Google Groups has been around for awhile but there is a new version out in beta that I have been playing with and it looks very good. Of course it is still free and only requires a google account to access. Here are some of the features I liked:
- You can have as many groups as you like.
- Each group has a threaded discussion board, Wiki tool, File Exchange tool and a way to email the members of your group.
- Each group can post up to 100 MB of stuff in the group and that is a lot considering you will mostly be posting text messages.
- There is a great management tool for tracking several groups and the activities in them.
- You can elect if you want notifications email to you in various levels of digest.
- I like how it integrates into Google Personalize Homepage as a gadget and connects with my Gmail contact list.
- You can customize the look of the group area.
- You can join hundreds of existing groups or set your up to be by invitation only.
I was disappointed to not be able to edit a discussion posting after I posted it but I can remove and replace it.
Check it out at http://groups-beta.google.com