on the Internet is carried in a system of ``newsgroups''. All these newsgroups
together are called Usenet.
Nobody controls Usenet. Nobody is in charge. It just happened. It's an anarchy.
Usually, it's a functioning
And it's the greatest, most open flow of information this planet has ever seen.|
are thousands of different newsgroups, on every imaginable subject (and some
that defy the imagination). You don't want to read them all. You don't even
want to read the list
them all. (Okay, maybe you do. But not more than once.)
item in a newsgroup is called an "article." It can also be called a "message,"
a "post," or a "posting." Placing an article in a newsgroup is also called
"posting," and the person who posts an article may be called the "poster."
newsgroup has a descriptive name, made up of words separated by periods. Some
newsgroup names get rather long. For instance, one of the most popular groups
is rec.games.frp.misc. This translates to "recreational group, about games,
about fantasy roleplaying games (frp), miscellaneous topics."
newsgroup ``hierarchies'' are:
are also ``alt'' (for alternate) groups. Anybody with enough Deep Net Knowledge
can create an alt group. New ones appear all the time. Usually they get a few
postings and then languish, but some last indefinitely. Some are serious; some
are outrageous; some are just silly. Check out
-- Recreational subjects. Games, sports, hobbies.
-- Scientific subjects.
-- Computer-related subjects. Lots of them ...
-- Specifically news items (at least, that's the theory).
-- Social issues and topics.
-- Conversation. Chat. Often, pure babble.
-- Anything that doesn't fit in the above six categories.
Or (if you're of legal age, and not easily shocked) anything that begins with
there are local
Almost every city has local groups ... for instance, in Austin, where IO is
headquartered, there are groups like
and so on.
but not least, there are system-specific
intended only for the users of that system. Illuminati Online has a lot of
these groups (which we call ``conferences'', to distinguish them from the Usenet
newsgroups that everyone can read). They all begin with
and so on.
more general information on Usenet news and newsgroups in general, see the
(Extended) Guide to the Internet.
Online's News FAQ
on news reading specific to IO.
to decide which ones you want to read.
the program that will be best for you.
News from Offsite
popular newsreaders for remote NNTP access.
out the junk articles so you never have to look at them.
to put your own messages on the newsgroups.
standard DOs and DON'Ts.
isn't perfect. If you're new to the net, read this!