What Killed Use Net

[moved from WhyWikiWorks by JasonGrossman]

That might just kill wiki. It sure killed UseNet ...

Evidence UseNet will live forever

Progress Killed UseNet

It is a SimpleMinded answer, but I believe that any Computer or Internet Artifact, be it a mechanism, process, or program can be improved upon. What made Usenet interesting and effective was that it provided a switchboard and a network, which could connect like-minded seekers for information, validation, and community, and which used the media and technology of its day. Today things are so different that just a provision of a switchboard, network and like-mindedness can not furnish the vitality of community it once did. Why? Because one thing that groups had in common was that they were composed of people who joined in common because it was one of the "few" ways one could satisfy innovative information needs. I also believe that things which work well are not killed by those who misuse it, but by those who abandon it. In seeking information, the InformationConsumer? has a belief in "continual" improvement, and that things can be "better than" they are today and were yesterday. The user of information today is not one who necessarily needs "community" to gather information, and will not be limited by the existance within a community or group of an "expert or group of experts" who will "supply or make available" the tidbit another member or reader needs. Seekers of information are interested, not just in the fragments of information which can be assembled into a meaningful whole, but in complete solutions and comprehensiveness. The growth of "multitudes" of answers and alternatives via Fast, Indexing and access to Extensive InformationStores? has supplied a willing and competent means for such users. These are supplied in "real time", typically resulting in responses which range from fractional to single digit seconds. when a user supplies a query, particularly one which is well prepared and specifically targeted, the results can be extremely useful. The growth of independent, specific InformationProviders? and ConnectedUsers? in numbers exceeding that which UseNet can, has, and will provide will ensure that the migration will only continue. When a user can in effect fly, when earlier the mode was one of walking, why not? -- DonaldNoyes 20070829

Hi Donald,

Interesting. To my mind what's been gained is intertwingling and presentation quality. What's been lost is breadth of community and creative juice. I don't believe it's impossible that they'll be found again in some wave of web to come. At one point some of us hoped wiki itself was the rebirth of these things. --Pete.

I hadn't thought of it in that way. Certainly those who look to a community for information and validation of personal approaches, can also be affected by the approaches of others in such a way as to discover ways to modify their own to include the approaches that a community decides as appropriate via dialogue and development. The thing that makes this happen, the "creative Juices" is a combination of community focus and a decision to come to agreement, and to provide alternatives which handle differences. In doing so, one can become "inspired" or "enthused" by the interaction, and as a result can be enabled to present new insights, solutions, and suggestions, which then can be repeated and multiplied by others within the community. In addition to the desire to be a "discoverer" (of information), the member of such a community may feel "obligated" to become a "provider or participant in provision" (of information) for the community as a whole. What is essential and what makes this work is the decision to come to agreement. What I had attempted to indicate is that some have abandoned the "old ways" which worked in an environment quite different from that in which "ItWorks" to one which finds such diversification and dispersion as to split communities into more and more specialization to the point of becoming nearly "undiscoverable" and lacking in focus. The holistic view of a "forest" has become a telescopic view of "a tree". The discovery of a way in "some wave of web to come" is a challenge that needs to be taken up. Dialoque must be joined by another method, that of "invention". -- ThinkingOutLoud, DonaldNoyes 20070830

The "next wave" will need to deal with human bandwidth issues. In particular, the total amount of available signal increases (very approximately) linearly with the number of signal sources, which continues to increase at an almost exponential rate. Nowadays we have blogs, a panoply of wikis, gaggles of forums, news websites, e-mail, television channels, radio channels, etc. etc. etc. And, of course, even Usenet is hanging around. Unfortunately for us, as individual sinks for signal our ability to absorb all these is extremely limited. As things are, there's plenty of 'creative juice'... more than enough to drown oneself.

What will ultimately need to happen: agents... services (automated or otherwise) that can represent our interests on the vast sea of information, gathering infodata in which we are interested, summarizing, filtering based on priority, coordinating this search with other agents insofar as there are no significant concerns for privacy, and even providing a 'voice' for us ensuring that our individual views are heard by those people most likely to listen or respond.

Modern search services are a step in the right direction, but still possess vastly limited ability to merge and summarize data into packets we can consume, and even more limited in providing us a voice.



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