Wednesday, April 22, 2015

First Aside: Usenet

I mentioned yesterday that I met Margaret on Usenet.  I also met another woman who will be on this list there.  Once, at a breakfast before a tech seminar a woman at my table said "your name is familiar" and she recognised me from a Usenet group.  I also met a couple of local people first on Usenet, then in person.

Usenet, for the youngsters out there, is a group of tens of thousands of what are called newsgroups on tens of thousands of topics.  It's open in the internet tradition ~ anyone could start a group in one branch, but others required the collective wisdom of the users to vote up or down.

On Usenet, you could find thousands of groups just on various technologies (like for questions on installing windows NT) or culture (I hung out at soc.culture.jewish) or interests (  I hung out on once my first was born and on rec.humor and subgroups a LOT.

Alt was the wild west section where you could find,, and a bunch of adult or adult-ish stories, including .  I read quite a few; most were bad, even by my low standards.  Most of the rest varied between horrid and unreadable.  There were a couple of authors who wrote enjoyable stories.

Usenet still exists and you can get it on your home computer but most people have moved on to on-line discussions.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Usenet. That really takes me back. My fav newsgroup was ASSM, where I first encountered TG fiction. Cheers, Alison


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