Table of Contents
This chapter is supposed to be glance over the World of Newsgroups and their “inhabitants”; someone who has never dared to go there before will encounter some strange customs, which may give you a feeling of being a lonely alien without backup; but stay calm, it is not like this. The Usenet is a meeting place for all kinds of normal and not-so-normal folks; it is here where they are distributing a lot of information but also gossip and other stuff.
References to more detailed and qualified essays on the Usenet can be found at More Resources
An online-reader connects to a newsserver and gives you access to its content. KNode is an online-reader: you are reading your News and publishing your own articles while the online-reader stays connected.
An offline-reader connects to the Server and fetches only the headers of new articles; then, the connection is closed and you can mark (offline) the articles you are really interested in. When you connect next time the offline-reader fetches the articles you marked and sends the articles you have written whilst offline.
There is no connection while you are reading or writing articles.
You can look at newsgroups as public bulletin boards and forums, where everybody is allowed to participate. Articles you have published in a newsgroup can be read by everybody subscribed to this newsgroup and, normally, everybody is allowed to publish their articles in a newsgroup.