According to Jim Hill:
As a News (as well as Mailing List) Admin, let me comment on this.
> If this list were to become a UseNet newsgroup:
> 1) A large number of folks will lose access to it - especially if your
> employer is your ISP (who wants to be the first one in line to ask your
> employer to add a car group to the newsgroups they carry?)
Being as more of News is recreational rather than business related if
your employer has USENET News at all he is probably aware that most of
his employees are using for none work related topics. If the group
gets created as one of the "Big 8" hierarchy rather than in the "alt"
hierarchy there is a pretty good chance it will get created automatically
without your employer even seeing it happen. It will alos have the best
> 2) You will lose the convenience of being able to save email messages to a
> mail folder of Triumph information. You can, of course, harvest information
> from a news reader in various ways, but it's not nearly as easy as plunking
> it in an email directory.
Don't see how. Netscape uses the same UI for news that it uses for Email.
Every News reader I use (and I don't use Netscape, IE or Outlook) has a
simple command that allows the saving of messages into folders, or into
directories as simple text files.
> 3) You will lose the ability to easily "go on digest" if you're going to be
> away from your computer for any length of time.
Why would that matter?? The advantage of "digest mode" is to cut down on
mailbox clutter while your out of the office and to make it easier to catch
back up when you return. With News, nothing goes into your mailbox anyway.
It's kind of like being in digest mode all the time except the threads are
easier to follow.
> 4) You'll lose the immediacy of email communication.
In this day and age, News traveses most of the civilized world in minutes.
My news server here has a connection to a news server in Europe as well as
both coasts of the US and Canada. And I am just a little fish in a big pond.
I have had what seemed like running conversation with people in News as
well as with email. Now, if your thinking of places like Zamibia, well,
they only get their email once or twice a day too. :-)
> 5) While it's possible to require registration before someone is allowed to
> post to a newsgroup, and it's possible to have a moderator to weed out the
> unacceptable messages, doing so eliminates virtually any advantage there
> might be in going to Usenet.
Registration only comes into play if someone sets up a private server
to support the newsgroup. While I have seen this done, it is not a
particularly popular idea and offers only a different collection of
UI's. And makes use of none of the possible advantages of having a
Having a moderated Newsgroup introduces what can be a very large amount
of latency to the group, which takes us back to #4 above.
And now to address what is probably the one real dis-advantage, Email
address harvesting. One quick question. How many people here have
Webpages?? How many of these have "mailto:" tags on that page?? (OK,
that was two questions!!) On top of admining News and Email, I also
maintain a Web Server. We get scanned by "bots" everyday/night. Hundreds
of hits every 24 hours. frequently the same ones over and over. Some of
them are web search sites like altavista, but a large number of them are
spam address harvesters. (I know, I have tested it by setting up bogus
addresses that show up nowhere else and never get used and just watched
the spam start rolling in!!)
So the questions are do people think there is enough potential advantage
to a Newsgroup over a Mailing List?? Do you think there are enough
interested people to create a "Big 8" group?? Creating an "alt" group
is trivial and worth about what it costs.
Hope this helps people make an informed decision.
All the best.
Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
firstname.lastname@example.org | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton |
Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include <std.disclaimer.h>