Comparison of Usenet to Web-based forums :: 7/7/03

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Jorn Barger

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Jul 7, 2003, 5:37:34 AM7/7/03
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Ralph Jacobs <ralphjacobs@ralphjacobsthe_clique.co.uk.invalid> wrote
on acu in msg news:<beai8l$guc$0...@pita.alt.net>:
> x-no-archive: yes

Tut tut! Don't be shy! Yours is one of the best posts I've
ever read!!!

> A plus sign indicates an advantage.
> A minus sign indicates a disadvantage.
> An asterisk indicates a neutral feature.
>
> --- Unmoderated newsgroups ---
>
> TIP: Most also apply to moderated groups.
>
> 1. No ownership, no control
> + No censorship
> - Malicious users and their posts cannot be removed.

Yes. Ideally I see two levels coexisting, one unmoderated and
one moderated. (One or more moderators promote good posts to
the second group. Readers can view either mode.)

> 2. Decentralised network
> - Propagation is necessary, but not always reliable. Effectively, every
> server has its own variation of the group.

This is hopefully a temporary anomaly due to low demand.
Google Groups (GooJa) offers a central 'registry' where sites
could theoretically check their archive.

> 3. Dedicated program (newsreader)
> + Advanced filtering
> + Consistent interface
> + Off-line reading
> - Some setting-up required

Web browsers need to evolve to offer these features for
web-browsing as well: http://www.robotwisdom.com/web/parsing.html

> 4. No registration
> + Any user can post.
> - Malicious users can disrupt more easily.

I think in the long run anonymity is good, but it requires
a core of 'good netizens' to keep things on track.

> 5. Crossposting
> You can crosspost the same post to more than one group.
> + It is usually not necessary to post an article more than once.

Yes, very good.

> 6.- Spammable

I'm unclear why everyone claims Usenet is drowning in spam,
when I never see more than a few per day over 30 groups...?

> 7. No defined list of members

This is generally a plus, I think.

> 8.- Usenet-specific jargon

I think this is a plus, generally, because it's highly
evolved.

> 9. Simplicity
> + Uncluttered display
> * No rules except those specified by the charter. FAQs do not count.

> 10. Automatic expiration of posts

Yes!

> 11. Retromoderation is unreliable.

Tell me more.

> 12. Typically wider readership

Depends. Based on my server logs, I get much much less clickthrus
from Usenet mentions than from webpages.

> 13.+ Fast downloading of posts, except binaries

There's no inherent reason binaries need be slower than on
the Web, is there?

> 14. Some servers anonymise their users.

> 15. Voting
> + Democratic
> - More difficult to manage

This is a Net-wide challenge.

> 16. One place to discuss everything related to a particular subject.

Or several! ;^/

> 17.
>
> --- Web-based forums ---

I'll get back to these later...

> 1. Controlled
> - Censorship
> + Easy to create and change forums
> + Inappropriate posts can be moved or deleted.
> + Members can pick subjects to discuss by subscribing to the appropriate
> forums.
> + Malicious users and their posts can be removed.
> 2. Centralised servers
> + No propagation necessary
> 3. Web browser
> + Easy to get started. No need to configure your newsreader
> - Inconsistent interface
> 4. Registration is sometimes required to post.
> 5. Crossposting is not supported.
> 6.+ Not spammable
> 7. Defined list of members
> + Accurate
> + Automatically updated
> 8.+ Less jargon
> 9. Complexity
> * Avatars
> - More to download
> * Awards
> - Hierarchy of respectability
> * Calendar
> * Editing of posts
> * Pictorial emoticons
> - More to download
> * Pinned (sticky) threads
> + Polls
> * Ranks
> - Hierarchy of respectability
> * Rich text
> * Rules
> 10. No automatic expiration of posts
> 11. Retromoderation is reliable.
> 12. Narrower readership
> 13.- Variable speed of downloading of posts
> * The browser also has to download avatars, banners, pictorial buttons and
> pictorial emoticons.
> 14. Anonymity is difficult.
> 15.
> 16.
> 17.+ Guide new members to the introductory documents.


--
"There's no better reader on the Internet than Jorn Barger"
--The Register
Robot Wisdom Weblog: http://www.robotwisdom.com/

Toby Thain

unread,
Jul 11, 2003, 5:06:00 AM7/11/03
to
jo...@enteract.com (Jorn Barger) wrote in message news:<16e613ec.03070...@posting.google.com>...

> Ralph Jacobs <ralphjacobs@ralphjacobsthe_clique.co.uk.invalid> wrote
> on acu in msg news:<beai8l$guc$0...@pita.alt.net>:
> > x-no-archive: yes
>
> Tut tut! Don't be shy! Yours is one of the best posts I've
> ever read!!!
>
> > A plus sign indicates an advantage.
> > A minus sign indicates a disadvantage.
> > An asterisk indicates a neutral feature.
> >
> > --- Unmoderated newsgroups ---
> >
> > ... snip ...

>
> > 6.- Spammable
>
> I'm unclear why everyone claims Usenet is drowning in spam,
> when I never see more than a few per day over 30 groups...?

Google Groups operates an incoming spam filter. I discovered this when
an innocent posting of mine was mysteriously rejected multiple times.
To reduce the frustration of such false positives, I have suggested
they consider a more user-friendly system including notification of
rejections.

Toby

Jorn Barger

unread,
Jul 11, 2003, 9:25:57 AM7/11/03
to
to...@telegraphics.com.au (Toby Thain) wrote in message news:<d6ce4a6c.03071...@posting.google.com>...

> > I'm unclear why everyone claims Usenet is drowning in spam,
> > when I never see more than a few per day over 30 groups...?
>
> Google Groups operates an incoming spam filter. I discovered this when
> an innocent posting of mine was mysteriously rejected multiple times.
> To reduce the frustration of such false positives, I have suggested
> they consider a more user-friendly system including notification of
> rejections.

Is this speculation, or officially confirmed?

I was blocked from posting _via Google_ once when I tried to
reply to a dozen-or-more messages in one session. But it
told me then and there I'd reached my limit.

I know that a few years ago there were cancelbots or something
that a volunteer crew used to clean up newsgroup-spam almost
instantly. Does this still happen? Is it possible Google
just uses that existing system?

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