Listservs (sometimes called mailing lists), bulletin boards, and chat rooms can provide a way to learn more about an occupation, specialty, or interest area or to just meet people in a very informal way!! Basically, these electronic forums provide a way for people from around the world to exchange information, ideas, etc. but they have different ways of being accessed. Each has their pros and cons which can include relative low cost, privacy/security issues, and increased exposure. For a complete guide on how to best utilize these resources, including "netiquette" tips (since you don't want to make any enemies!), visit the Riley Guide. Checking out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) can be essential for ensuring that you utilize these resources appropriately.
Newsgroups require you first to find the newsgroup (either through your e-mail account or through a web search) and then log into it. After that, from time to time you can check your subscribed newsgroups to see what messages have been posted.
Listserv communication, on the other hand, goes right into your e-mail box. The search engines below will give you directions on how to subscribe.
Chat rooms tend to be much more socially oriented but ones geared toward advice giving and information sharing do exist. However, it's generally limited to "real time" communication and can be hard to save a record of the communication. These can be great ways to network beyond friends, family, faculty, and fellow alumni. Try searching on different search engines to ensure that you find those of interest to you:
Tile.Net Search Engine
L-soft Search Engine
Yahoo's Search Engine
Google Search Engine