Fifth Anniversary of Usenet Newsgroup rec.radio.amateur.moderated
The Usenet newsgroup rec.radio.amateur.moderated will be five years old
this month, having been created on February 22, 2007.
Sometimes the most powerful motivator to succeed is being told that
something can't be done. When a group of us decided to try to create a
new Usenet group, we were told:
- Usenet is dying, and a new newsgroup will not succeed.
- On-line discussion of sometimes contentious issues about amateur
radio can't be done without degrading into personal attacks.
- Moderators can't be fair and unbiased, or promptly attentive to the
Five years later, we're happy to have proven those assumptions wrong.
Our newsgroup appears at most major (and minor) news server sites,
including Google Groups and Radio Banter. We have a modest readership
and over 5,000 articles approved (an average of about 3 per day). We
have been able to approach sometimes controversial issues about amateur
radio without degrading into incivility. Whatever required editorial
control and oversight has proven to be light, with nearly all
contributors willing to abide by fair and simple rules of engagement.
The moderation software we adapted, Secure Team-Based Usenet Moderation
Program (STUMP), made our newsgroup secure and reliable, with prompt
article turnaround. In fact, it has worked so well that we have
provided our adapted configuration of STUMP to several other successful
radio-related moderated newsgroups, including rec.radio.info,
rec.radio.broadcasting, and ba.broadcast.moderated.
If you haven't participated on Usenet in a while -- either by reading or
posting -- please consider rejoining us. If you've never been on
Usenet, we invite you to give it a try!
Usenet is still very much alive, and can be a useful venue for many
topics, including amateur radio. The long-standing advantages of Usenet
newsgroups still remain, and include:
- The user can control the interface (choices of newsreader software)
- unified, but distributed, discussion on specific topics
- efficient use of bandwidth
- rugged, distributed transport system that has been in place for
More information about rec.radio.amateur.moderated and rec.radio.info
can be obtained from:
More information about access to newsgroups can be obtained from:
More information about newsreader software can be obtained from:
Many radio-related newsgroups can also be accessed via the following
free web sites:
rec.radio.* newsgroups on Google Groups
Additional thanks, and credit for our success, go to:
- The Big-8 Management Board for Usenet, including Marty Moleski and
- Public Access Internet and Unix, NYC (Panix)
- Igor Chudov, author of STUMP
Here's hoping for at least five more successful years.
rec.radio.amateur.moderated Moderation Team
Thanks for the links Paul. It HAS been years since the last time I gave newsgroups a look--they got SO bad. I'll dig through and see what you guys are up to.
Usenet, yes I remember working these years ago. Was able to read, post, comment without having to submit name, address, credit card info, create passwords, dealing with anti-robot text, re-confirming through email, etc. I know some usenet groups have been trashed by spammers, there are still many others that seem to be doing reasonably well, but I haven't used a newsreader to view rec.skydiving, rec.arts.dance lately. Advantage of the newsgroups is you can find information from individuals instead of corporations with blog pages that are actually marketing shills (although newsgroups have their share of these). There are yahoogroups but you typically have to be a member (and if you don't know if such a group exists, you can't find it).
And then there is the famous article "What is Usenet" which begins with what it is not (usenet is not a democracy, usenet is not the United States Network, Usenet is not fair, etc).
Congrats! Looks like a nifty group.