Proposing a new newsgroup: Internet History

I am thinking about making a formal proposal for one of two new
unmoderated groups. The group would either be comp.internet.history or
soc.history.internet. I think you can see where these two names could
possibly overlap.

The general idea of the new group is to discuss retro internet
technologies such as IRC, ftp sites, BBSs (telnet and otherwise), MUDS,
MOOs, and of course Usenet and others. We could also discuss the culture
that surrounded many of these technologies especially IRC and Usenet as
they were maturing. Many of use don’t consider these technologies to be
“retro” because we use them everyday and yet interest in them is waning
and in order for them to continue, fresh interest must be continually be
added.

I don’t know if anyone could possibly be interested, but the only way to
find out is to ask. If I get enough positive feedback, I’ll write up an
official CFD and submit it to the board. I won’t do anything if no one is
interested.

Why Stack Exchange is Broken (and Reddit too)

I’m going to begin this rant by saying that there are some things that that the Stack Exchange network is really good with: mainly, programming help.

However, it really sucks when it comes to providing help with a specific application where there is already a community. For the past year, I have been the #1 person to answer questions on tor.stackexchange.com. I’m not saying that to pat myself on the back; just to say that I have actually been doing this for a little while. However, I feel that many, if not most, of the questions should never have been there. Here’s what I mean:

  1. Nobody googles anything for themselves anymore. A huge number of questions have been answered time and time again and can be found by just searching.
  2. Nobody reads documentation or man pages.
  3. There are better places to ask the questions.

While #1 and #2 are annoying, it’s #3 that I want to focus on. For example, we get a lot of questions about running Tor relays. Many times, I will copy and paste from the documentation and answer their question. However that question should never have been there at all. It should have been posted to the tor-relays mailing list. That way more people who actually run relays can answer and give better insight. Also other newbies to the list can learn also and the person asking the question can actually be a part of the community.

When it comes to subreddits that are based on a specific application like Tor, take my 3 examples and multiple it by 1000x because it is a continual cycle of the same crap week after week. I had to leave before I flamed someone for asking the same stupid question for the 9th time in a row. I miss good netiquette.