Web forums and blogs are cutting into usenet and SMS and IM are
starting to cut email usage. Technology is changing...
Sharc, NAR Section 613
Sharc, we fly rockets so you don't have to!
And of course the ISP's aren't helping. AOL dropped their admittedly
pathetic Usenet support; my cable company killed their own servers and
substituted a very limited Giganews account.
I think the biggest factor is the declining expertise of the average
computer user. They'd actually have to find a reasonable client program
and configure it. One of the things I do is train K-12 computer
teachers, and most of THEM think Internet Explorer IS the internet.
Also blame AOL for that. A good friend of mine said, when his father had an
operation to clear some blocked arteries to his brain, and when he soon
after, changed from an AOL address to something else, the comment was, "The
operation was proved to be a success!". AOL is the Nanny for the internet.
I think so. Most of my online time is now spent using web forums, and I
am an admitted NNTP bigot.
1. Clown factor. Properly moderated web forums eliminate, or greatly
reduce, the clown factor. Twits are given the boot, whereas killfiles
are only so effective. The unholy trifecta ruined RMR...they wouldn't
have lasted two days on a good web forum.
2. Multiple catagories on one site, that STAY on topic. Want to talk
tech, or political, or just BS? It's all segregated, and good
moderation makes it stay that way.
3. It's easier for non-technical users to access. If I want to talk
with other racers, I don't want a lack of computer skills to limit
participation. What about the "WebTV" effect? See number 1.
I agree. I still do not waste time with a kill file. Just because someone
posts does not mean I have to read it. Sometimes I may, but it still tells
me who is around. I used to do a lot of IRC, where one could create and
moderate their own. Every now and then we'd have to k-line someone as they
were there only to be a nuisance and flood the "room" with inteminable
posts. But it was never permanent, just enough to stop the current action
so they would move on. We never k-lined for difference of opinion, no
matter how vehement. As long as you allowed others the same courtesy, you
could stay. I have wasted many an hour on mindless banter, made a few
friends, and traded ideas. But mostly it was an utter waste of time, albeit
USENET is more open, and you don't often have anyone exerting the effort to
"flood" a group. There is no "instant gratification", so there is less
motivation to do so. On the other hand, it is far more permanent a record,
as things you posted 10 years ago can come back to bite you, or to prove
your record. I personally like USENET for the coding and analysis groups.
I value that enough to pay GIGANEWS for my own feed, that I can use from any
place, not relying on the current flavor ISP. This rmr is my only "fun"
group. I don't have enough time to put into any others anymore.
I have considered joining ROL, but that is yet another time-sapper. Family
~ Duane Phillips.
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