Does Usenet Still Exist?

Does Usenet Still Exist

Does Usenet still exist? : Everything you need to know

It’s 2021, and Usenet is still very popular  the world. It’s believed that Usenet is the earliest form of the internet, and it’s true to a great extent because, like the Internet, Usenet is also a discussion forum. It’s also a fact that the whole idea of “Worldwide Web” was first posted to Usenet, and slang such as ROFL and WTF was first used on the Usenet.  Now, many people say that the Usenet is dead, but the real question is: Is Usenet really dead? Let’s find out.

Usenet History

Let’s start with the Usenet History,  and don’t worry, we will only discuss it briefly to give you an idea of how Usenet Started.Usenet is a worldwide distributed discussion system that was first developed as a personal project by Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis in 1979. They were the students of Duke University, and they wanted to replace the Bulletin Board System (BSS), which was implemented in the Universities at that time. They wanted a platform that would allow the students and professors from distant universities to communicate with each other in real-time. So, they connected the Servers of Duke University and UNC Carolina with telephone modems which allowed the students and Professors from both universities to communicate with each other.
It’s also interesting to note that the earliest form of the internet (ARPANET) existed in 1979, but only a handful of individuals were allowed to use it after getting a research contract by ARPA (Advanced Research Project Agency). That’s why when people heard about Usenet, they rushed to it because it didn’t require any special contract and it wasn’t also tightly regulated.

Are Usenet Newsgroups Dead?

Usenet is a big platform, and it comprises tons of components known as Newsgroups. There are thousands of Newsgroups available, and these newsgroups are categorized into various hierarchies, and each hierarchy contains tons of Newsgroups.
For example, Biz.* Hierarchy is one of the biggest hierarchies, and it’s dedicated to businesses, products, and services. Now the Biz.* Hierarch comes with tons of Newsgroups, and all of those are related to different topics related to Businesses. Similarly, Talk.* Hierarchy is all about discussions, and it comes with a number of newsgroups that are related to topics such as Politics, Guns, Religion, and more.
Now let’s address our main question, which is: Are Usenet Newsgroups Dead? The answer is “No.” It’s true that some of the newsgroups are dead, but they are only dead because they are outdated. For example, if you take a look at the Computer Hierarchy, you will find groups related to Floppy Disks and Cassettes which are dead because these technologies are outdated and no one talks about them. You will also find tons of Groups on Facebook related to Floppy Disks, Walkman, and other topics which are dead. So, it’s not only limited to Usenet, and it also happens on other popular platforms such as Facebook & Reddit.
On Usenet, you will find hundreds and thousands of Active Newsgroups, which have been around for years, and they are pretty active. So, just because few newsgroups with outdated topics are non-active, it doesn’t mean that the whole Usenet or Newsgroups are dead.

What was the First Usenet Newsgroup?

Usenet was created back in 1979, and it’s an interesting thing to note that there were only three Newsgroup Hierarchies at the start, which were the following.

  • Fa.* – This Hierarchy covered the Newsgroups, which were gateway from ARPANET.
  • Mod.* – This Hierarchy had the newsgroups related to discussions on various topics, and all the newsgroups in this hierarchy were moderated.
  • Net.* – This Hierarchy was dedicated to newsgroups for all topics, and newsgroups from this hierarchy were also not moderated.

Things stayed the same for almost 7 years until 1987 when Usenet Community and Key Contributors such as Rick Adams decided to rename the Newsgroup Hierarchies and recategorize newsgroups, and this event is known as “The Great Renaming” in the Usenet History. In The Great Renaming, the Usenet Newsgroups were divided into 7 major Hierarchies, and they were called the “Big Seven.” These Hierarchies was

Does Usenet Still Exist

  • Comp.*
  • Misc.* 
  • News.*
  • Rec.*
  • Sci.*
  • Soc.*
  • Talk.*

However, these 7 Hierarchies are not the only Hierarchies, and there are almost 600 Hierarchies available covering a range of topics, including Colleges, Schools, and Education.
Now there is no information about the first-ever newsgroup, but it’s believed that the first newsgroup was most probably about Education because the Usenet was mostly used by the students and Professors when it first started.

 

Benefits of Usenet

Usenet is a very popular platform, and it comes with tons of amazing benefits, which is the real reason why Usenet is still popular after almost 4 decades. In this section, we will share some of the biggest benefits of Usenet.

No Central Authority

One of the biggest benefits of Usenet is that it’s a decentralized network, and no single authority runs it, which means that no one can stop you from access the platform. The biggest problem with modern platforms is that they are moderated by the central authority with tons of rules, and if you violate them, they can ban you from accessing their platform. However, it’s not the case with Usenet, and you can enjoy it without any problem. Does Usenet Still Exist?

Vibrant Community

One of the biggest benefits of using Usenet is that it has a very vibrant community. The platform comes with thousands of newsgroups covering various topics, and they are used by millions of Usenet users around the world. So, you can join the newsgroup of your choice and have a discussion with users around the world.

Does Usenet Still Exist

Privacy

Privacy is another reason why millions of people prefer Usenet over modern platforms. The majority of modern platforms tightly monitor every activity of their users and use that information to show Ads. However, it’s not the case with Usenet, and no one, including your Usenet service provider, tracks your activities. On top of that, many Usenet Service Providers support Bitcoin Payments which allow the users to get the Usenet Subscription without revealing their identity. So, if you value your privacy, Usenet is the best platform for you. Does Usenet Still Exist?

Does Usenet Still Exist

Does Usenet Still Exist

Why Usenet Will Never Die?

Does Usenet Still Exist? Usenet is one of the very first platforms which has survived for over 4 decades, and one of the major reason why it manages to do it is that it values the privacy of the users. The platform doesn’t keep track of the users’ activities, and you can do whatever you want on the Usenet. However, if you look at the modern platforms, privacy is the biggest issue which is the main reason why millennials and Gen-Z are switching to Usenet.

Does Usenet Still Exist

Future of Usenet

One of the biggest advantages of Usenet is that it has improved a lot over the years. The platform has a very active community that regularly gives their feedback to Usenet Service Providers, and they use the feedback to improve their service resulting in improving the Usenet.
In the last decade, the retention period offered by the Usenet Service providers has improved a lot. Back in 2005-2010, the retention period was pretty low, and it was limited to few years. However, nowadays, Service Providers offer a retention period of more than a decade which is a big improvement.  Similarly, they have come up with capable Usenet Search Engines which allow the Usenet Users to find what they are looking for with no spam. 
Despite all these advancements, there are some things which can be improved. For example, Usenet Service Providers will have to come up with a variety of Usenet Packages, which would allow the users to pick packages according to their needs. Similarly, they will also have to work on their customer support, and they will have to switch to the Live Chat option from Ticket based system, which is obsolete according to modern standards. These are some of the areas which require some work and improving them will surely result in the betterment of the Usenet. Does Usenet Still Exist?

Does Usenet Still Exist

Conclusion

Does Usenet still exist? If you are interested in getting Usenet access  and need some help, don’t forget to check our Usenet Reviews section, where we have shared our detailed reviews of the popular Usenet Services. Also, if you have any questions, head to our FAQ page, where you will find answers to Frequent Questions.

Does Usenet Still Exist