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Might Usenet get “revived”, to exchange the quickly to be unusable Reddit?

Might Usenet get “revived”, to exchange the quickly to be unusable Reddit?

2023-06-01 11:31:31

It doesn’t combat spam very well. So I doubt it will come back at least in substantial way. Other thing is that you would need some agreed standard to make it “rich” as in user experience.

Could Usenet get “revived”, to replace the soon to be unusable Reddit?

Technically yes. Become widely adopted, maybe if…

There are free Usenet providers for the text groups. People would have to agree on methods to ignore the spam bots, maybe a signed message header/footer that a UI recognizes. There are forums and chat systems that already leverage Usenet as the transport/storage but they all need some tender loving care.

In my opinion for that to be widely adopted people would need a low friction way to access Usenet and it would need to provide them a UI/UX they are familiar with. Perhaps Usenet would be entirely transparent to them. Perhaps it would be a simple nginx web front-end so that anyone could run a node and it would use Usenet on the backend for storage and transport, ideally the sites that implemented NNTPS (TLS). Just nginx+python, or nginx+golang or an nginx module and super-lightweight with secure safe defaults. There would need to be a group set up where all the front-end nodes ingest group keys, identities, etc… and maybe a git repo that bootstraps all of this.

Traditional methods like using a Usenet reader such as Thunderbird? Probably not. Probably very small technical circles. I think this would be akin to convincing people to switch from Discord back to IRCD or using Mumble/Murmur for voice.

somebody was asking in a thread the other day about some open protocol for forums/subreddits/whatever that different people could host, that could be fronted by independent clients.

well, there you go, NNTP still exists.

write some ios/android NNTP clients that can handle multiple servers w/credentials, and run some NNTP servers. no need to distribute the posts to other servers.

How about Reddit minus the awful sub-level censorship and admin structure. It should not be that hard to copy the functionality of the site, compared to youtube or facebook.

In particular, third party apps like Apollo are popular for moderators because the default tools from Reddit are just hard to use, especially on mobile. Thus, I think the big impact to reddit’s model is to actually drive off a lot of moderators.

i.e., I’ve seen a lot of comments like this that makes me think this is going to be a real problem: https://www.reddit.com/r/apolloapp/comments/13ws4w3/comment/…

Personally, that is what bothers me probably the most; subreddits which might be strictly moderated are often helpful, and ones that are not are simply not value common time.

That is additionally why I am not likely positive about usenet or another alternative, as a result of moderation remains to be the laborious drawback to get proper.

I think this is out of the complaints about API access costs and those using third-party clients will “just stop using reddit” which I’m not sure is actually going to happen as broadly as folks may believe

But it might.

I have a bias here, though… I got fed up with Reddit and quit it entirely a couple of years ago, so I can easily see why others would bail on it without a great deal of prodding.

I suspect it’ll be like a lot of things, where everyone says they’re ditching it, and they are not ditching it.

I don’t really understand why people use an “app” anyway, when browsers exist.

That would be incredible. The passing of Usenet was a huge loss to the internet, and nothing has come even close to being able to replace it.

Betteridge’s law of headlines strikes again.

Easier to build something new than to tack on more cruft to the broken usenet model. At this point usenet has little remaining use other than being a low-profile warez distribution channel. It was great in the late 80s and early 90s but does not scale well as a communications medium and we already know better ways to manage the distributed data sharing layer.

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> broken usenet model

That’s a bold assessment.

It was slowly abandoned because it lacked fun graphics and emojis and all the other frilly parts that casual users love, but I wouldn’t call it a broken model. It had (and has) a place.

That’s not my memory. My memory is that Google basically bought it (by buying Deja News) and turned it into Google Groups, removing most of what made it great. That was when people really left in droves.

But that was a long time ago. I could be misremembering.

Google bought the Usenet archive from Deja News.

Usenet was/is decentralized. Yes, some things that are technically decentralized still end up centralized. But that’s not what was going on or why Google bought Deja News, I don’t think. They, at that time, ostensibly, wanted the historical usenet archive, and to make it searchable. Most people using usenet at the time didn’t actually have access to a complete archive, just however much their usenet provider had chosen to keep on-hand from whenever they started.

I don’t think the majority of usenet users were using it via Deja News provider. They could all keep accessing it however they were used to, Google’s acquisition didn’t change that, Gogle had no way to “remove what made usenet great” — if people switched from usenet to google groups (and I’m sure some did), it was because google groups had something they wanted that usenet didn’t, google had absolutely no way to force anyone to do that, usenet kept existing the same as it ever did — on a long-term trend of increasing irrelevancy.

Right, that’s why I said “essentially”. My memory is hazy, of course, but I remember that a whole lot of people stopped using usenet after that purchase. Some because they felt sold out to Google, and some because they saw it as a sign that Usenet was going to get absorbed into the borg. A system being decentralized does not make it immune from being that sort of thing. Look at what gmail did to email.

Whether or not that was most people, I don’t know. But it was more than a few.

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