Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

Deja fscked?

By kmself in Technology
Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 06:48:58 PM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)

Dot-Com deathwatch site FuckedCompany.com notes that Deja.com is slashing over a third of its staff, Yahoo/Reuiters wire has more info. Can a search engine that isn't a search engine survive?

Sponsor: rusty
This space intentionally left blank
...because it's waiting for your ad. So why are you still reading this? Come on, get going. Read the story, and then get an ad. Alright stop it. I'm not going to say anything else. Now you're just being silly. STOP LOOKING AT ME! I'm done!
comments (24)
active | buy ad

The site formerly known as DejaNews was once an apparently thriving and useful component of the web. Both it and Remarq have hit hard times lately, cutting back on offerings (fewer groups, shorter retention, less free access), and, depending on your optimism, refocussing or diving into a spiral.

Is there a business model behind web and Usenet search engines? Are there compenents of the either which are more worth saving and indexing than others? I've advocated for some time that technology companies have an interest in seeing their own corners of Usenet preserved as a valuable technical assistance resource. But can this be done on a general basis rather than just a few odd newsgroups archived at a site -- like it was in the Good Old Days ™?


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


Related Links
o Yahoo
o FuckedComp any.com
o Deja.com
o Yahoo/Reui ters wire
o Remarq
o Also by kmself

Display: Sort:
Deja fscked? | 34 comments (33 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Good Discussion topic... (2.60 / 10) (#2)
by Dirac Tesseract on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 05:26:47 PM EST

I definitely think this is an importent discussion topic for geeks today. I realize that the newcomers probably don't put too much weight in the ol' Usenet system, but frankly, this is how a lot of people get their tech info (Linux users, you listening? We _need_ Usenet!). When I am on the job as a Sysadmin, http://deja.com/usenet is one of my primary resources for information on getting things to work correctly. No matter what your question is, you can find someone else who has a similar question, and maybe an answer - especially when it comes to computers. Deja.com provides a much-needed resource simply by having a search engine for this purpose, and in some cases Deja is a better resource than a normal newsreader for the reason of having that search engine. Things would get pretty hairy if people couldn't access the Usenet conveniently (or at all).
Sendmail may be safely run set-user-id to root. -- Eric Allman, "Sendmail Installation Guide"
Re: Good Discussion topic... (2.66 / 3) (#8)
by djx on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:08:55 PM EST

While there are other methods of getting the same information (like irc (yeah, right... #linux is kind of useless these days) and faq's/howtos, etc), usenet is the quickest way to get up-to-date information. Deja gives us a search engine to sift through the groups and find what we need in the least time.

Compare deja.com to rpmfind.net in terms of complete usefulness. Sure, you can go ahead and sift through sunsite, tsx-11, and the others, but why do this when rpmfind is right there. deja.com provides us with a *very* useful search tool for usenet, and life as a sysadmin would suck lots more if we lost that.

-<end of transmission>-
-<end of transmission>-
[ Parent ]
Does this surprise you ? (3.83 / 12) (#3)
by aron_wallaker on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 05:30:22 PM EST

OK, if you've had access to the internet for more than a couple of years, you probably have fond memories of Usenet, back when it and e-mail were the big draws of having net access and the web either didn't exist yet or was still pretty primitive. Meanwhile I'm pretty sure most people who have only been on the internet for only a couple of years (let alone a couple of months) probably never used Usenet and don't know what it is. So a Usenet search engine has a business model with zero growth because none of the new users want to search through Usenet postings, especially when half of them are probably spam. Does anyone who spends much time reading k5 or /. really spend any time reading Usenet any more ?

Deja as a web interface over news was a great service when it first came out, but when I stopped reading usenet I never went there again. The fact that they haven't either been bought out or cut a deal with one of the portals pretty much tells you what Yahoo or Excite think about usenet. I don't think I could build a business case around a gopher search engine...it shouldn't surprise anyone to see the usenet crawlers having trouble.

Re: Does this surprise you ? (2.85 / 7) (#4)
by aphrael on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 05:52:01 PM EST

reading k5 or /. really spend any time reading Usenet any more ?

