Big-8 Newsgroups in Usenet
I started surfing the internet in 1995 during my office hours.
The first thing that captivated me was coverage of the America's Cup. After the New Zealanders trounced the Americans 5-0, I cast around for something else to help me while away the hours waiting for students to come visit.
The first newsgroup I started reading was rec.autos.sport.nascar. I used a very klunky page-based interface, but enjoyed hearing what fans thought about stock-car racing. In 1998, I joined the moderation team for the newly-formed rec.autos.sport.nascar.moderated. I tried to resign from the team in 2006 in view of the demands of working on the big-8 management board, but I couldn't get a replacement.
The next group that I subscribed to was rec.models.rc.air. I have learned a great deal from the group over these eleven years. I also lurk in rec.aviation.piloting even though the odds of my ever becoming a full-scale pilot are slim and none.
In 2000, I tried to coach some people who wanted to found a group dedicated to electric-powered RC aircraft. The proposal didn't fly. (Pun intended. You may laugh now.) I became fascinated with the newsgroup creation process and became more and more involved in thinking about how newsgroups work.
In the fall of 2005, I was recruited along with ten other people to reorganize the management of the Big-8 newsgroups . I fell in love with Dokuwiki.Years later, I installed MediaWiki for TIGHAR's website (for the Ameliapedia) and have recently (14 July 2010) translated the big-8 website from Dokuwiki to MediaWiki.