Usenet news

Usenet is a worldwide distributed discussion system available on computers. It was developed from the general-purpose Unix-to-Unix Copy (UUCP) dial-up network architecture. Basically format and transmission of Usenet articles is similar to that of Internet e-mail messages.

Usenet started to operate at 1980 and I started using it in 1989. Users read and post messages (called articles or posts, and collectively termed news) to one or more categories, known as newsgroups. Usenet is culturally and historically significant in the networked world, having given rise to, or popularized, many widely recognized concepts and terms such as “FAQ”, “flame”, sockpuppet, and “spam”. Quality of content in a specific newsgroup depended on culture of that newsgroups’ following.

Today, Usenet has diminished in importance with respect to Internet forums, blogs, mailing lists and social media. But Usenet still works today. It is still possible to read and participate in Usenet newsgroups to a large degree using ordinary web browsers since most newsgroups are now copied to several web sites, including Google Groups.

Sfnet is a Finnish-language newsgroup hierarchy founded in 1985. The sfnet hierarchy was managed during its active days (up to year 2013), which meant that only certain people called coordinators could add or remove newsgroups.

I was pretty active on several Finnish Usenet in 1990′s and early 2000′s. I was especially active at sfnet.harrastus.elektroniikka and sfnet.harrastus.audio+video groups. I even maintained and hosted the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) lists for both newsgroups: sfnet.harrastus.elektroniikka usein kysytyt kysymykset and sfnet.harrastus.audio+video usein kysytyt kysymykset (FAQ). The content of them is still on-line although the news groups have pretty much faded over years.

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