Yes. :) Some are company newsgroups, where our customers can talk to each other and us about our products; others are for personal interest --- the conversation in alt.skate-board, for example, is fun on occasion, as is rec.motorcycles. The broad point is, though, that there are many communities which have *not* moved on to weblogs in any meaningful way, and that USENET-style groups remain much better for certain types of discussion than web fora are.

[ Parent ]
Usenet -- not dead yet (4.42 / 7) (#5)
by kmself on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 05:52:21 PM EST

Actually, I've found something of a revival in Usenet myself, though it's not without its problems.

My home box is online 24/7 (56k dialup with forced redial), running leafnode, a lightweight Usenet server, and tin, a pretty capable reader with (bless it) very nice killfile features. I find I read a good dozen or so groups regularly, and once you find a list with a reasonably active community, spam tends not to be an issue. Granted, there's an entrepreneur newsgroup which I think is nothing but spam, but there's a moderated group right next to it with pretty good content.

My observation is that there simply exist in Usenet collections of people who are very difficult to find in weblogs and such. I don't know if it's the perceived difficulty or unfriendliness of the medium, or just the fact that a bunch of "old farts" haven't given up on it yet. Whichever way, it's still useful.

For technical support, newsgroups and mailing lists can't be beat, and the centralized indexing of Usenet made it my first stop for support for years. The simple truth is that a system which has open access without a single point of entry (website or mailserver) has some pretty clear advantages. The decline of Deja over the past year or so has crimped the value of Usenet. OTOH, I see emergent technologies such as Scoop, Everything2, and Advogato as exploring new modalities in open, but not anarchic, group discussion.

Another distressing trend is falling ISP support for Usenet. Netcom managed to keep groups up fairly well, I'm finding that under Mindspring things fall over with alarming frequency. Many ISPs apparently direct customers to sites such as Deja or Remarq -- neither of which are now effectively useful -- for Usenet services. This trend is frightening.

Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: Usenet -- not dead yet (3.75 / 4) (#9)
by faichai on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:11:33 PM EST

I think the best thing about Usenet, was the fact that you could have a discussion group, without requiring an expensive server, and a few T1s.

I was pondering the idea, that if the new Scoop system behaves as well I think it might, that it would be a good model to move into a native client-server or peer to peer approach (as opposed to over HTTP).

Has anyone had any thoughts about implementing such? I think it would be cool to have say a Kuro5hin tab in Evolution or something similar, you could then start skinning the layout and icons (yeah I know it's superficial but what can I say, I'm shallow ;-)

[ Parent ]

Re: Usenet -- not dead yet (3.00 / 3) (#15)
by kmself on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:47:49 PM EST

I was pondering the idea, that if the new Scoop system behaves as well I think it might, that it would be a good model to move into a native client-server or peer to peer approach (as opposed to over HTTP).

I've been actively lobbying this idea for a while, not to mention trying to figure out how it might work.

Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: Usenet -- not dead yet (4.00 / 4) (#21)
by adamsc on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 08:42:58 PM EST

tin, a pretty capable reader with (bless it)
That's the key to usenet. I've never seen a web-based alternative which offers the same level of functionality as a good newsreader (I prefer slrn, but that's probably just a religious issue). An alternate client for Scoop is definitely an interesting idea, but I'm tempted to say it's unnecessary and an NNTP interface would be better just it's a standard and would allow you to use any of the popular, mature products in the field. More to the point, outside of mojo I can't think of anything I'd add and mojo isn't necessary if you set up the appropriate anti-spam software.

BTw - I agree completely about the Usenet revival. I use Usenet more and more these days, just because it's so far ahead of the web-based forums with the exception of this site.

[ Parent ]

Re: Does this surprise you ? (3.25 / 8) (#6)
by Joyrider on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 06:00:27 PM EST

Deja aren't primarily a Usenet resource any more, though. They started out that way (as DejaNews) but have since mutated into a "rate this product or buy it from one of our advertisers" site. Nowadays, their front page only has a single link ("Looking for Usenet? Search Discussions") to the newsgroups.

Having said that, Usenet is still dying under the weight of spam as an information medium; the die-hards just won't admit it yet. If Usenet2 - allegedly spam free - ever makes it to the mainstream of users, maybe it could rise again...

