Your favorite newsgroups, 1990-1996
July 6, 2019 2:28 PM   Subscribe

Looking for newsgroups that capture the flavor of the early internet and the 1990s, particularly pop culture, the net and “current” events.

I’ve been feeling nostalgic about the early internet, and have been reading some books about the 90s in a fit of childhood nostalgia. I’ve really enjoyed browsing and on Google Groups. I’d like to find other newsgroups that feel very 90s, but it’s such a vast landscape that I’m having trouble separating the wheat from the chaff. So, MeFis, where did you post back in the day?

All suggestions (and reminisces!) welcome, but I’d be particularly grateful if someone could suggest a group with discussion of contemporary news like the 1992 presidential campaign — I’ve peeked at places like talk.politics.misc but for every interesting posts, there are about ten Holocaust denial ones. I’d also dig a nice Art Bell/X-Files-ish conspiracy group, preferably light on the right wing nuts.
posted by kaisemic to Computers & Internet (20 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Daily Alice at 2:41 PM on July 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by Melismata at 3:39 PM on July 6, 2019 [13 favorites]

posted by el_lupino at 3:43 PM on July 6, 2019 [9 favorites]

posted by Reverend John at 3:46 PM on July 6, 2019 [5 favorites]

alt.binaries.mac.applications (I created this one)
posted by porn in the woods at 3:59 PM on July 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by Thorzdad at 4:25 PM on July 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

The comp. groups were quite active at the time. At the time, I followed much of the comp.telecom hierarchy with interest. comp.telecom itself was a gatewayed mailing list, which is archived on several websites under the name telecom-digest and has a vast amount of interesting historical and contemporary information about the telephone network.
posted by wierdo at 5:15 PM on July 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Came to mention alt.folklore.urban as well.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:17 PM on July 6, 2019 [1 favorite]


Also I read a lot of soc.history.what-if, but I am a huge nerd.
posted by Comrade_robot at 5:51 PM on July 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm still friends with dozens of people I met on talk.bizarre -- a group that specialized in creative and performance writing -- and I married one of them 16 years ago. Oddly enough, we're still together.

Read, Learn, Evolve.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:27 PM on July 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

alt.folklore.urban, alt.religion.kibology, (with MetaFilter’s Own Kibo!) and Not all at once, really more sequentially. Also the Houston Rockets alt. group.

I’m still in multiple fantasy sports leagues with some of the RSFC crew, and it’s still going semi-strong as a Facebook group.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:12 PM on July 6, 2019

Oliver’s Woofing Theorem
Its direct religious descendant, the greatest anti-woof of all time, from 2001: Colorado: Can This Juggernaut Be Stopped?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 7:24 PM on July 6, 2019

My hangouts were alt.folklore.urban (I was in the FAQ!) and rec.arts.sf.written.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:03 PM on July 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

alt.folklore.urban was full of smart, funny, collaborative Usenetters posting on topics both topical and evergreen. Just as an aside, one of its Chicago members hosted the single best Halloween party I've ever attended, so those people were also solidly good folks IRL.

Number "I am not a number!" Six
posted by NumberSix at 10:00 PM on July 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by vespabelle at 11:05 PM on July 6, 2019 [1 favorite] formed into a solid community.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:48 PM on July 6, 2019

Alt.slack. I would be surprised if there wasn't a light hearted conspiracy or two about politics posted there.
posted by cobaltnine at 4:57 AM on July 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

soc.motss was an important part of my life in this era. It's a group for LGBT people ("members of the same sex", a name chosen to be deliberately obscure). Conversation was quite free-ranging and reasonably intelligent and there was a core community of a few hundred people that felt like extended family. Plenty of politics and current events discussion, plus a whole lot more.
posted by Nelson at 7:34 AM on July 7, 2019
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 9:52 AM on July 8, 2019

I spent a lot of time on the WELL in the 90s--one of my first online community experiences.
posted by agatha_magatha at 1:21 PM on July 8, 2019

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