USENET was and is good. It uses a standard open transport (NNTP – RFC 977 - Network News Transfer Protocol), standard message format (essentially email – RFC 850 - Standard for interchange of USENET messages), and had (and still has) widely circulated clients (most email readers did and maybe still do contain a newsgroup reader).
One could CC any email to a newsgroup or, conversely, CC or BCC any newsgroup post to private email, dejanews (later coopted by GoogleGroups) provided/provides excellent newsgroup search, and th entire ecosystem was utterly open (GoogleGroups are significantly less open-- one needs a Google account to read/post).
USENET newsgroups did NOT solve the problem of trolls and spam. In my view, that is the main problem that needs solving. Otherwise, a good web-client GUI to newsgroups is perhaps all we need (The GoogleGroups web client could perhaps be that if it were open).
Is Discourse distributed? (I need to go figure that out). By that, I mean is the server-infrastructure designed to scale to internet-wide shared distributed servers? Or, is each forum hosted by one proprietary domain? Is it easy to mirror a Discourse forum. I am being lazy by posting that question here and should go look up the answer.
Is there a way for me to CC this post to my email address?
Can one edit a Discourse posting after the fact (providing that feature has many implications)? (USENET provided a way to cancel a post).
July 29, 2014