What is the Usenet

What is Usenet?

Web forums, which contributed to the decline of the original, scientifically technical Usenet since the late 1990s, are based on the Usenet in principle.


A Usenet sub-hierarchy corresponds to a forum that, like a sub-hierarchy, is dedicated to a certain topic, e.g. photography or Usenet; within the forum, in turn, individual main and sub-groups are created by the administrator, which corresponds to the newsgroups within the sub-hierarchy and As in a forum, users can open new threads within the newsgroup.


The difference, however, is huge. Apart from the few moderated newsgroups, anyone who takes part in Usenet can create new threads and, within the alternative hierarchy of Usenet, even create new newsgroups that, in contrast to a forum, are not moderated. The name of the newsgroup can be used to assign it to an existing sub-hierarchy or to create a new sub-hierarchy.


The clear structure of the Usenet makes it possible in principle, despite well over 100,000 active newsgroups, to find what you are looking for even without specialized Usenet search engines. Basically because the particularly large newsgroups with well over several million postings are better searched with specialized Usenet search engines.


Usenet search engines are not about relevance, but rather whether the search term is included in the subject line of a post. With some Usenet search engines, the user can determine the order in which the search results are displayed; the usual order is the most recent postings first. In contrast to search engines for the web, all postings are treated equally.


The two most important differences between Usenet and the World Wide Web are, on the one hand, the internal structure of Usenet with its hierarchies, sub-hierarchies and topic newsgroups and, on the other hand, the completely decentralized structure of Usenet, which makes it unassailable.


Another difference is that discussions take place and news are exchanged in every newsgroup. Also in the newsgroups of the alt.binaries hierarchy specially created for binary files. While you can only leave a comment on a website if the website has been set up for it. Since, apart from the few moderated newsgroups, posts are not deleted unless they are violations of the law, in contrast to a forum, blog, etc., posts with negative criticism also remain. Thus, the Usenet is overall much more democratic than any website or forum that was basically modeled on the Usenet.