Kayak in slalom gate Home Race Schedule Race Results Race Stats Athlete Stats Rules Canoe in slalom gate
How-to Search Schedule Search Results Search Stats Athlete Rankings Board
Archive Photo Gallery Mailing lists Marketplace Links About
2005   2004   2003   2002   2001   2000   1999   1998   1997   1996   1995  

Mailing lists vs. Usenet news

Or, why mailing lists and not newsgroups?

Some people have asked "Why not form a Usenet newsgroup (instead of using a mailing list)?"

There are a large number of reasons why -- I'm just going to list a few here. I'm basing what I say here on many years of experience with Usenet and the Internet, including half a dozen as Usenet news administrator at a network backbone site.

1. Getting a Usenet newsgroup created requires going through a long, formal procedure -- I know, I helped write it! But it's become a huge pain.

2. There are only 800-1200 people in the sport of slalom in the US. There are tens of thousands of news servers, in the US alone. The aggregate cost of sending a single message to everyone involved in the sport is about 100-10000 times greater if done by news than by mail.

3. Mail propagates much faster than news.

4. Mail is much more reliable than news.

5. Mail is much less polluted by spam (unsolicited commercial e-mail) and other disruptions, and can be made largely immune to these problems.

6. The Usenet news system was architected at a time when 1200 baud modems were fast and 1 Mbyte/day of traffic was considered very large. While the underlying transport is now considerably faster, it was simply never meant to carry 20,000 newsgroups and 5 Gbyte/day. Frankly, it's bursting at the seams and has probably outlived its usefulness; there is considerable discussion going on that's focused on throwing it away and starting over, and the Usenet II project is doing *exactly* that.

Contact: webmaster.