If you’re not yet at the stage where your product can be tested by anyone, you can still use newsgroups for market research. Post a general description of the product or service you’re contemplating, and give a URL where other readers can fill out an online survey.
Some will reply by email, or in the newsgroup, so make sure you check the newsgroup regularly for follow-ups. Some web sites we know of actually do a weekly or monthly “opinion poll” type of survey, and post the results back to the newsgroup ? this can generate a lot of traffic, if it’s really relevant to the group. Nice website www.
The real lesson here is that if you provide a meaningful, positive contribution to a newsgroup, it won’t really bother anyone that you plug your web site every so often. Even a completely commercial web site can be safely promoted in a newsgroup, provided that it’s done in the right way. The right way, we’ll say one last time, is to give something back to the other readers and posters in the newsgroup. Never post an advertisement. Provide useful information, helpful follow-ups, and relevant postings, and the newsgroup will welcome you.