Newsgroups - Discussion forums

You can participate in numerous discussions in more than 200,000 newsgroups

For over 30 years, Usenet has been a popular place to share information. People all over the world communicate freely and anonymously on a extremely wide range of topics, share valuable information, and poll the opinions of other users. For everything from political debates and scientific discussions to everyday events and topics related to computers, technology or culture, there's something to suit every interest.

To provide an overview of the enormous variety of topics on the Usenet, they are classified in a hierarchical structure know as the Big Eight or Big-8: comp.*, humanities.*, misc.*, news.*, rec.*, sci.*, soc.* and talk.*.

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There is also another group called alt.*, which arose in the 1990s in an attempt to "sort out" the Usenet. Some users found the Big Eight system too rigid and constraining. They were afraid of restrictions on the free exchange of opinions, which is the underlying idea of Usenet. They therefore started the group alt.*, which according to rumour stands for "alternative". The openness and enormous range of topics in this group make it extremely popular.

Newsgroups in other languages have also been set up as a result of the ongoing expansion of Usenet outside the USA.

The names of individual newsgroups, which often indicate their content, have the following format: country_code.category.topic

For example, is the newsgroup for general discussions of daily events in German.

If you want to actively participate in discussions on Usenet:

  • Using your news reader, search through the newsgroups and look for topics that interest you. You can start off by selecting a category and then refine your search.
  • Another option is to enter a search term directly: country_code.category.topic
  • Then select the desired newsgroup and download the current newsgroup header to view a list of all articles in this group.
  • Now you can explore the posts on the selected topic.
  • To join a discussion, open the desired article, look for the author of a post you want to reply to, and add your comment.*

  • There are more than 200,000 newsgroups with innumerable articles available for reading and comments. It's easy to join the discussion!
    * USENEXT customers must be members for at least 1 month before they are allowed to make comments.

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