AOL announced they will no longer be carrying Usenet (MeFi thread). What's saddest about this announcement is how few people will care. Usenet is dead.

"Imminent death of Usenet" was a big joke in the heydey of Usenet, in the early 90s. The store and forward network obviously couldn't scale and it had no purpose you could justify on a budget, and yet we all knew that it was hugely vital to the growth of the Internet culture. So it survived.

Then, in the mid 90s, it became irrelevant. We got an explosion of communication technologies: web sites, email lists, message boards, instant messaging. And the culture became diluted as the Internet stopped being the elitist haven for a few nerds.

And so Usenet died, but no one really noticed. There are still a few useful pockets, and a couple of vestigal communities. But Usenet's main purpose these days is as a giant distribution network for pr0n, music, and warez. The community is gone, subsumed into a larger Internet.

-- ogicse!reed!minar
  2005-01-26 16:18 Z