Requiem for Usenet

A lot of what the article says about Usenet is true. It used to be fine when it was only used by geeks. Things started to go downhill when millions of AOL users got access to Usenet. The effect was devastating. It only takes a few of the immature, unmedicated or malevolent to destroy a group. I have seen it happen several times. Now, Usenet is in a sorry state. The groups that have not been destroyed by idiots are often submerged in spam. Usenet has no barriers to misuse.

I suspect that most internet users do not even know Usenet exists. If they know it exists, they probably do not know how to access it. To get the best from Usenet you need to subscribe to a news server service [e.g. or ] and use a NNTP news reader. Agent would be a good choice. You can access Usenet with a browser, but it is much better with a dedicated reader such as Agent [get the free version].

However, not many people are going to go to all that trouble. If something cannot be accessed with a browser they will not bother. The only contact they are likely to have with the Usenet groups is via intermediary services such as Google Groups or Guba [for the porn].

It is a pity. Usenet has a lot to offer, including content and services you cannot get elsewhere, and it would be sad if it was all to be lost. However, to survive Usenet has to change its modus operandi. The one that worked for a few thousand geeks will not work for millions of users.

1 comment:

Todd HellsKitchen said...

The intermediary source I rely on is Eclectica to glean out all the good geeky stuff for me!!

Now, about that other one (?) you mentioned? Hm.


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