About us

Usenet was developed in 1979 and is a discussion system that is available on computers worldwide. Users read and publish messages (articles or posts) in one or more categories called newsgroups. Usenet is similar in many ways to a bulletin board system (BBS) and is the forerunner of today's widespread Internet forums. As with web forums and BBSs, discussions are threaded, although posts are stored sequentially on the server. The name comes from the term "user network".

A notable difference between a BBS or web forum and Usenet is the lack of a central server and a dedicated administrator. Usenet is distributed to a large, constantly changing conglomerate of servers that store and forward messages in so-called news feeds. Individual users can read messages from a local server and send them to a local server operated by a commercial Usenet provider, its Internet service provider, its university, its employer or its own server.

Usenet has an important cultural significance in the networked world because it has produced or made popular many generally accepted concepts and terms such as "FAQ", "flame" and "spam". Usenet is a worldwide discussion system that is available on computers.



Birth of the usenet


1st newsgroup

The first newsgroup in 1981 was called "NET.general". Although Usenet was established as an alternative to the Arpanet military network, this group was not - as the "general" in the name might suggest - a discussion group on military topics, but rather a group whose discussions revolved primarily around informatics and computer science.


First online discussion

The first online discussion started in March 1982 on the music channel MTV. The theme included on a concert by "Simon and Garfunkle" was really broadcast live.


In September 1982 Scott Fahlman invented the pond sequence and in search of "joke markers" and to avoid misunderstandings.


Rumors about Coca Cola recipe

There was a rumour on Usenet in 1985 that Coca Cola would change the recipe. Reports of this kind have been available for years on Usenet.



The expression "LOL" (laughing out loud) was used for the first time in a newsgroup discussion.


Usenet at "The Simpsons"

In September 1995 the Usenet celebrated its premiere in the successful series "The Simpsons". In the episode entitled "Radioactive Man" the comic book Guy searched for information in the newsgroup alt.nerd.obsessive. This group was conceived as a parody of the actually existing newsgroup on all topics around the Simpsons: alt.tv.simpsons


Usenet goes Internet

In 2004 Google went online with "Google Groups". Behind this were 845 million collected Usenet articles.


Become part of a community with millions of members and write contemporary history with usenet.org.