The main purpose of a newsgroup and online conferencing is the same as they enable multiple people to communicate with each other; however, they differ in their functions. Newsgroup is an online community where people can exchange their views about various topics; whereas, online conferencing is a live meeting conducted for presentation or training.
The newsgroups actually help people understand different cultures, traditions, ideologies and mindsets of people. Quite interestingly, religion is one of the most discussed topics on the newsgroups, with Christians, Muslims, Jews and followers of other religions trying to understand each other and portraying their own perspective. Newsgroups can also be used for educational purposes as a teacher can communicate to a wide range of students conveniently through this medium.
These groups played a crucial role in the recent Arab Spring which was able to remove a number of undemocratic governments. Social media turned out to be an important tool to organize the events.
On the other side of the coin, multi-nationals often come across a situation where they have to conduct an important meeting but all the participants are in different regions of the world. Online conferencing has solved this problem of countless organizations as they are now able to communicate to each other through latest technology. Online conferencing is cost effective and saves a lot of time and hassle. Similarly, it can be effectively used for any kind of training or education. There are a number of websites and other applications which offer this facility to their users.