Usenet is shrinking rapidly. It has been shrinking a bit for a few years, but the recent spam tsunamis really seems to have done it in. I am in five model clubs in the area and I am the only one I have talked to who still subscribes to rms. Everyone else has gone to web based discussion groups, but the ones they have gone to are all genre specific. I really like the wide interest and coverage of this group.
What do folks think of a similar group on Yahoo? The advantage is that the groups may be easily moderated, with any of several degrees of moderation, so we could maybe control the spam. One group I moderate does have a bit of a problem with facebook kids but we get rid of them after their first post, and we could tighten up the moderation even further but the problem is not that severe, one of those messages (invite to become their friend) happens about once every two weeks or so.
Another advantage of having it is part of something like Yahoo groups is the photo archive and archiving files for various things like spreadsheets or anything of a modeling topic.
on 1/18/2009 11:50 AM (ET) Don Stauffer wrote the following:
I'm not having any problems with spam. I have my TB filters set on my news server for all groups. I don't get any of the chinese knockoff crap and from other prolific spam originators. My filter log shows me that they are working. It's hard for me to count all the deleted messages, but there are at least 50 or 60 since yesterday I also filter messages and threads that have gone from legitimate to flame wars, or just became uninteresting after the initial subject matter threads became OT or unrelated to the subject matter. As for forums, I don't like forums and almost exclusively skip forum web sites for any of my searches. There's just too many keystrokes to read a message and follow the threads. Moderated newsgroups are out completely for me. I like my messages and answers to be posted in a timely matter. YMMV.
Don, I belong to several Yahoo groups and while they they are very good good I still like the open format of the rms. I also like rms's lack of focus on some specific type of modeling (cars, armor, aircraft, etc). Most Yahoo groups are quite specific. Most are also not very tolerant of OT posts which add a bit of entertainment here. You also have to have a Yahoo account to participate. Then you have to find a moderator who is willing to spend time on that task. You can have an unmoderated group but those do get spammed.
The end result is that I participate in both - Yahoo groups and rms.
I'm supposedly a ship modeler by inclination (ignore the various Bf109Fs on my workdesk and the COLLECTION in the cupboards and against the wall...), so the webforums I frequent are centred on ship modeling. Such webforums, when run by interested moderators, and the collaboration of cottage industry model enterprises, do quite well, opinions can be fairly freely stated, and all people seem to get along well. And pictures are possible, of course.
However, reading for actual text, and sending PMs is a royal and slow pain. Nothing like text-based newsgroups read via text-based newsreaders like gnus and others (or even the Netscape-based ones). To me, text is the most wonderful thing for exchanging information concisely, sans the fanfare and extraneous stuff seen in webforums.
My gripe with commercial entities like Yahoo and Google for groups is that they use those forums to advertise, according to their business model. Plus they use your private information and browsing habits to gain more targeting information. And you have to register quite a bit of your personal information with them. And at the end of the day it is a poor substitute for a dedicated customized webforum, or a general and very flexible (because it is text-based) Usenet newsgroup.
I'm not interested in binary groups at all, so I'm very happy to use motzarella, a Germany-based free Usenet provider for text-based groups, and when I finally move to a place where I can get fibre to my apartment I will donate my computer/serve to act as a mirror. That's how much I like Usenet. I'll never do that for a webforum, the wasted bandwidth is just too much for me to accept, and most people don't care to minimize the damage (sort of like trying to get people to stick to text in email unless imperative to use MIME types...).
Usenet has the possibility to educate people as they join the group: after the September that never ended the happy time for Usenet ended, but nowadays the small number of entry candidates makes it viable once more to educate individuals as they become members of the group.
Finally, yes, any good newsreader (meaning flexible and customizable for text-based operations) will have no problems with filters to remove undesirable things via filtering on authors, subjects, strings, substrings, and any number of header fields and body strings. True that GUI-based applications may be less flexible (or at least require more effort to learn how the backend scripting might work) than text-based types like gnus, but they can all do a lot more than the average Joe expects. That is good news. Web browsers tend to get a lot slower with the equivalent number of plugins to do that sort of thing (if they even exist).
Now back to getting my fingers dirty with those Bf109s!
Kind of. You have to register for a free Yahoo email account. I never use mine. You also have to be careful filling out the registration form. The default is to allow email offers from Yahoo. Just check the opt-out box, though.
I guess my message didn't get my point across. I personally am not bothered by the spam. I will stick with Usenet as long as it continues. The point I am making is that many, many people, whatever their reason- spam, lack of pictures and other file types, or whatever, have bailed from Usenet groups. I can remember when rms had 150-200 messages a day. Now it is a good day if we see 10% of that. I am afraid rms is dying. I am the only one of my modeling groups that is still here.
I can go to web based discussion groups, but don't know any that is as open and wide ranging as rms, so I thought maybe we should start a web-based, or at least a Yahoo-type group with similar subject matter before the plug gets pulled on Usenet.
It is not just rms that is shriveling, other hobby related groups I subscribe to are shrinking also.
IPMS has an all-inclusive modeling forum as does Fine Scale Modeler magazine. I use both as well as occasionally visiting here, but this newgroup is fast becoming obsolete. If it weren't for the wealth of knowledge older member modelers have that still use this forum, I wouldn't even bother visiting. I remember if you missed a day or so of reading RMS, it would take you hours of reading to just catch up.
Creating the umpteenth "general modeling website/forum" to compete with the multitude already out there would just take away from the finite group of modelers who are actively online.