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Usenet is a worldwide distributed Internet discussion system. It was developed from the general purpose UUCP architecture of the same name. Two graduate students of Duke University, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the idea in 1979, and it was implemented in 1980. Users read and post messages called articles or posts, and collectively termed news to one or more categories, known as newsgroups. Usenet resembles a bulletin board system BBS in many respects, and is the precursor to Internet forums that are widely used today. Usenet can be considered as a hybrid between email and web forums. Discussions are threaded, as with web forums and BBSes, though posts are stored on the server sequentially. One notable difference between a BBS or web forum and Usenet is the absence of a central server and dedicated administrator.

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