It was with sadness that I read that AOL (the world’s largest ISP) is dropping access to Usenet newsgroups.
I was a Usenet regular for many years, since I went online in 1996. The Internet newsgroups were the most fun part as we debated every issue under the sun. I made many many good friends through Usenet – a couple of dozen or more. I actually had a hand in creating around half the nz.* groups and am one of the moderators for nz.net.announce. I was one of the top ten global voters on newsgroup creation.
I never thought a day would come when I was not a regular on Usenet.
But in fact I have basically not read or posted there for almost six months.
The signal to noise ratio is just far too low in Usenet. Plus every second thread turns into a debate on Bush/Iraq. I find reading a dozen or so blogs a day is far better than wading through hundreds of Usenet posts. And the level of argument and debate is so much higher.
It is a salient lesson in technology how a medium can become redundant due to new software. In ten years times blogs may have died to be replaced by something else.
Usenet – thanks for all the good times, but now I bid a fond farewell. I will not be returning.