Re: AGB website idea
- From: Jim Carr <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 30 Oct 2008 22:56:23 -0700
If so, it must have been over a much longer time period than the year or
two that I'm talking about.
Over the last several years I've seen far more people disappear than new people appearing. It used to be the opposite. That applies in every group I'm in.
In this group, we had 2,871 posts last October compared to 1,543 this year. It's the lowest October since 1997. This year we've had four months fail to crack the 2,000 mark. Prior to this year the last time this group had a single month below 2,000 was in 1998.
I've also left a few groups. One group, az.forsale, completely died. Another group, az.general, had 4,724 posts in October 2005. This month? 303. The group alt.html went from 3,898 to 734 posts over the same time period.
alt.politics, which had 50,000 posts this month is off 35% from October 2004 (election year). alt.sex.stories.moderated is down from 325 in October 2004 to 66 this October.
Newsgroups will be around for a long time to come, I'm sure. It's mostly driven by binaries these days, but plenty of discussion groups have enough traffic to keep going.
But every group faces the point where there's just not enough traffic to make it worthwhile. Instead of checking in a couple of times per day, people start checking a couple of times per week. They start contributing less, which lowers the traffic even more. Eventually they go a week or two without checking in. The sense of group cohesion disappears.
Meanwhile, for most people newsgroups aren't even on the radar. It used to be if you had a question, you'd go to the newsgroups. First you'd search DejaNews (now Google Groups). If you didn't find the answer, you'd ask. That's how many of the newbies found groups.
Now you just search the web. You'll find a bazillion discussion boards with the answer. And when you go to these boards you see all sorts of gimmicks to keep you interested (avatars, signatures with pictures, posting counts, HTML formatting, smilies). Newsgroups are very dry by comparison. And because most are not moderated, the atmosphere is much more adversarial.
Newsgroups are not growing. Period. Nearly every single one is shrinking. It's only a matter of time for each group.
Look at the Redskins group we're both in. The top 4 posters contribute over 30% of the content. Another 10% comes from spammers. We're at 700 posts this month. We used to be above 2,000 for every month during the regular season. It's only going to take a few more people leaving before the group goes belly up.
Write a wise saying and your name will live forever.
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