We're the Usenet Big-8 Management Board. Ask us anything about Usenet, the Internet's oldest surviving discussion network!
Usenet is famous for being the place where Tim Berners-Lee announced the launch of the World Wide Web and where Linus Torvalds announced the Linux project. It's also infamous for being the venue for the first major commercial spam incident. Usenet contains some of the earliest recorded (online) discussions of historical events, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Many now-common technical terms (including antivirus, blog, spyware, and streaming) originated on Usenet.
We recently reconstituted the Board after a three-year dormancy, and have been busy restoring and modernizing its infrastructure, as well as stepping up public outreach efforts to promote Usenet. Ask us anything about the past and future of Usenet and the Big 8, about the technical and social challenges currently facing the network, and about why people still converse on Usenet today (and why you should too)!
The current Board members are Jason Evans (u/Capitan_Picard, a technical training engineer), Tristan Miller (u/Logological, an artificial intelligence research scientist), and Rayner Lucas (u/JamesMowry, a self-employed programmer, electronics hobbyist, and retrocomputing enthusiast). We'll all be here for at least an hour, starting on Friday, May 28 2021 at 19:00 UTC.
Edit at 20:30 UTC Thanks to everyone for your many insightful comments and questions! Things seem to be winding down, and it's getting a bit late here in Europe where the three of us live. We may check back here occasionally over the weekend to answer any further questions.