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bart (450)

Journal of bart (450)

Monday March 21, 2005
07:23 PM

The end of comp.lang.perl.misc?

[ #23776 ]
This morning, I took a look at the newgroups. I thought there weren't very many posts in comp.lang.perl.misc, so I did a little test: I marked everything younger than 72 hours as unread. I found that there were only about 90 posts in those 3 whole days, roughly 30 per day...

That is very little. Only a few years ago, I seem to recall that there were, on average, 300 posts per day. That's 10 times as much as this past weekend.

What's going on? Is my news server missing that many posts? I don't think so, it's behaving pretty well lately.

Some people suggested that this might have been a "special weekend". Perhaps. Since this morning, roughly 50 new posts have arrived, over about 12 hours. That's clearly a higher rate than in the last few days, but still a lot less than in the olden days.

It's not spam that killed it, there's barely any spam in comp.lang.perl.misc. A traditional complaint is that the regulars are too harsh on newbies. Perhaps they are heck, I've complained about it myself, in the past while being a regular myself, so it wasn't harshness against me :). But in any case, that's nothing new. It didn't stop the newsgroup from thriving before. Still other people feel that newsgroup trolls are responsible for its decline. But I can't see much troll activity, lately.

I don't know. I feel it's still some other cause, something I've overlooked here.

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  • The end of Usenet has been predicted many times. Of course, if Usenet goes, CLPM goes with it.
    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
  • Maybe the worst trolls (*ahem* perlgurl) have gone away. Check the signal-to-noise ratio on those messages. Are they mostly content?

    Other possible explainations:
    * I believe AOL shut down their usenet feed.
    *, its beginners mailing list and perlmonks might be taking mindshare from clpm.
  • I think other contributing factors are a loss of mindshare to other languages, and a growth in the popularity of IRC.

    I have absolutely no evidence to back this up. It's just a gut feeling.