USENET is an interesting format I have not experienced before. I never new so much information and communication on random topics is available. I spent time surfing from group to group familiarizing myself with what is posted and how the network is organized. I researched what USENET is all about to give me a better idea of the forum I would be encountering. A site that provides good information for those new to USENET is: http://tinyurl.com/2y8pmd
What I like about USENET is the relaxed format. Many of the posts are informative and educational. It is like carrying on a conversation around the dinner table. There is something for everyone: politics, career/ education information, health concerns, latest medical topics, not to mention the wacky alternative areas.
I personally do not like to communicate my thoughts using USENET. There are a few things in particular that were bothersome in searching among the groups. I assumed the material would be current topics but some of the groups I observed were very dated. I intended to respond to someone seeking a profession in Dental Hygiene before I realized it was dated 2006! By now she is most likely finishing up with her schooling. To find current material, one must look for it by date and search more current newsworthy topics rather than random issues; for example Obama, McCain issues will be very current and have some interesting replies since day by day we are following their campaign movements.
A few shortcomings I encountered while using USENET: there was one political post who thought the draft was still in operation. A reply followed saying the individual was an idiot since the draft ended when Obama was a child! I ran into posted web sites that weren’t there. This created a little anger and confusion among the group. Since anyone can post this will be more common than in the groups that are moderated. While the above is frustrating, I think there is a place for this type of discussion and can be a perfect outlet for those who want to vent or intelectually reply about various topics. USENET can also be a helpful resource for specific research and personal experiences regarding medical problems or help for ailments. Overall, it is an easy way for us to converse in our modern world and some prefer to use this mode than to be fed news and stories via television.
If I had to choose to communicate using this type of style, I would investigate the WELL. I enjoyed looking through their free groups and the conversation was more intellectual in terms of material posted and topics discussed. I appreciated the in depth interviews with selected authors. This is a great forum and gives insight about the featured author and thus encourages me to explore various literature I may not be prone to reading otherwise. I especially liked Topic 321: interview with Pamela McCorduck, on her book The Edge of Chaos. She seems like a zany person and I now I am drawn to reading her book. It sounds like it may be a little bit bizarre but I am familiar with the Sante Fe area, where the story takes place, since this is one of my more memorable vacations. To read this interview: http://tinyurl.com/2tmch9