For those of you that may not be aware, online Discussion Groups allow participants to "discuss" the topic of that particular "group". Autodesk has for many years hosted discussion groups for many of their products.
This allows users of these products to post question or problems, provide answers to others, present wish list items for consideration, and the ability to network.
There are a couple of ways that one can view the discussion groups. The first method is to use an internet browser. The title of this post is linked to the online discussion group for Autodesk's Civil 3D. Another method is to use a news reader such as Outlook Express. This method allows you to find, view and download for offline viewing, conversations (threads). It also allows you to mark those that are of particular interest.
The most important aspect of discussion groups is that they bring together users from around the world. We can either gain by their answers to our questions or learn from the issues that they may be having. Oh, and of course that all of this information can be searched to address our needs.
The Civil 3D discussion group is a FANTASTIC way to keep abreast of the product. The increased volume of discussion within this group is a clear indicator of the increased interest and use of Civil 3D. Best of all it is FREE.
Note: After monitoring these discussion groups for a period of time you may notice that some post'ers comments are more useful than others. Look for Autodesk'ers like Dave Simeone - Civil 3D Product Manager, and Dan Philbrick - Civil 3D Engineering Manager. James Wedding's comments, among many other's, are also very helpful.
We owe a debt of gratitude to all who contribute their knowledge, and time, and by doing so, make the entire user community BETTER!