Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Russ Allbery's Tribute to Usenet

via beaq and papersky and others

My experience isn't entirely the same (I still hang out on a bit of Usenet that has some of the feel of the old days, and to me strangers posting to my journal are more important than random e-mail replies to a web page), but it resonates strongly.

Despite having been on LJ for years and finding a lot of people on LJ who are interesting (and enjoying finding out more via LJ about people I knew less well via Usenet), I've converted a lot more of my Usenet friends into in-person friends than I have my LJ friends. Usenet newsgroups I've hung out on frequently organized get-togethers...the same sort of thing doesn't happen via LJ as far as I've discovered.



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 21st, 2006 08:45 pm (UTC)
Thanks for pointing me to the discussion. I'm an old-time Usenet person, having been a regular in misc.kids, soc.culture.jewish, misc.transport.road, and many other groups... and I still moderate soc.culture.jewish.parenting.
Sep. 21st, 2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
I had a party in December for local LJ friends and their friends. I know that some of them, meeting for the first time that day, have seen each other in person since.
Sep. 21st, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC)
It's sort of ironic how this is spreading, in a way, in that it illustrates why LJ is not Usenet. papersky posted about it, but then the snowball that develops around that isn't a conversation around her post (though there is some of that), but a budding off; beaq posts a link, you post a link, people who know you but not papersky probably post a link, and while it spreads and grows, there's no feedback loop back to the original.

Usenet newsgroups I've hung out on frequently organized get-togethers...the same sort of thing doesn't happen via LJ as far as I've discovered.

I think the same thing doesn't happen in LJ because ... well, because Geek Social Fallacy #4 is a fallacy. There's no community to have a get-together of. There's a continuous network rather than discrete clusters. Sure, I could potentially arrange a get-together of the people near me in the network, but that would be my group, and it wouldn't have the same sense of "this is my community" to anyone else there.
Sep. 22nd, 2006 12:02 am (UTC)
Yes, I was thinking about the irony when I posted it. I was sorry that there's no comment facility set up on the original web page, which would allow some of the comments to accrete in one place. But that's not same as Usenet.

LJ is not a community, but it has "communities." I think some of them might have social gatherings, but not so much the ones I know about.
Sep. 22nd, 2006 04:58 am (UTC)
I never know quite what to do with comments on writing like that, but I did post a pointer to it in my own journal, which does accept comments. Unfortunately, while LJ is already not particularly great at sparking long discussions, Movable Type is even worse. (I have a thing about keeping all of my content on systems I control because I'm paranoid about losing it, or I'd probably just use LJ for my own entries at this point.)

LJ seems to do the Usenet thing more by spreading the conversation through linked networks of posts, but as Brooks points out, it makes it quite hard to see the entire conversation. More discussion happens in people's own entries on the same topic than in the comment threads of most significant LJ entries I've read, I think in part because, due to something about the nature of the medium, LJ gets far fewer replies longer than the original post than Usenet does.
Sep. 22nd, 2006 05:13 am (UTC)
Just a side note: LJ allows one to export entries month by month. I'm comfortable using LJ because i know i can export my entries and grep through them. Someday, i'll make a spotlight mapping for the XML export. (You can export csv as well.)
Sep. 22nd, 2006 05:23 am (UTC)
Huh, thanks, that's good to know. I suppose if I'd thought for a moment I would have figured they'd have something like that and would have looked for it, but I just assumed. That does make just using LJ more attractive. (Managing comments is far and away the most annoying part of running one's own journal software.)
Sep. 22nd, 2006 05:42 am (UTC)
Thanks, I commented over at your journal.

Besides the month-by-month download capability, there is also http://www.ljbook.com/ which will download the whole thing.

The distributed nature of the discussion on LJ is good insofar as it gets more people thinking about the topic but bad insofar as there is no way to automatically consolidate all posts discussing the topic. Some people make an effort to link to a variety of the posts but an automated solution would be best.
Sep. 22nd, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
It's even more ironic in that it started as an aside in my post about my time at farthingparty. On USENET, that would have spawned a subthread, possibly with a new Subject: header, based on papersky's post; here, as you said, it becomes a series of atomized discussions in many different LJs.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2018
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars