The fur.* (furrynet) hierarchy is a set of newsgroups which were intended to provide Furry Fandom with specific message areas, protected from the rest of usenet. Furrynet was the primary and central distribution method for furry art in the mid to late 1990's before the rise of FurNation, Fur Affinity, and other website archives. Today artwork is still exchanged on the fur.* newsgroups, but many artists have started keeping their works on their personal homepages or on a website archive, making keeping up with new art across the Furry Fandom more challenging.
Originally there were the following servers:
- news.critter.net (velox, now urocyon)
- news.chameleon.net (tiger)
- news.lightbearer.com (dogma)
- news.fur.com (snowfox)
- news1.tigerden.com (bengal)
- news2.tigerden.com (siberian)
Only Critter & Tigerden are left from the first servers. NNTP access to news.critter.net remains open to the public while news.tigerden.com is by request/invitation only. There are two newer servers available as well:
- news.furhome.net/news.tigress.com (husky)
- news.furnation.com (phoenix)
NNTP access to Furhome.net and Tigress.com (same news server) is read-only & requires the user name fur & password net, with full access available via an email request. The Furnation.com domain is up for renewal in September (2006), but for now their news server offers open NNTP access.
It is notable that fur.* newsgroups and postings often reached the wider Usenet through incorrectly configured gateways, bringing spam and new readers back to the Furrynet servers. Spam within the private network was mostly dealt with by cancelbots (automated software which issues NetNews cancel messages -- one of which may still be active, if slow) which deleted any post that did not have "fur" (any capitalisation) in either the Subject or Distribution header. Cancelbots were also set up to delete certain artists' work after a period of time, often a week or two, out of respect for their distribution rights; Wookie was among the artists who received this privilege.
The fur.* newsgroups are:
Most newsgroups receive little to no traffic except for fur.artwork.erotica and fur.artwork.misc. However, the fur.stories.* hierarchy was also popular for some time, and many archived posts can be found within those newsgroups. Also, fur.announce is often used to post announcements for conventions, large meetings, or other activity of broad public interest.
- Furrynet introduction (some of the information here is outdated)
- fur.* hierarchy on Google Groups (Note that these archives are incomplete and spam-laden - see above for the reasons why. Google also strips all binary files from its archive.)