Historical Usenet archives and statistics make interesting grounds for virtual exploration.
Google maintains the most complete Usenet
archive with postings available from the present back to the early 1980's.
This invaluable collection contains an historically fascinating set of archives,
including early newsgroups in the "net" and "fa" (from ARPANET)
hierarchies, such as the famous human-nets and sf-lovers lists.
Some particularly memorable postings of early "firsts" are collected here.
Statistics. The following sites maintain historical Usenet traffic statistics:
Usenet traffic statistics can be found here.
An archived index to old newsgroup archives stored on the Internet around
the world can be found at Cameron Laird's page below, interesting mainly for
Many links are broken or inaccessible, and even if you can access them some
in a binary form which need to be decompressed before they can be read.