[ Parent ]

Re: Does this surprise you ? (3.50 / 6) (#12)
by damien on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:39:19 PM EST

Death of Usenet predicted; GIFs at 11.

I repeatedly hear people assert that Usenet is dead due to an excess of spam. When I read Usenet, though, I just don't see it. Where is this spam?

I'm certain there are some groups which are clogged, but there are many which are not. I skim or read rec.arts.sf.written, rec.arts.int-fiction, comp.std.c, and a number of others. I see less than one spam post a week.

I hear that it makes a difference which news server you use. If your provider doesn't run spam filters, you may see more spam. Finding a decent provider isn't difficult, however. Newsguy, which I use, provides excellent access for $25/year. I'm certain there are other good providers.

The reports of Usenet's demise are greatly exaggerated.


[ Parent ]

"dejanews.com" return from the dead? (2.80 / 5) (#20)
by pin0cchio on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 08:27:51 PM EST

www.DejaNews.com redirects straight to the Usenet search page. Try it; you might like it.
[ Parent ]
Re: Does this surprise you ? (3.20 / 5) (#10)
by jum on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:31:38 PM EST

Although lots stuff is available via the web nowadays I still perfer to read large amounts of news using a decent news reader. I can find interesting threads much faster using my favorite newsreader, slrn. And I have a scoreing system that sorts favorite authors to top and kills lots of unwanted stuff. Added bonus is that navigation is very quick as the news server is near by and slrn is a terminal app concentrating to the basic needs to present text without lots of bells and wistles.

Not to say that weblogs like k5 or /. are not interesting, but they are much more difficult to navigate.
Jens-Uwe Mager <pgp-mailto:62CFDB25>
[ Parent ]

Re: Does this surprise you ? (2.60 / 5) (#18)
by the coose on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:52:34 PM EST

Ok, I'll say it. One thing that will help keep Usenet alive is pr0n. After reading this I went over to the alt.binaries.* groups and they seem to be very much alive. It has one advantage over the myriad of sex web sites out there: they are free. In fact it seems that some sites use Usenet to try to lure Usenet readers over by posting some of their content. This and the fact that the GNOME news reader is named PAN for Pimp Ass Newsreader, I think Usenet will survive in one form or another.

Disclaimer: I don't download porn myself, but I used to ;-)

[ Parent ]
I still don't know why DejaNews blew itself up... (1.57 / 7) (#7)
by _cbj on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 06:09:32 PM EST

...though, in fairness to the rest of the world, I haven't looked very hard for that morsel of information. Can someone enlighten me?

Usenet? rarely. Newsgroups however, yes. (2.83 / 6) (#11)
by tzanger on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:37:34 PM EST

Most of my information these days comes from searching the web. Hardcore technical data, however, comes from newsgroups. The palm.programmer.* newsgroups on massena.com and palm.com (they're different), borland info on borland's newsgroups and vmware stuff from their news server, not to mention our private newsgroups on the mailserver at work. I can't remember the last time I've actually posted to usenet. I've found that I either don't get any responses or I've got to wade through too much spam to find anything.

I can see (web-archived!) mailing lists and private (or at least specialized) news servers with LONG retention coming into the mainstream instead of the big huge Usenet. Retention is a big problem, although I don't really understand why. Text is nice and compact and compresses incredibly well. I think Usenet's biggest problem is that it's just too huge and people are overwhelmed. It's much easier (and homelier-feeling?) to post to a smaller group of people.

Deja may be fscked now... (3.00 / 7) (#13)
by Mr. Penguin on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:40:54 PM EST

Deja may be fscked now, but it hasn't worked for years.

Before they changed the name and idea, Dejanews was a simple Usenet repository where one could search for something and find just that. Now, you've got to stare at banner ads, pop-ups, and all of that other commercial crap. It isn't what it used to be, and that's sad.

Now, I wish that there were something like what Deja used to be, but there isn't. If I had half the time that it would take to dedicate to a project like that, I'd start it. Anyone with me on this?

Jeremy Nixon's advanced search page (among others) (4.00 / 2) (#17)
by kmself on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:52:27 PM EST

Deja Power Search rocks. I have a slightly munged copy parked on my workstations to launch locally initiated searches. There's also dejasearch, a command-line front-end. Many similar pages and utilities exist.

