by Natalie Sibert-Freitas

If you go the chat route, never give out personal information in a public chat room. It's best to get to know a person a bit and exchange e-mails.

There are loads of free e-mail services (Hotmail, for example) where you may set up an account without revealing who you are. Privacy is always a concern.

If you choose to post on a bulletin board, never post your home address or phone number. Use your e-mail to get a dialogue going before trading.

Personally, I'd never send money to someone and don't recommend it.

Some fun sites to check out:

The Ultimate Bandlist, and it surely is. Provides thousands of links to pages on specific bands. I've found loads of bulletin boards and news groups for tape trading off this very comprehensive site.

iMusic is linked to UBL and has thousands of bulletin boards for posting. You can search by band or style of music. There's also a chat room.

Teenage Wildlife: A very well done David Bowie fan site. Provides chat rooms and bulletin and message boards. Full of information and updated daily.

Remember the Dead Kennedys? Alternative Tentacles is Jello Biafra's label, and this is their site. You can receive newsletters about what they're up to for fun and frolic.

Sterba: Sonoma County's entertainment web site. I haven't found a great deal of action here. However, starting local can be a fun way to meet your neighbors. One of the first groups to allow tape trading and engage in it via the Internet. This is the Grateful Dead's official web page. It's a bit unruly to maneuver around, but if you're a fan and into tape trading . . . check the dnc link for tape trading.

LocalMiz: This site offers an e-mail service for bands to exchange their music and join the web ring. It's based out of New York, but is a great idea for people who wants to get their music heard.

CDNow: Though I've never purchased CDs from this site, many friends recommend it.

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From the May 18-24, 2000 issue of the Sonoma County Independent.

© Metro Publishing Inc.

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