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All about Usenet

All about Usenet

All about Usenet

  1. What are newsgroups and how do I use them?
  2. The Plusnet newsgroups
  3. Newsgroup etiquette
  4. Newsreaders

1. What is USENET and how do I use it?

USENET is the collective term commonly used to describe a world wide system of discussion groups known as Newsgroups.
Newgroups work in a very similar way to forums (such as our Community Site Forums). Someone will make an initial posting to the group, which is then picked up by another reader and answered. This posting is then replied to and so on. Each conversation is known as a thread. Hundreds of threads may develop in any newsgroup forum. You should be aware that some newsgroups are adult orientated and not suitable for children.
To access newsgroups on USENET you'll need to set up a newsreader program on your computer.
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2. The Plusnet newsgroups

The Plusnet newsgroups are a place where you can talk about our service, submit feedback, or receive updates. Although many people now prefer to use our Community Forums, USENET continues to be a popular place for veteran Internet users.
There are over 20 Plusnet newsgroups, each covering a different topic. Most of our groups allow anyone to post to them. However, some are reserved for official use; these are known as 'moderated' groups. Our 'announce' and 'service.status' groups are examples of moderated groups. Many of the newsgroups are monitored by our support team to help us identify common user problems.
The most popular newsgroups are:

  • plusnet.service.announce - moderated and used by us to make service announcements; often with more technical detail than we provide on our server status page or press releases
  • plusnet.service.customer-feedback - our most popular newsgroup. Voice your opinion about our services
  • plusnet.service.status - this group is moderated and used by us to make announcements regarding our service status
  • plusnet.social.chat - this group is an open for chat about pretty much anything

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3. Newsgroup etiquette

There are some common rules newsgroup users should stick to:

  • Make postings clear and easy to understand. Many newsgroup communities are spread across the world, so avoid colloquialisms and cultural references.
  • Sarcasm and humour are not always easy to understand in written form. Try and make it obvious if you are being light hearted. Smilies are excellent for this :-).
  • Only use upper case letters if you want to give the impression that you are SHOUTING.
  • Only post once. Be patient; if your posting doesn't appear immediately, wait 10 - 15 minutes before re-posting.

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4. Newsreaders

Guides for configuring your news reader can be found below:
Netscape CommunicatorOutlook Express
Netscape CommunicatorOutlook Express
If you're using a different program, the only things you'll need are our news and relay server addresses:

  • News server: news.plus.net
  • Outbound mail server: relay.plus.net

No authentication is required for the news server, however you must be connected to the Plusnet network in order to access the service.
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