copywriter .co.ukA warning about Usenet advice

The newsgroups are great for learning, help and advice and many businesses are benefiting from it by posting questions.

Marketing can be an expensive business and is a game of risk reduction.

I have seen posts where the advice is just plain wrong though it looks credible. The newsgroups are discussion groups and as in real discussion points are just let go.

It is just not worth arguing with people who have made up their mind and it is boring.

Unfortunately, this attitude is downright dangerous to business people taking part.

Remember, moderators do not look at content, so business is unprotected.

So how do you protect yourself?

In the UK there's a comedian called Harry Enfield who has a telling routine.

One character comes up with some crazy fact.

His colleague challenges it and is told it is true because "a bloke said"

"Ah, a bloke said, then it must be true!"

Usenet is rather like that.

If you want to learn skills from people or act on their advice you have to try and check them out.

Just as in the real world.

The internet is supposed to be a blind medium. It isn't. To cover yourself:

· 1) Check the address. Is it businesslike, educational,,

· 2) Is there a .sig file at the bottom? Does this reveal a hidden agenda or bias.

· 3) If there a website mentioned? Check out the site for background.

· 4) Check the language, is everything clearly explained or are they hiding behind jargon?

· 5) Do you see problems addressed and thought given or are a "line" or rules being spouted or stickered.

· 6) Is the poster stone cold certain about everything and do they lay down the law or simply contribute their view? Experience allows for other opinions and uncertainty.

· 7) Where else do they post? Get a profile from or
Is a frequent poster to alt.weirdo.strango the best adviser?

· 8) Have they talked rubbish or been badly wrong in previous posts, does this affect their credibility now?

Children are told "don't take sweets from strangers".

Usenet comes over as a community and if someone makes sense you trust them.


Before you act or implement ideas or discard ideas which have been argued against, check out the people involved.

Protecting yourself is only a few mouseclicks.