Thinking of the 90s internet makes me all sentimental.
Yeah we had to contend with flash sites and low bandwidth, and didn't have slick css3 and backnode.js but the web was more fun in those days.
It reminds me of "I Used to Love H.E.R." a song released in 1994 about how great rap used to be. http://rapgenius.com/Common-i-used-to-love-her-lyrics
Eternal September is/was a usenet meme, not really having much relation to the world wide web.
Every generation is always nostalgic for the time just before the current generation...
Update added a link for those who are unfamiliar with FidoNet
My goal is to give people an alternative to 'Google Groups'.
It's built on PHP and MySQL.
The top post is this: http://www.dejadejadeja.com/10years/getmsg.php?whichmsg=ixlp...
It has a post date of: Wed Dec 15 10:30:01 1982, but is given as 1970-01-01 in the search results.
I'm seeing lots of 1970-01-01 results. A bug, perhaps?
It's easily fixable but I haven't got around to it yet.
Google Groups has the 90s, but it's locked behind a 'Googlewall'.
And I believe that is a crime against humanity.
Thanks for turning me on to the Archive.org's 'UTZoo archive', sadly it is only 1981-1991 and incomplete. What a shame. :(
When I get a 4TB drive (soon I hope) I'll make the 2003 stuff searchable.
I like this.
And Comic Sans... :P
The author is clearly not sufficiently connected. Binaries are going stronger than ever.
Most people these days know of Usenet as a source for pirated content, but people still do talk there...
I always felt like Usenet was slow, and the idea that you'd have to ask the server for new changes (like email) rather than getting them pushed down to you is what I believe "killed" the platform. Plus, Usenet was distributed so you had to wait until a message propagated to the server you connected on. Discussion platforms built on the Web are (were?) far less difficult to keep together than Usenet, because a company can pay a staff of people to keep the content up and there's only one place to get the content.
Say what you will about anonymity and secure communication, but Usenet died because it was hard to use...not because it was a bad idea.
My impression of Usenet's death is closely related to your "hard to use" summary: it required people to install and configure a separate client, in an era when many forums were becoming available through the web browser folks already had. (Standalone email clients are far less popular today than they used to be, too. But Usenet didn't remain essential until web interfaces became usable the way that email did.)
Binary downloading seems to be increasing due to both the higher speeds and the anonymity USENET can provide in comparison to filesharing system like torrents.
Now yes, perhaps discussion groups are on the decline and being replaced by individual websites and their forums but I feel that USENET still offers a great advantage in the case of say medical conditions - were you want to be anonymous but still want to participate in a discussion.
Granted if you are uploading copyrighted content in your home country you can be tracked but otherwise USENET is anonymous
Also sites like http://usenetreviewz.com/ are advertising Black Friday specials and keep up to date news articles on their so yes, USENET may be now well known but I think USENET will be around for a long time
i'm a little bit unsure if this is true, but it definitely seems to be. a usenet provider has "complied" with the DMCA request when they have removed enough of the yEncoded posts to break the file on their servers, including parity repair. different providers remove different posts.
thus the emergence of "block accounts," which are usenet providers that resell amounts of data with no time limit, as opposed to your main usenet provider who chargers monthly. then nzb downloaders (e.g. SABnzbd+, NzbVortex) look to your block server for articles that are missing. well really servers, it's not uncommon to have multiple. the key is to have your block accounts all from different top-level resellers.
The primary missing elements are filtering (as noted) and a distributed search capability.
The rich media thing: it's useful. A minimal markup (such as markdown) would likely be sufficient. The ability to be able to emphasize and strongly emphasize text, create bullets and numbered lists, indicate (multiple levels) of quotes, hyperlinks. There's not much that Markdown itself doesn't provide.
A small amount of chrome for the masses would be nice. For the most part my feeling is that existing HTML markup goes too far, generally in the direction of unusability for far too many websites.
Another feature which is quite useful is indicating followups and actions. Here I find Reddit has one of the best models around, though the UI/UX lightweight nature of G+'s Notifications widget is also nice (the absolute uselessness of most of the actual notifications, and the inability to filter / set precedence / classify types of notifications is a major failure of the site). G+ also suffers from one of the largest DOMs I've seen in any major website -- I've backed off using it pretty much at all, and find my browser memory footprint is vastly more bearable.
I remember forté agent and thunderbird doing it about ten years ago, and I recall being annoyed that markdown differed :)
Formalizing a basic level such as markdown would be a big win.
Also most (American, anyway...) clients couldn't support such large messages, since the choice of speed for most of us was 16.6, 28.8 and 56k modems at the time.
One of the failings of Reddit over G+ is that it doesn't have the equivalent of a personal "user subreddit" page.
I realized I could fix that: http://reddit.com/r/dredmorbius
(not that what's there will be of interest to most, but it's a neat convention / hack IMO).
Reddit doesn't have killfiles. For me, the killfile is Usenet's killer feature.
That's effectively a killfile. Posts are suppressed, and you don't receive notifications.
The ability to tag users (you supply whatever text you want), or friend them (you can find their submissions more easily, but not their comments) are also pretty cool features.
For reference, I spent a lot of time on usenet back in the '90s, using "tin" as my newsreader. I even helped created a newsgroup in the "big 8" heirarchy. There were a lot of fantastic things about those days but I don't think we can ever get them back easily, too much was dependent on the community being small.
Part of the reason that places like reddit and HN are still working is because, I believe, they follow that same attitude from the usenet days. It's more about the discussions and cross-pollination of thoughts (whether you agree or not). Most importantly, it helps to break through that filter bubble that looms over us all.
While I feel privileged to have seen the world pre and post internet, I'm excited to see how we will be communicating in the next 20 years.
As I get older it seems harder to keep an open mind (yes, I can be very sentimental when it comes to old computer tech, BBS The Documentary is my ideal nerd porn) but I have to keep reminding myself that many great things aren't recognized as such until after the fact.
If I'm honest with myself, I think I've read and participated in some of the most thought provoking and hilarious on-line discussion from the early 2000's onwards.
I'll stop blabbering now.
Most discussions on HN/reddit have a 48-hour time horizon, if that, whereas usenet could easily support threads lasting for weeks or months, with obvious effects on the quality of discussion. Also, web-based discussion makes it difficult to get rid of the clutter of read messages and manages threading poorly so discussions that were perfectly fine when everyone was using newsreaders would today be unwieldy.