The Usenet Talk Hierarchy
The Usenet talk hierarchy is an interesting study for those who are considering adding Usenet to their networking options. Usenet provides forum-like newsgroups where users engage in all manner of discussions and debates. The talk hierarchy is one of the Big 8 Usenet hierarchies: the officially sanctioned hierarchies that are carried by the majority of Usenet servers. If you™re accustomed to having friendly conversations or lively debates on Internet forums, you™ll notice some differences when you do the same on Usenet.
Usenet is very popular and has been around for over 30 years. It was originally conceived as a way for organizations to exchange news, thus the name œnewsgroups is still used to describe the discussion groups. Overall, however, the feel is much the same as it is on a web forum. People post new threads, or comment on old ones, and users respond. On newsgroups, the first thing you™ll notice is that the discussions tend to be very much on topic.
There is little tolerance for off-topic posts on Usenet newsgroups. There over 100,000 newsgroups, by some estimates, so there™s no reason to be posting in a newsgroup that isn™t a match for your subject when there are likely several other newsgroups that are exactly based on the subject posted about.
While Usenet is very popular, it™s not as widely used as are Internet forums. This tends to draw a crowd that™s more interested in discussion, rather than simply drawing people into discussions at random. While blogs and forums have taken up some of the traffic that used to be on Usenet, Usenet has been seeing an increase in activity in the last few years.
Usenet is an entirely text-based forum, so there are no advertisements or other distractions involved with the conversations. Compared to web forums, it feels more like you™re talking directly to the person when you post a reply on Usenet than it does online.
The Usenet talk hierarchy is a good place to look if you want to get something of an upgrade relative to the usual quality of Internet chat. These newsgroups attract people who are interested enough in having poignant and sustentative debate to learn a new way of communicating online to do it. Usenet is available from third-party providers, although some ISPs offer access to Usenet servers as a part of their regular services, as well.