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What are “Newsgroups”?

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, Uncategorized
 
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Q:
What are “Newsgroups”?

A:
Newsgroups (also known as Usenet) make up a world wide message system for discussion and instant libraries of information. If you have an interest in a certain topic, chances are it has its own newsgroup. This is an excellent use of the internet and also a great tip for those of you who love interacting with people online.

Usenet was started in 1979 at the University of North Carolina and Duke University to create a place where anyone could post messages about virtually every topic known. Eventually as the internet exploded in popularity, more and more places now host newsgroups and millions upon millions of people use them every day from all over the world.

To give you a better idea of what this is, I’ll give ya a “for-instance.”

Let’s say you’re a newbie on the internet and you’d like to know a little more about what’s going on. Since there’s no specific person or company that owns the internet, there’s not really any official website you can go to see the latest on the net. However, you could head on over to comp.insternet.net-happenings and see what that group has to say (I’ll show you how tomorrow, don’t type that into your browser now).

Oh, if you’re an expert on a topic, this is a great way to share your information with others too.

I need to mention that since there’s a newsgroup topic for virtually everything in this world, you should practice advisory measures when viewing and using newsgroups. There’s some wacky stuff out there. But it’s not much different than walking out your front door either. Since anyone can post, I suggest that only mature readers use newsgroups.

~Jonathon

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