Monday, March 14, 2005

Bye bye Usenet?

Usenet is a million conversations on the Internet about thousands of topics. It predates the Web by a considerable period but it remains a bit of a Cinderella to many Internet users. One young person I know who is otherwise net-savvy knew it as Google Groups but had no idea that NNTP (Network News Transfer Protocol) is the "real" way of accessing it, preferably with a "real" News Reader like Forte'Agent rather than the cack-handed implementation that Internet Explorer offers.

It seems that I have access to 62,742 different NewsGroups. I used to be subscribed to dozens, now it is down to 19 and with so many filters that I screen out vast quantities of babble, or should I say Babel?

I now find that the interesting conversations thrive in the blogosphere, as well as the HTML based forums (fora?) that are the online equivalent of mailing lists.

I suspect that next time I clean-install my PC, I'll probably leave off Agent. I'll miss it, but I'll get over it...

1 comment:

James said...

Funny, I was thinking about Usenet the other day. I did a Google search of my name and it came up with a contribution to a Usenet group from about 1994, before I even knew what the web was.

Apart from a brief spell whilst looking for work a few years ago, I haven't used it much since about 1999. Oh well...