Which proves another point about the web -- if you fuck something hard enough, it gets up and walks away. While I still use Deja frequently, I rarely actually see the site the way the administrators would want me to.

Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: Everything old is new again (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by Demona on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 01:47:23 AM EST

Or, we've visited these issues before on K5. (Welcome back, Rusty!)

[ Parent ]
Ain't that the truth (none / 0) (#27)
by kmself on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 02:14:06 AM EST

You'd think they'd learn that if they keep pissing me off, I'll keep posting K5 articles about them <g>.

Deja's been in hot water for over a year. It's just painful to watch, and I'd like to find a model which supports the service.

Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

I wish (2.57 / 7) (#14)
by Dacta on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:45:20 PM EST

www.dejanews.com would redirect to www.deja.com/usenet/.

That way all of us who like the old usenet stuff could get it straight away.

BTW, does anyone actually use the non-usenet features of deja?

It does redirect. (2.50 / 2) (#19)
by pin0cchio on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 08:18:14 PM EST

I wish www.dejanews.com would redirect to www.deja.com/usenet/

It does redirect. Either Deja staff read K5 or great minds think alike. Have you tried going to dejanews.com lately?

[ Parent ]
Re: I wish (2.00 / 1) (#24)
by dead_penguin on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 01:09:07 AM EST

They've got non-usenet features? ;) I should go check that out! Seriously, though, I've got a bookmarked linked to their usenet power-search page, and that's really all I ever see of the whole site.

[ Parent ]
Re: I wish (none / 0) (#33)
by weathervane on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 04:17:54 PM EST

Once I realized that the archiving only went back a year or two, I never looked at the usenet stuff again. Everything I was interested in was older than that. If I want Usenet, I use Free Agent, that's all.

But I do use the product comparison services. It's easier to use than Bizrate and more thorough than something like epinions. I tend to use it to get an idea of say, what CD-RW drives are out there.

After all they're chasing the money. To be honest, I kind of like the site, but i suspect that what we have is less portalitis than spendallyourmoneyitis. An equally plaguing disease, however.

[ Parent ]

Sad but true (3.50 / 6) (#16)
by cygnus on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 07:49:56 PM EST

Having "been on the net" since 1994, I can say that
Usenet groups are the closest thing to a real community
that I've participated in.

I was a regular reader and contributer to several local
newsgroups as well as the groups on local freenet. It was really great. It's kinda like you got to know the people on there. It was a cool sharing media. But in one sense,
I don't care (at this point) about what happens too much.
About the only thing I have EVER used deja.com for is searching through huge amounts of posts for some arcane bit of info I need to tweak my computer.

And most of Usenet now is being taken over by idiots.
:-) Not all, as I still have my couple of groups I still hang out on.

I don't really think that Usenet is going to be around much longer.

But then, I'm usually wrong

Sigs are like opinions. Everyone has one and yours probably sucks.
Re: Sad but true (3.00 / 1) (#25)
by Requiem on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 01:26:22 AM EST

Imminent death of Usenet predicted? ;)

Seriously, though. I'm sort of in the same situation as you - I was introduced to the internet in 1995, and have been a semi-regular Usenet poster since 1996 or so. I've basically lurked and posted in the rec.games.roguelike.* category, first with nethack, then adom, and currently angband. The www has been experiencing massive growth in the last few years, whereas Usenet hasn't. Is Usenet shrinking? As far as I can tell, it isn't, it's simply a service that most people don't know about. Given the state of the web pre- and post-mainstream, I'd like to think that this is a good thing.

[ Parent ]

It's greed, pure and simple. (3.88 / 9) (#22)
by adamsc on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 08:54:03 PM EST

DejaNews was a successful site with a solid user base. Their management, in addition to general incompetence, decided to discard that in favor of becoming a general mass market portal. In other words, they abandoned the niche they basically owned and dived into a hotly contested field with an inferior product. In addition, ticking off your old customerbase before you build a new one is rarely a smart move.

APBNews appears to have done the same thing. They had a million visitors a month because of good writing. Upper management decided they had to become bigger and spent most of their VC money on advertising. They got 2 million visitors a month during the ad campaign and went bankrupt paying for it. Again, I think they would have been a modest but solid company had they not gotten greedy.

