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September 19th, 2002

Usenet — More Signal, Less Noise?

The Usenet’s been around the block… it started somewhere shortly after 1979 and is still going strong. Google Groups has an archive of over 700 million posts, dating back to 1981. I started using Usenet in 1992, well before the web, and still check it out occasionally to see what’s happening in that somewhat forgotten corner of the ‘Net.

For a while there, it seemed like the Usenet’s signal-to-noise ratio was just too high (particularly in the alt.* groups) and it just was failing to be useful amongst all the spam. However, things seem to have come back around: the Usenet is becoming a useful place for discussion and research, even the alt.* groups. I’ve noticed in the last six months that there seems to be very little spam in unmoderated groups, which is definitely a good thing. Perhaps it’s just gotten harder for spammers to mass post and hide their identity, versus e-mail, where it’s still very easy. Whatever the case, I’ve found myself looking to Google Groups on more than a few occasions as of late.

Do you still use the Usenet? Did you ever?

Posted in Technology

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