March 14, 2005
Corporate Memory (Internet History Lesson)
Many of the people reading this blog don't know what Usenet is. Oh, they may have heard of Google Groups, and they may even use it to their advantage when they're looking for technical answers (btw: This tip alone will make you seem smarter than your peers...). And even those who do know what Usenet is, some portion of them have never heard of the Usenet Oracle. The Usenet Oracle is an anonymous, cooperative email(message) system for creative, humorous writing. The home page of the Oracle says it's been around since 1989. I don't recall exact dates of when I ran into the Oracle for the first time, but that sounds about right. [I've been on the Internet since 1986. Well, ARPANET anyways.... And even before then, I was active in the online community through local dial up bulletin board systems (BBSs) and FIDOnet.] The Oracle is a 'personality' that existed on shared message systems. You ask it your question, and some random person gets your question and answers it, usually humorously, and demands your sacrifice in return. Some of the funniest stuff I've ever read on the Internet was at the expense of the Oracle's question-asking public. If you have a moment, check it out. Or ask it a question. I promise you it'll be worth your time.