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Google Groups is a service from Google that provides a platform for people with common interests to discuss and share information. Users can search discussion groups related to their requirements or preferences and participate in conversations. Google Groups has been criticized by many parties. For example, it has been highly susceptible to spamming and has poor search functionality that leaves many older posts almost inaccessible. The user interface of Google Groups is also confusing to new users. These and issues have led to many users to look for a similar site like Google Groups for a better experience.
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Yahoo Groups is a site similar to Google Groups, but with much better features and one of the largest collections of online discussion groups in the world. Each new group created at Yahoo Groups allows the group owner to enjoy several features attached to the group. There is a photo area that is organized into an album or thumbnail structure with a storage space of 100 GB. File storage is 100 MB, and it is capable of storing any file format for its users. Also there is a link directory with options for text labels, polls, a database, member list, a calendar and a HTML box for promoting your Yahoo Group. One issue with Yahoo Groups is that their search feature for messages stopped working since February 20, 2009.
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Windows Live Groups
Windows Live Groups is a very good alternative to Google Groups. This service allows you to create your own community groups like in any other “group website.” Windows Live Groups is a site like Google Groups, because they also integrate with their other services to provide sharing features. These include Windows Live services like Calendar, Messenger, SkyDrive, Photos, and Hotmail.
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BigTent is an interesting organization and communication portal for groups. It was founded in February 2006. Some functionality like the forums is free, but other functionality requires payment. One interesting feature is you can migrate your Yahoo Groups to BigTent. This service provides all resources in one place like calendars, discussions, reviews, and member profiles. Also the membership renewal process can be automated. BigTent doesn’t allow hate speech, nudity, and explicit content unlike many other groups.
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Meetup is an online social networking website that assists offline group meetings in various parts around the world. When considering the online activities this can be considered a similar site to Google Groups or any other group website. Like others, you can find and join groups such as books, games, movies, careers, etc. Topic listings are available only for those who enter a location. With over 5.7 million members and 58,936 groups, Meetup is also one of a largest website for groups.
Although there are many sites like Google Groups it is up to you to decide what is the best place that suits your needs. The only way to do this is join several websites and then decide where you can stay longer.