Today Usenet hosts more than 120,000 newsgroups. In its early years, it contained only a handful of groups centered on the needs of a very narrow audience but today it contains newsgroups on virtually any subject of interest to a substantial number of people. With its evolution, Usenet has become more and more difficult to browse and find what you are looking for. Apart from the higher overall number of newsgroups and the phenomenal number of posts in each individual newsgroup, there are some additional problems with finding the right stuff.
Recently, many spammers have found a new way of getting the Usenet’s attention – creating fake groups with names similar to some popular newsgroups in an effort to lure in the users and expose them to spam posts.
To get around this problem, users should focus their attention on well known groups with a relatively high number of recent posts in them. Using a newsreader like Xnews, for example displays in a very neat format a list of all available newsgroups and the number of articles in each one of them. Going into the ones with the highest number of articles in them is rarely the wrong approach.