Whitewater Mailing Lists & Message Boards

What is a message board?

A message board is a place where people can read messages and either reply to existing messages or compose new messages. A message with it's replies (and replys to replys) is called a thread, and the display of the messages is usually such that you can read an entire thread or skip to the next thread.

The original message board system is called the Usenet, or Internet Newsgroups. There are well over 10,000 active news groups - one for almost any subject. The paddling community's news group is rec.boats.paddle. Two more news groups were recently added, rec.boats.paddle.whitewater and rec.boats.paddle.touring. The whitewater newsgroup isn't seeing much action - the whitewater boaters seem to have taken over the original rec.boats.paddle group, with the touring, sea kayaking and flatwater boaters using the touring group.

Warning: If you post a message to a Usenet news group, your return address will be picked up by automatic scanning programs and you will be put on a bunch of spam mailing lists. If you want to avoid this, configure your newsreader return address to give a false address.

Many places are setting up newer Web based message boards (not a part of the Usenet) that specialize in local boating areas or special types of boating. These sites are completely web based, can be accessed thru your browser, and are controlled by an administratior who can set and enforce rules of conduct.

How to access a message board

The traditional way to access the Usenet is to use a news reader software to pull the messages off your ISP's newsgroup system (your ISP should have info on setting up your software to get the messages). Netscape and Microsoft have versions of newsreader software, or you might try a third party program like Forte's Agent. This is an 'offline' news reader that allows you to download new messages or subjects and then go offline to read and respond to them at your leisure.

You use the newsreader software to 'subscribe' to one or more newsgroups, and then your software keeps track of what messages you have read, and only downloads new messages.

If your ISP doesn't carry the Usenet (newsgroups) you can subscribe to a news service like Airnews, who have a very complete set of news groups and have a long retention time (the messages stay on their system for a week or more).

The newer (and easier although slower) way to access Usenet newsgroups is to use your browser to access web sites which are set up to carry the news group messages (keep in mind that the Usenet and WWW are separate systems). Sites like Deja carry the newsgroups in a web format. Newsguy also carries it in a web format but requires a $25/year subscription.

Whitewater Message Board List

Rec.Boats.Paddle (news reader based site) - rec.boats.paddle (web browser based site)- The Usenet granddaddy of them all, up to a couple hundred messages a day.

Rec.Boats.Paddle.Whitewater (news reader), rec.boats.paddle.whitewater (web) - Not used to much, the whitewater people are posting in rec.boats.paddle

Rec.Boats.Paddle.touring, (news reader), rec.boats.paddle.touring (web) - Used by sea kayakers, touring and flatwater people who got tired of being drowned out in rec.boats.paddle

NE Paddlers Message Board - Wayne's web message board for northeast US boaters.

NE Whitewater Message Board - Karl's web message board for northeast US boaters.

Boater Talk - Active web message board

Adventure Sports Whitewater Rafting Board - a new commercial web board, not much traffic yet.

Paddle Maine - a web board for the down easters among us.

What is a mailing list?

A mailing list is a discussion group on a topic specified by the host of the mailing list. Participants send a message to the mailing list server, and that server forwards a copy to everyone subscribed to the list. It is very similar to the Usenet news groups with the following differences:

Whitewater Mailing Lists

To subscribe to one of the mailing lists, click on the first subheading which will use your email program to send a message to the list server. Leave the subject blank, and include the text in the second subheading, substituting your name. The list server will send you a confirming message with instructions on posting and unsubscribing from the list. It may also ask for a second confirming message from you to be sure someone else isn't signing you up for a list without your knowledge.  More information is at the RockandWater web site.

  This information is my opinion
only and may not reflect
what some people consider reality.
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