From my perspective, it's a lot like why the current movie and book offerings tend to be so cruddy. Everyone wants to make the blockbuster and tries to do so, even if they really can't. Most dot-com types won't accept that "Build a solid, profitable small-medium sized business" is really better than "try and fail to become Yahoo". Fortunately, it looks like people are starting to realize that the Great IPO Rush is over...

Way more generic question related to this..... (3.00 / 4) (#23)
by 11oh8 on Tue Sep 19, 2000 at 09:41:46 PM EST

Ok... I was quite annoyed when dejanews.com "refocused" to go after a bigger piece of the pie but maybe they had good reasons to... For advertising to make enough revenue, you have to have a LARGE volume (large number of hits).... That's why many sites have to "refocus"....

Many sites and service companies are finding out that advertisements do not make enough revenue to keep going.. There seemed to be a myth that ANYTHING could be sudsidized by advertising (Free PC, inet access, content access).. It was deemed that because the internet is so large, even a niche site could get enough users to be profitable based mainly on advertising... thus, most companies that charged for their content were sumarily dismissed... but since most of the inet users are pretty mainstream and are looking for the same typical stuff (porn, mainstream news, sports), nice sites can't always get enough revenue from ads...

So my question is: would it be that ridiculous for sites to charge you (micropayments?) for content/service.... This would give sites revenue without having to cater to large audience... Or maybe this doesn't really matter.. Maybe in a few years, all the commercial sites will be mainstream large audience orinted and the niche sites will be .orgs....

Any comments?


My fix: sponsored archives (now), FreeWeb (later) (none / 0) (#32)
by kmself on Thu Sep 21, 2000 at 02:43:43 AM EST

My entre to user-based support was the rather good SAS-L SAS users support mailing list. Subscribership has hovered around 1,200 for years, with peering sites and Usenet expanding this. The list was started in 1986, I was steered to it in 1993 or so. It's fully independent of SAS Institute, the vendor of the SAS System.

While SAS-L had archives, they were old-style LISTSERV format -- you were essentially entering JCL commands to search through MVS or CPM records. Not friendly. DejaNews was a tremendous boost -- easily searchable format, great content, pretty good coverage.

What I've suggested to both SI and Deja is that they consider a sponsoring of archives. SI wins by having a tech support service which takes a load off of their own call center (a cost center, quote ~1998 was $50 per call received). Deja wins by having a revenue stream. Users win by having comp.soft-sys.sas archived in a location shared by hundreds (or thousands) of other newsgroups.

Extend the model to include: Microsoft (sure, why not ;-), Oracle, IBM, Sun, Apple to fill out most of the rest of the comp.* heirarchy. Special interests might sponsor: legal discussions, fan groups, recreation, art, travel, regional,.... Interestingly, the great spamholes of alt.* and binaries groups -- generators of immense content but low signal -- would likely not get sponsorships. Addresses the archival triage and storage issue.

It's a suggestion. It's probably not a get-rich scheme. But it could be a good, solid, business model. Will it work? I don't know.

The other alternative would be for a distributed archive, a la FreeNet. Deja worked for a time in which centralized archives were dictated by technological limitations. Distributed storage probably fits the Usenet archive model better, and should be a feasible option in the near future.

Karsten M. Self
SCO -- backgrounder on Caldera/SCO vs IBM
Support the EFF!!
There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Re: My fix: sponsored archives (now), FreeWeb (la (none / 0) (#34)
by 11oh8 on Fri Sep 22, 2000 at 03:43:19 PM EST

This seems like a much better idea.. As long as the site (like dejanews.com) isn't basing their revenue stream simply on advertising, they will have the required motivation to remain in their niche rather than try to "conquer all" (and in the process lose their foucs and main strength)....

I like the idea of a company sponsoring services such as usenet archives.... It beneifts tham and their users....


