But if you compare Usenet to the WorldWideWeb you will realize that the WWW is still a teenager. Usenet started 1979 when two young US students started sharing information between their UNIX based Computers. Between the 80s and the 90s Usenet was one of the most important sources for computer and tech fans. Usenet was used to share information and thoughts about nearly every topic but most users loved to talk about computer and technology. So it’s no big surprise that big companies like Microsoft were first mentioned (May 1981) in Usenet. Another cool example is IMdB (Internet Movie Data Base) who was “founded” in Usenet when thousand Users wrote about their favorite Movies and ranked them. This was the first step on IMdBs way up becoming one of the most important movie sources on the internet.
Usenet has such a great history and will always be a keep in mind as one of the first “forums”. But it changed a lot in the last couple of years. Since the WWW started its success story in 1990 Usenet lost a lot of Users and fans. But Usenet was never dead; Usenet just became unpopular over night.
The big comeback came around the years 2000/2001 when some users started sharing binary files over Usenet. Sharing binary files was no new technology but it was something nobody ever did before and so the Usenet got back in the spotlight. The first professional Usenet Provider started selling access to those Newsgroups and the community grew a lot. Now in 2011 there are a lot of those providers, offering not only access but also Highspeed-Downloads and awesome Newsreaders. The Usenet is now open to the mainstream computer user without any knowledge about computer or configuration of a Newsreader. And these are the users of the future. Sharing, posting and downloading files is the future for the Usenet. Nowadays Usenet has nearly as much user as back in the good old days when the WWW wasn’t invented.
And Usenet will always be popular, even in a future where Internet, Social Networks and Web 2.0 are still the Number one sources for all kinds of information. Especially in times where SOPA and internet-censoring is big topic in the web. Usenet is “un-censorable” and “un-destroyable”.