About Usenet

Usenet (User's Network, or NetNews) was created around 1979 and today it has over 10 million users. It is a public network in which participants exchange information and ideas by posting messages to news groups.

The following description about Usenet was obtained from the now defunct URL www.netannounce.org:

Usenet is a world-wide distributed discussion system. It consists of a set of "newsgroups" with names that are classified hierarchically by subject. "Articles" or "messages" are posted to these newsgroups by people on computers with the appropriate software -- these articles are then broadcast to other interconnected computer systems via a wide variety of networks. Some newsgroups are "moderated"; in these newsgroups, the articles are first sent to a moderator for approval before appearing in the newsgroup. Usenet is available on a wide variety of computer systems and networks, but the bulk of modern Usenet traffic is transported over either the Internet or UUCP (Unix-to-Unix CoPy).

Usenet consists of over 14,000 newsgroups.

Newsgroups are group hierarchically, the most common top level categories are:

Usenet was originally implemented in 1979-1980 by Steve Bellovin, Jim Ellis, Tom Truscott, and Steve Daniel at Duke University.

Here is a list of Usenet newsgroups that I look at from time-to-time.

Usenet Hyperlinks in Webpages

You can put hyperlinks to Usenet newsgroups in a webpage. Checkout the Usenet newsgroup for the Phoenix Suns [news:alt.sports.basketball.nba.phx-suns], Ascii Art [news:alt.ascii-art], Current Films [news:rec.arts.movies.current-films], or School Explosions [news:alt.hobbies.school-explosions].

Note: In order for Usenet to work on the client's computer, they need to inform their browser of the name of an NNTP (Network News Transmission Protocol) server from which to fetch the news.

Using Netscape 4.0 or higher, you can do the following:

   + click the Edit menu
   + click on Preferences
   + double-click on  Mail & Newsgroups
   + click on Newgroup Servers
   + click the  Add  button
   + enter the name of the NNTP server in the  Server  text field
   + click the  Ok  button
   + click the  Ok  button

Google and Usenet

On 12 February 20001, Google acquired Deja.com's Usenet discussion service. It is located at http://groups.google.com