What are they?

Usenet Groups is a discussion system that spread globally on computers. Invented at the University of North Caroline, Jim Ellis and Tom Truscott conceived the idea in 1979, and established it later in 1980. It is one of the oldest communication systems still in use today, with origins starting over a decade before the World Wide Web was available to the public. The product used UUCP to transport protocol, offering file and mail transfers and announcements through newly developed software.

How do they work?

Users of Usenet can browse through categories they wish to read information about or post messages to. Usenet is like a bulletin board system and is the predecessor to internet forums commonly used today. The individual categories are known as newsgroups. The majority of articles in a newsgroup are responses to other articles. These responses, which are in reply to one article, are known as a thread. Modern displays are arranged into threads and sub threads making it easier for you to find exactly what you are looking for. Usenet groups can be an excellent way to find information or advice on any given topic.