[Air-l] usenet historiography question

Christopher Lueg christopher.lueg at utas.edu.au
Wed Feb 14 16:42:44 PST 2007

On Wed, 14 Feb 2007, Jonathan Sterne wrote:

> I'm trying to trace the development of a FAQ on MPEG that circulated on
> usenet starting in 1994.  I've done a search on google groups but I'm
> wondering if there is a more powerful or definitive tool.  Google seems
> pretty hit or miss as I can find some stuff from that period, but there are
> other things from 1994 that I know were there then that I can't find now.

to some extent it's a characteristic of Usenet being a distributed but 
loosely coupled system. smaller hierarchies were (are) not necessarily 
propagated so widely such that google, netscan etc got their hands on the 
postings. others used technical measures to (try to) prevent their 
postings from reaching google. and there are cancel and supersedes control 
messages that (should) influence what was propagated/kept.

there was also the big discussion re "X-No-Archive" headers initiated by 
people who were not happy that google turned what was perceived as 
'transitory' communication into persistent communication.


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