Some people wonder why Usenet is still considered to be an excellent learning resource. A recent study looked at the most active and popular Usenet discussions to determine if it is still a valuable resource. The study noted that Usenet is still an excellent learning resource because of the high value placed upon the sharing of facts.
Only 12% of popular posts contained personal opinions/comments
The study focused on the most popular posts and discussions as well as analyzed the most active thread starters. The results revealed only 12% of the most popular posts contain personal opinions or comments. A majority of the popular discussions and posts were centered on the sharing of facts. With such a heavy emphasis placed upon facts, there is no doubt Usenet is still an excellent educational resource. Even heated discussions and debates relied upon facts to prove the participants points rather than relying solely on opinion.
2% of those who start discussion threads attract nearly 50% of the replies
An interesting discovery from this study noted that a very small portion of active users receive a disproportionately large number of replies. Essentially, the discussions that were popular were extremely popular. The discussions that didn’t evolve and progress quickly died. This is ideal from an educational perspective because the discussions that continued were increasingly in depth and full of critical analysis. Additionally, users can easily find the most in-depth discussions simply by looking at the number of replies. From a research perspective, this makes it much easier for users to find threads and follow newsgroups which participated in in-depth, thorough debates.
Still Full of Educators and Professionals
One of the largest appeals of Usenet remains the same. A majority of the active participants are still educators, experts, and professionals. This shouldn’t be a surprise with the heavy reliance on facts to help discussions. Educators and professionals can provide insight others do not have because of their prior experiences. With so many authority figures on highly technical or complicated topics, Usenet remains in excellent learning resource because there is information available which is difficult to find elsewhere.
Large Amount of Information Comes from Elsewhere
The final reason Usenet is still an excellent learning resource is because a large amount of the information, particularly the facts, still come from elsewhere. This means ideas broached outside of Usenet are not immediately dismissed or ignored. Moreover it saves a significant amount of research time because discussion participants do not have to scour the Internet to find what they are looking for.
Usenet is still a powerful and useful learning tool. The discussions are centered on facts rather than personal bias and opinions. Active threads quickly evolve into in-depth discussions. Active participants include a large percentage of educators, professionals, and experts. Plus, a majority of the facts and content come from elsewhere around the Internet which cuts down on the amount of time needed to research a topic before getting involved with the discussion.