You know Usenet is almost-dead when there is not even spam in most groups.
Spammers have decided "it's not profitable to send a few bytes to these open boards anymore" and if you think about it it's kinda sad
Browsing the group list sure brings back memories of long gone topics:
And, of course, the alt.* groupname spamming
I downloaded my first warez from binaries groups. Some say they're still alive and kicking on paid servers, but I think all downloads have moved to the web or p2p nowadays
The most similar thing to newsgroups today is Reddit, and I really enjoy following some communities.
Usenet had excellent usability, but Reddit has better moderation tools.
In the end, as experts say, tools don't create communities, they just allow members to find each other.
I'm definitely browsing the newsgroup list to see if there is anything interesting left
See you in like a week
Some names are definitely hilarious though
Can you imagine creating a dumb newsgroup in 1988 like
and that message is still available for all the world to see 32 years later?
There are a few posters in alt.conspiracy who still engage in discussions, and it looks like they're very active at it.
1116 messages in that group
Let's dive into alt.current-events!
Look at this groupname clusterfuck and the animosity somebody had against that "fred" guy.
There are a few "is-a-rapist" groupnames, you can see one here
Bonus: early 90s rare insults!
Oh! Let's see what was popular in the Usenet!
... wait what? STOP
11629 motherfucking messages right now
I have to check this out
Ok so this is basically 10 people generating 11k messages per month.
And a few of them are crossposts or spam, but most of them are legit.
Legit like, somebody opened a text editor, wrote original content, and posted it to the group.
There's a lot of crazy people there.
Not because of their political ideology, which I don't care about, but because they actively engage in conversations in their echo chamber and insult each other even though those they insult are the only ones who pay attention to them
I mean, what's the point??
I have to admit there are interesting conversations there. Again, I don't care for that kind of discussions, but the posters can articulate reasonable arguments and follow discussions.
DING DING DING!
aaaand we have a Godwin!!
Let's leave Limbaughtown.
alt.fan.starwars has some activity, yay!
alt.flame.niggers --> exactly what you'd expect
alt.flame.rush-limbaug --> empty! the opposite of what you'd expect 😂
Want to make a bet?
Yes, it's the same people as alt.fans.rush-limbaugh having similar but different discussions
Hey, an active group only partially overrun by wackos!
Just look at the beauty of this hierarchy
Our old friend, the Fred-hater, makes a comeback
A quick Google search indicates that apparently the Fred guy was active in the Usenet around 2005 and contributed to many flames. So maybe he made a few enemies? Or just one enemy with a lot of free time?
Remember, kids: don't get into useless arguments on the internet, you never know if the other person is a nutjob
alt.journalism.* is pestered by rush-limbaugh fans
A few of the alt.linux.* have some activity
Hey, this is a good one!
Who you'd say posts to alt.lunatics?
Got it right! rush-limbaugh fans 😂
I'm trying to hit every group whose target audience may intersect with the 2020 Usenet target audience.
e.g. linux/unix, microcontrollers, macintosh...
So far, little luck 😔
Let's continue scavenging
check out the cool alt.movies.* hierarchy!
alt.music.* is pretty great too, unfortunately, all empty
🛎️ 🛎️ 🛎️ 🛎️ FINALLY!
Most of them original, non-spam
WRITE THIS ONE DOWN!
Going for lunch
Will continue later!
Somebody hated linux so much that they created these:
In any case, the alt.os.linux.* hierarchy has enough traffic to justify a visit. Check out the group for your favorite distro!
There is an alt.pedophile.* full of people's names. And these are not hollywood stars, they look like regular people's. How disgusting.
There's like 150 groups with different preferences for personal ads.
I wonder if they were ever used!
There's a hierarchy of alt.planets.* with all planets and moons of the Solar System
Including, of course, alt.planets.pluto
🤚 We've reached alt.politics
Should I even try? Or will I find our usual friends?
Usual friends it is!
As a curiosity, most alt.politics posts are cross-posted to other alt.politics.* groups including, for some reason, alt.politics.homosexuality. Of course, posts have nothing to do with homosexuality. Maybe some unsolved sexual issues from posters?
Whoever created alt.religion.macarena definitely made me chuckle.
The rest of the alt.religion.* groups is, again, exactly what you'd expect.
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko