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Usenet has significant cultural importance in the networked world, having given rise to, or popularized, many widely recognized concepts and terms such as "FAQ", "flame", and "spam".over a decade before the World Wide Web was developed and the general public received access to the Internet, making it one of the oldest computer network communications systems still in widespread use.
In this fashion, the article is copied from server to server and should eventually reach every server in the network.
Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the idea in 1979, and it was established in 1980.
Users read and post messages (called articles or posts, and collectively termed news) to one or more categories, known as newsgroups.
The groups in alt.binaries are still widely used for data transfer.
Many Internet service providers, and many other Internet sites, operate news servers for their users to access.
Usenet is distributed among a large, constantly changing conglomeration of servers that store and forward messages to one another in so-called news feeds.
Individual users may read messages from and post messages to a local server operated by a commercial usenet provider, their Internet service provider, university, employer, or their own server.
Today, Usenet has diminished in importance with respect to Internet forums, blogs and mailing lists.
Usenet differs from such media in several ways: Usenet requires no personal registration with the group concerned; information need not be stored on a remote server; archives are always available; and reading the messages requires not a mail or web client, but a news client.
ISPs that do not operate their own servers directly will often offer their users an account from another provider that specifically operates newsfeeds.
In early news implementations, the server and newsreader were a single program suite, running on the same system.
The later peer-to-peer networks operate on a similar principle, but for Usenet it is normally the sender, rather than the receiver, who initiates transfers.