Usenet includes a motley collection of hundreds of special interest discussion groups, or newsgroups, distributed throughout the industrialized world. Almost any topic imaginable has a home on Usenet. Newsgroups exist for discussion of the space shuttle, the Society for Creative Anachronism, the Human Genome Project, electronic bulletin boards, political activism, Islamic and Christian religion and culture, sexually explicit stories and pictures, and many computers and operating systems. The total volume of Usenet traffic runs hundreds of typewritten pages per day.
Here at MIT, the Student Information Processing Board manages the flow of Usenet news through their news server on bloom-beacon.mit.edu. Usenet can be accessed at MIT using a program called rn, or readnews, or the graphical version of the same program, xrn. Both can be found in SIPB's locker on Project Athena.