Last Updated: Sep 04, 2011
Google Groups had a hiccup that stopped it from archiving the USENET discussion groups at the beginning of August. The service isn’t known by everyone but fans of the USENET system are very familiar with this service. Google Groups goes through and makes archives of the most important groups on the USENET service and, for those who participate in those forums and for those who sometimes use them as sources of information for research, Google Groups has become very important.
Google Groups is a huge resource for those who rely on the USENET system. It archives over 700 million postings, according to the service, making USENET available to those who don’t even have a connection to it. USENET has always had something of an elite image—or “leet”, if you actually are elite—among tech aficionados. The system, however, is remarkably easy to use and has a tremendous wealth of resources available on it.
USENET is currently offered by private companies. In the past, most ISPs offered access to the service and this provided users with a free and convenient way to share information, files and much more over the popular medium, which actually predates the consumer Internet by more than a decade. Google has provided a great service in taking the postings from the various groups and adding them to an Internet archive that is searchable by those who have only an Internet connection.
USENET service appears to be up and running on Google Groups again. This service is known for its reliability because of its decentralized nature and, even when Google Groups was down, the USENET was still available to those who have a subscription service to it. Compare that to what would happen to the Internet if the Google search engine were taken off line!