Party like it's 1999
You know Usenet is almost-dead when there is not even spam in most groups.
Spammers have decided "it's not profitable to send a few bytes to these open boards anymore" and if you think about it it's kinda sad
Browsing the group list sure brings back memories of long gone topics:
And, of course, the alt.* groupname spamming
I downloaded my first warez from binaries groups. Some say they're still alive and kicking on paid servers, but I think all downloads have moved to the web or p2p nowadays
The most similar thing to newsgroups today is Reddit, and I really enjoy following some communities.
Usenet had excellent usability, but Reddit has better moderation tools.
In the end, as experts say, tools don't create communities, they just allow members to find each other.
I'm definitely browsing the newsgroup list to see if there is anything interesting left
See you in like a week
Some names are definitely hilarious though
Can you imagine creating a dumb newsgroup in 1988 like
and that message is still available for all the world to see 32 years later?
There are a few posters in alt.conspiracy who still engage in discussions, and it looks like they're very active at it.
1116 messages in that group
Let's dive into alt.current-events!
Look at this groupname clusterfuck and the animosity somebody had against that "fred" guy.
There are a few "is-a-rapist" groupnames, you can see one here
Bonus: early 90s rare insults!
Oh! Let's see what was popular in the Usenet!
... wait what? STOP
11629 motherfucking messages right now
I have to check this out
Ok so this is basically 10 people generating 11k messages per month.
And a few of them are crossposts or spam, but most of them are legit.
Legit like, somebody opened a text editor, wrote original content, and posted it to the group.
There's a lot of crazy people there.
Not because of their political ideology, which I don't care about, but because they actively engage in conversations in their echo chamber and insult each other even though those they insult are the only ones who pay attention to them
I mean, what's the point??
I have to admit there are interesting conversations there. Again, I don't care for that kind of discussions, but the posters can articulate reasonable arguments and follow discussions.
DING DING DING!
aaaand we have a Godwin!!
Let's leave Limbaughtown.
alt.fan.starwars has some activity, yay!
alt.flame.niggers --> exactly what you'd expect
alt.flame.rush-limbaug --> empty! the opposite of what you'd expect 😂
@cfenollosa if you run across any good discussion groups post them up. I follow a few on my BBS (the alt.bbs groups are hit and miss though, mainly BBS ads now days). There are also a few good ones in comp.* that are still active
@mmn I'm trying to make a list of still active groups. Of course I can't check the full 60k groups, but I'm trying to curate those who used to be popular and still have some activity (comp, hardware, talk etc)
@cfenollosa this is literally the best thing I've heard this year, it's impossible to find references to active usenet groups now days. Are you going to publish this somewhere eventually?
@mmn Yes, I'll post them on this thread while I scavenger, and probably give this literal tootstorm some formatting into a blogpost.
You'll definitely see it around here for sure
I believe human attention works that way, specially as you get older and accustomed to some ways of interacting with your peers
@cfenollosa This is very suspicious🤣
i thought i'd check out alt.anarchism, but half of it is anti-Hillary spam and the other half is about the murder of Molly Tibbetts.
@Nikolai_Kingsley Yep, there are very very few active groups, and those are mostly populated by wackos.
i keep waiting for the Oldbies to return to talk.bizarre.
there's no indication they ever will, but i'm not going to let that stop me.
@Nikolai_Kingsley hope is the last thing one loses, they say ;)
I would honestly love a Usenet comeback. Too bad it will never happen.
@cfenollosa What do you mean? That's how your computer screen should look, right? Screenshot of my dwm setup attached. Nothing 1999 over that.
@liebach nice setup! My 1999 reference was about slrn and the Usenet, though. A real nostalgia trip
@cfenollosa Oh, now I get it. 😊 I didn’t look closely and assumed it was mutt, not slrn.
"I appreciate SDF but it's a general-purpose server and the name doesn't make it obvious that it's about art." - Eugen Rochko