To enhance the gameplay many players have formed alliances, web pages or information sharing groups. To survive in TBG you need to have one or more sources for information. Knowing where you are and what there is is nice. But if you don't know what you will find on the star you are going to, you wont sell that tradegood very soon, since only 7 places out of 64 habitable stars will buy it. Let's start with the public places where you can find shop data, adventures and other nice data
The Presidential Database by Annushka Moya contains all shopdata, tradegoods data and rogue bands as seen by all alien ships.
A page by A Mad Ninja, containing up to date information about traderesources, system information, Pirate/UPF tracking and some more nice things to know. It also has very nice information on low level adventures.
Than you have various information sharing groups to which you donate your information (e.g. trust the administrator for having your secret URL) and in return for that you get all information shared by other ships. I am familiar with two of the larger databases:
DOW the information sharing group behind the page of Mad Ninja. Uses the Presidential Database and data from about 50 ships. You get to choose what information you are willing to share and you see only that same information from other ships, the more you give, the more you take. I can recommend it.
GIN which I don't link because Wolverine, the administrator, stopped playing TBG. It was a quite fine database, though it didn't used the Presidential Database and lacked the convenience of the custom set features of DOW.
These are the only information sharing groups I know. Than you have the real alliances. Joining one of these will often mean that you have to follow a certain code. As I am not in an alliance and only have seen one, I don't have a real good picture on what they offer.
The United Police Force is an alliance which has the most influence in the galaxy. They are basically a bunch off big bullies with big battleships who attack us small ships because we like to trade contraband to ensure our progress.
SIR. A generally peacefull alliance. One of the bigger alliances. It has a fine database and a combatsimulater.
The Smuggler's Net. A rather loose organized alliance of which I don't know more than they provide on their page.
The Federation for Spreading Peace. The FSP pusuits peace. You will not be allowed to have to many enemies for example, but I heard there is some dispute about their code. They are currently in war with the UPF because one of their bigger ships was pirated by Constitution. I don't know their database.
There are some more alliances of whom I know (almost) nothing. There are also hundreds of mailing groups. Some of the interesting for new ships are:
The Yahoo Adventure Sharing group
The Yahoo Newbies Group
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