The death of newsgroups?

Discussion of non-phpBB related topics with other phpBB.com users.
Forum rules
General Discussion is a bonus forum for discussion of non-phpBB related topics with other phpBB.com users. All site rules apply.
User avatar
DavidIQ
Customisations Team Leader
Customisations Team Leader
Posts: 17059
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 1:30 pm
Location: Fishkill, NY
Name: David Colón
Contact:

The death of newsgroups?

Post by DavidIQ » Wed May 05, 2010 4:02 pm

Just saw this on /. and found it quite interesting and relevant since we develop forum software. Snippet:
Some 2,000 public and 2,200 private newsgroups devoted to and managed by Microsoft support are going to be phased out in favor of forums because of newsgroup spam.[...]
Forum software is not inmune to spam either but what makes it so different from a newsgroup in this regard? And will forum software end up having the same fate, doomed to be replaced by the likes of social networking-style postings or something else like Google Wave?
Apply to become a Jr. Extension Validator
My extensions | In need of phpBB services? | Was I helpful today?
No unsolicited PMs unless you're planning on asking for paid help.

User avatar
tbackoff
Former Team Member
Posts: 7022
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:41 am
Location: cheerleading practice
Name: Tabitha Backoff

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by tbackoff » Wed May 05, 2010 4:06 pm

People still use newsgrous? :D
DavidIQ wrote:will forum software end up having the same fate, doomed to be replaced by the likes of social networking-style postings
Actually, I think it is already starting to move that way in some regard. Here where I live, you can't go anywhere without seeing signs for "follow us on [insert facebook icon] [insert twitter icon] [insert blogpost icon]". You don't see sings for "follow us on [insert phpBB icon]". :P

Darth Wong
Registered User
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Jul 03, 2002 5:20 am
Location: Toronto, Canada
Contact:

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by Darth Wong » Wed May 05, 2010 5:39 pm

DavidIQ wrote:Just saw this on /. and found it quite interesting and relevant since we develop forum software. Snippet:
Some 2,000 public and 2,200 private newsgroups devoted to and managed by Microsoft support are going to be phased out in favor of forums because of newsgroup spam.[...]
Forum software is not inmune to spam either but what makes it so different from a newsgroup in this regard?
I was under the impression that you don't need to register in order to post on a newsgroup, which makes it much more vulnerable than forums which require registration for posting privileges. Newsgroups are also pretty lacking in terms of customization.
And will forum software end up having the same fate, doomed to be replaced by the likes of social networking-style postings or something else like Google Wave?
I suspect that Facebook is a more direct threat to blogs than to discussion forums. Of course, nobody can project really far into the future.

User avatar
bonelifer
Community Team Member
Community Team Member
Posts: 3476
Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2004 11:35 pm
Name: William
Contact:

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by bonelifer » Wed May 05, 2010 6:17 pm

Darth Wong wrote:I was under the impression that you don't need to register in order to post on a newsgroup, ...
Not totally true. There are both free/paid news servers that require registration.

Rhet-or-Ric
Registered User
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:38 pm

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by Rhet-or-Ric » Wed May 05, 2010 7:25 pm

.
I confess to some confusion as to the format over at Slashdot and what exactly that which is titled "Spam Causes Microsoft ..." is (a thread of a forum of some kind?) and whoever started that thread or topic or whatever seems to have given his/her own spin to the Microsoft article.

From what Microsoft actually wrote it doesn't appear that spam is number one on the lists.

In section one under "Microsoft Responds to the Evolution of Communities" it isn't until the third paragraph that spam is noted.

http://www.microsoft.com/communities/ne ... fault.mspx
Beginning in June 2010, Microsoft will begin closing newsgroups and migrating users to Microsoft forums that include Microsoft Answers, TechNet and MSDN. This move will centralize content, make it easier for contributors to retain their influence, reduce redundancies and make content easier to find. Overall, forums offer a better spam management platform that will improve customer satisfaction by encouraging a healthy discussion space.
In section three under "Why Forums?" there are eight reasons listed and spam doesn't come up until reason number 7.

I think section two hits the nail on the head when "cost efficiencies" is noted.

So I am very glad, DavidIQ, that you titled this topic/thread differently than did the Slashdot somebody.

And I'm particularly glad to see this question:
And will forum software end up having the same fate, doomed to be replaced by the likes of social networking-style postings or something else like Google Wave?
From personal experience I think that has already been happening.

About 6 years ago I was a User Admin on a forum that presently has over 100,000 members. Back then we were hopping with half that number. About three years or four years ago that forum steadily saw a decrease in activity and even though the members were looking for individuals to blame I can't help but feel that some of the steam was taken out of the forum because of the likes of Facebook, and that other large one that came before it, which I can't seem to remember the name of right now.

I wonder if anyone has done some research on the subject of whether forums in general have lost their pop because of those other Facebook-type sites.

I remember an oft-repeated maxim that one shouldn't start a general-discussion forum because a forum should be a part of a larger site to be successful.

Now I am thinking of a general-discussion forum as a forum that is not connected with a larger site. A forum that is literally just for discussing all manner of things. For example, I would not classify this forum a general-discussion forum. phpBB is for phpBB. Sure we have a General Discussion "sub-forum" but that is not the prime reason for the forum itself.

So, can a general-discussion forum survive all by its lonesome?

