Usenet Improvement Project

The Problem -
And The Solution

Home: What Is The Project?
Underlying Issue
Other Voices A G-Grouper Is Born
Gmail - A Warning
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What is the Usenet improvement Project?

The Usenet Improvement Project is an attempt to make Usenet participation a better experience for those who are clued as to what the Usenet medium is and how to use it.


Lamer Street Sign

Most of the people who post to Usenet via the clunky Google Groups web interface are lusers or lamers. Because of their use of a clunky Usenet web interface (and all Usenet web interfaces suck - Usenet wasn't designed for webification and does not need webification), they have no idea what Usenet is, how it works, or how to use it properly. And, generally, they don't want to learn.

Here's a truly priceless quote from a Google Grouper accused of spamming a newsgroup (with my elision of a couple of letters), which nicely illustrates this: "As you f**kwits keep reminding me, YOU are on usenet. The rest of the millions upon millions of us real world readers are on the internet." Ah! I get it – it's FedEx or something like that that carries Usenet, not the Internet. Unbelievable.

If these Google Groupers were using proper news clients, some of them might have a chance at becoming clued themselves; but clinging to Google Groups prevents this. It doesn't help that the Google Groups interface (which grew out of the infamous beta of 2005, which as of August 2006 was reclassified as as non-beta) is now worse than their original one. Update, Spring 2007: That wasn't bad enough; now they've downgraded further to another new version and it seems to be in a continual state of continued degradation.

There is an excellent short article about these issues here. Please read it.

Eternal September

Read this short paragraph on the Eternal September. Its relevance to the current lamer problem is historical in that when AOL dropped their Usenet connection in 2005 its members were emailed with the recommendation that they become Google Groupers.


Photo of Spam

Google Groups is also responsible for a lot of spam. Take a closer look at the spam you see in Usenet, and note what a large proportion of it originates with Google Groups. (You will find that information in the Message-ID header, not the From header.) Certainly Google Groups isn't the only source. Some news feeds block certain spam sources, but unfortunately, they're not blocking Google Groups. Yet. With any luck, eventually they will wake up and take that step. Google doesn't care that they're a major source of Usenet spam, so others will have to address that problem for them. We users can do that locally; news feed admins could be doing that globally.