[ Parent ]
Portal Plague is the Root of All Evil (4.50 / 4) (#28)
by WWWWolf on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 09:01:54 AM EST

Let's see...
  1. I used Lycos (http://www.lycos.cs.cmu.edu/) happily.
  2. It changed to lycos.com.
  3. Later it started dragging all sorts of stuff.
  4. Once it stopped working with Lynx. =( So I switched my primary search engine to AltaVista (http://www.altavista.digital.com/)
  5. Then AltaVista ran into this portal [tc]rap, also changing the domain name to altavista.com. Uggggh. I mean, I thought it was very silly when saying "no results found for your query" took several kilobytes.
  6. Then came Google. OK, a search engine with no gratuitous advertising and that actually works decently. Cool. This is what I use.
  7. Recently Altavista launched RagingSearch, which is a lightweight version of their search. Too late to save them? Perharps. But perharps they realized people want to search, not to do all sorts of other silliness.

I still use Deja.com to search Usenet, but I've put http://www.deja.com/home_ps.shtml to my bookmarks and used liberal tweaking of Junkbuster blockfile to get rid of the ads.

The bottom line is that "Portal Plague", as we call it in sfnet.viestinta.www newsgroup, is a disease that kills, slowly. I think the portal business is doomed to fail; For example, I haven't found a portal that would suit my needs, so I had to launch my own (Note: not recommended for children under 16 years, contains nudity =)

This reminds me of a story in the Donald Duck pocket books. In the story, Scrooge and the rival news corporation were making newspapers. Scrooge put a weekly supplement to the newspaper, so the competitor put there two supplement each week. Then they both started offering prizes, subscriber gifts and so on... Later, people needed wheelbarrows to get their newspapers from newsstands. Finally, a new competitor entered the area, and stole the readers' hearts - why? well, that newspaper - one that didn't require a wheelbarrow - actually had news. =)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...

Re: Portal Plague is the Root of All Evil (1.50 / 2) (#29)
by jovlinger on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 10:43:18 AM EST

On a completely different note, I notice the name of your search engine is wolfsex. I read semirecently an SF short by <name escapes me. Sterling? Sheffield? Kress?> which the author claims was rejected not because of underdeveloped plot, but that the reveiwers couldn't handle homosexual wolf sex.

Any relation, or just a coincidink?

[ Parent ]
Re: (OT) Portal Plague is the Root of All Evil (3.00 / 1) (#30)
by WWWWolf on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 11:01:48 AM EST

Interesting, and likely a coincidence. =)

Actually, wolfsex.org was registered to see how censorware would react to it. (No, I'm not crazy.) And apparently Google rejects it, if you turn the SafeSurf option on - even when the site didn't had that picture there originally =)

After that, to ensure the USD 70 didn't go to waste, I decided to make the domain somewhat more interesting... As I said, it became a "portal" for me to use, just links to some sites I follow actively and a search form to search two places (Google and Everything2).

Well, if I want gay wolf sex stories, I'll go to GotFox... =)

-- Weyfour WWWWolf, a lupine technomancer from the cold north...

[ Parent ]
It's control of the past (4.00 / 3) (#31)
by khallow on Wed Sep 20, 2000 at 04:19:51 PM EST

Here's the conspirists' point of view. Namely, with one company in control of Usenet archival, then articles, authors, and threads can be removed or altered once they get far enough in the past. To paraphrase "1984", "He who controls the past controls the present."

Here's a (alarmist :-) scenario. A potential employer looks at your Usenet posts (commonly done by certain employers as part of the hiring process) and find what appears to be an eight year old article in alt.drugs under your byname that indicates you've been smoking a lot of heroin and viewing kiddie pr0n. In truth this article was inserted into Dejanews last week by the people with black helicopters to discredit you. How can you prove that you did or did not write that interesting article?

The problem is that the archivists don't have any credibility or accountability. As long as Dejanews (or whomever) is in charge of archiving Usenet posts, then they have effective control of the history of Usenet. It is interesting that I have no way to prove that Deja News is archiving all messages or not. There's no other complete Usenet archive out there because Deja drove them out of business.

I see a need to archive not just Usenet, but also BBS's and most web discussion groups like Kuro5hin. Also, if you look at Dejanews, you notice that moving along in threads is extremely difficult (I haven't figured it out yet :-). I certainly would support an effort to archive Usenet!


Stating the obvious since 1969.

Deja fscked? | 34 comments (33 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!