What are some examples of large general-discussion forums? I am not even sure the forum I referred to above where I was a User Admin could be classified as a true general-discussion forum because it was initially supposed to be about a particular region of the world and it was a part of a news site.

So are there really any "large" general-discussion forums on the Net? There must be, no? Have they lost their pop since Facebook and the like showed up? I'd be very interested to see some research on that.

Personally, I think forums were the social networking of their day. Well, until the likes of Facebook came along and the term was used for them.

For that matter, when did the vocabulary "social networking" as it is applied to the Net come into common use?

The evolution of "social networking" on the Net. Interesting subject.

.

Oleg
Former Team Member
Posts: 1221
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2010 4:42 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by Oleg » Thu May 06, 2010 12:30 am

I think for meaningful discussions forums don't need to fear competition from twitter and the like, for perhaps three reasons:

1. Meaningful posts don't fit into 140 characters.

2. Meaningful posts need to be organized, or they become unfindable (google search phpbb uses is hopeless when what you want does not happen to be on the first page of results, and you are looking for something which overlaps popular discussions).

3. Forums have user profiles. It is fairly easy to determine that a competent person is competent by searching their posts (factor #1, post size and therefore post quantity, comes into play here as well).

For non-meaningful discussions and other social networks I don't have a position.
Participate in phpBB development: Get involved | Issue tracker | Report a bug | Development board | [url=irc://chat.freenode.net/phpbb-dev]Development IRC chat[/url]
My stuff: mindlinkgame.com

User avatar
onehundredandtwo
Registered User
Posts: 1228
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:07 am

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by onehundredandtwo » Thu May 06, 2010 7:00 am

For starters, I couldn't imagine providing any form of support on Facebook. Facebook is for social networking!

Maybe in the future it could happen, but I don't think it will happen for a while...

User avatar
oddfish
Registered User
Posts: 839
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:45 pm
Location: Testing 3.1
Contact:

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by oddfish » Thu May 06, 2010 7:38 am

http://www.microsoft.com/communities/ne ... &sloc=&p=1

As NNTP has been used for those not liking or wanting to use web based forums in the past few years, it is going to be a struggle to change over IMO.

Still not wanting to use Windows Live (in any form) in favour of e.g. WinMail, let's hope UI improvements will make the transition easier (although not see-able in the near future). :roll:

User avatar
A_Jelly_Doughnut
Former Team Member
Posts: 34457
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2003 1:26 am
Location: Where the Rivers Run
Contact:

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by A_Jelly_Doughnut » Thu May 06, 2010 2:19 pm

For me personally, newsgroups have been dead since about 2002. I used to hang out in one of the web development groups, and there were fine people there, but after I discovered a site running UBB.threads, I moved on to that and never really looked back at NNTP.

I'm not really sure what it was that UBB offered that NNTP did not at the time. Potentially a moderated environment, and in general a nicer interface than that provided by Thunderbird?
A Donut's Blog
"Bach's Prelude (Cello Suite No. 1) is driving Indiana country roads in Autumn" - Ann Kish

User avatar
callumacrae
Former Team Member
Posts: 2662
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:28 pm
Location: London, UK
Name: Callum Macrae
Contact:

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by callumacrae » Sat May 08, 2010 3:07 pm

t_backoff wrote:People still use newsgrous? :D
What's a newsgroup? XD

~Callum

realizment
Registered User
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:16 am

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by realizment » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:15 am

unfortunately these past few years have seen the death of a lot of industries and trends.

User avatar
Sajaki
Registered User
Posts: 1354
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 1:41 pm
Name: Andreas
Contact:

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by Sajaki » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:36 am

my internet experience started with comp.sys.mac basically, and there's still alot of postings on that newsgroup going on now. M$ closing down the newsgroups... well i didn't really frequent those groups even back then so it's not such a big loss to me.

btw the comparison usenet-facebook doesn't really hold, since usenet is its own *platform*, a.k.a NNTP. Facebook is just another site on the www.

RnR
Registered User
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 12:48 am

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by RnR » Mon Jun 07, 2010 2:25 pm

hmm this is interesting...thought they would have a better way of contesting spam

User avatar
DavidIQ
Customisations Team Leader
Customisations Team Leader
Posts: 17059
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2005 1:30 pm
Location: Fishkill, NY
Name: David Colón
Contact:

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by DavidIQ » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:21 am

Nice to have gotten a few replies to this which was prodding for opinions and discussion. :)
Rhet-or-Ric wrote:So, can a general-discussion forum survive all by its lonesome?
My personal opinion would be that yes they will survive. I think posting styles such as the ones done on Facebook, Twitter, and other such sites, have their place and are almost always short texts (max on Twitter is what...160 characters?). Unless this changes, forum software would still be king for things like support and actual discussion. And even if it DOES change it's not as easy to follow or as tidy as with forum software. Those types of sites would have to do their own evolution in order to actually take on forum software. But that would then make them more like forum software would it not? :)
Apply to become a Jr. Extension Validator
My extensions | In need of phpBB services? | Was I helpful today?
No unsolicited PMs unless you're planning on asking for paid help.

Desdenova
Registered User
Posts: 646
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 7:25 pm

Re: The death of newsgroups?

Post by Desdenova » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:57 am

DavidIQ wrote:(max on Twitter is what...160 characters?)
I just looked, it's 140.

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”