Usenet: Worldwide Internet Discussion System
Usenet is a famous discussion system that is made available in the internet. It has a variety of groups, which are hierarchically named and people can submit articles. Usenet is usually viewed as part of web forums and emailing services. People respond to articles by posting follow-up articles, and a thread of discussions is created as others reply to the topics.
Usenet can be accessed by use of Usenet client that communicates with a Usenet server also known as Network News Transfer Protocol Server (NNTP server). Usenet can also be viewed as a protocol for creating, receiving and storing articles that contain information about various issues. These are usually for the aim of distributing information. This protocol uses an algorithm known as the “flooding algorithm”. This algorithm works by making duplicates of the original information and passing it to servers that have not yet received the article. Therefore, Usenet can be regarded as distributed network
Usenet newsgroups are classified into categories referred to as hierarchies which can also be further classified into several other subcategories known also as hierarchies. These subcategories are the biz newsgroups, the standard newsgroups and alt newsgroups; each one of them is further divided into subcategories and contains numerous newsgroups.
Standard newsgroups- This is a Usenet subcategory that consist discussions that are of different nature and these discussions are only held if polling has occurred. Standard newsgroup is also known as world newsgroup. These forums are held in the talk hierarchy.
Alt newsgroups- This is a Usenet subcategory that is open to anyone, and forums which are not related can be discussed. Unlike standard polling, it is not necessary for it to occur. People can create the newsgroup if they have the knowledge of how it is done.
Biz newsgroups- This is a Usenet subcategory that contains topics related to business and commercial issues. It targets everyone in the world of business ventures.
Local newsgroups are also held in servers, they are established to suit different needs and wants of specific target market.
Usenet standard newsgroups hierarchies include:
Comp- This is a Usenet hierarchical group that contains issues related to computers such as security, programming and even networks.
Misc – This is a Usenet hierarchical group that contains general topics affecting the society such as culture, finance and religion.
Sci – This Usenet group consists of issues that contain sciences such as biology, chemistry, and physics
There are other Usenet hierarchical such as “Soc” that deals with societal issues; this includes gender issues, news that contains updates for beginners, and talk that contains forum debate
One needs to meet certain requirements before accessing Usenet. One should choose a service provider that has Usenet servers. Also, you need to create a Usenet client and you should have good web browsers. The users can then download Usenet from the Usenet servers and choose which groups to join. After joining the user can open the newsgroup and the latest articles will be displayed. The Usenet client then keeps a record of which article the user has read and those unread in that category.