public or private.  They offer mailing list features along with the ability to create web pages, share documents and allow member comments.  Google Groups is web-based making it easy to access but doesn’t offer the enhanced features of some newsgroup readers.

If the goal is to promote a group or organization (email members, share documents, comment, etc.) then Google Groups is a good option.  If you are looking for newsgroup access then traditional Usenet providers are the way to go.

For more information on Google Groups visit

Here are some resources to learn more about traditional Usenet newsgroup access:
1. Newsgroup Reviews
2. Usenet University by Giganews
3. Getting Started with Usenet by Newshosting
4. Usenet Charter Directory by NewsDemon
5. Usenet for Mac Users by NewsgroupDirect
6. Open Directory Project / DMOZ
7. Wikipedia – Newsgroups