[At-Large] ICANN Accountability Mechanisms

Olivier MJ Crépin-Leblond ocl at gih.com
Sun Jan 2 08:09:48 UTC 2022

Dear Barry,

oh what a great trip into memory lane! Thank you! One thing you did not 
mention, though, is that back then there were Usenet demi-gods who used 
to be able to keep the whole thing sane and together. When these 
retired/moved on, Usenet started declining. I don't think there are net 
demi-gods in domain names, are there?
Kindest regards,


On 02/01/2022 07:31, Barry Shein via At-Large wrote:
> Re: TLDs and communities
> From: Evan Leibovitch via At-Large<at-large at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
>> I witnessed first hand the hopelessness and futility of those who believed
>> that a TLD could define, sustain or create a community.
> Back in the days of Usenet, the 1980s mostly, which had millions of
> users and eventually over 100,000 discussion topics the issue of when
> to add a new topic was a constant, lively issue.
>    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usenet
> Discussion groups were "tree" organized so you had rec for recreation,
> rec.sports, rec.sports.baseball, etc.
> For a while there were only eight top level topics (rec, comp
> [computer], talk, sci, ...), plus many regional (ne for new england,
> uk, and so on), and quite a few informal, unblessed top level topics
> such as "alt" which existed outside the mainstream governance.
> (Note: There was earlier history, net.*, but it adds nothing to this.)
> It should sound a little familiar.
> How were new topics created?
> By an open discussion and vote on certain designated administrative
> discussion groups. Other than that there really was no governance
> structure.
>    An important bit of wisdom gained was that you could not create
>    interest in a topic by creating a group for it.
> The most compelling reason to create a new group was to split off
> discussion traffic which was overwhelming another, more general group.
> So rec.sports.baseball might sprout rec.sports.baseball.worldseries
> because the former was being overwhelmed with world series discussion.
> We knew from experience back then, the 1980s, that you could not
> create interest or community by creating a topic category for it.
> Attempts failed repeatedly until it became a governing principle.
> You (dear reader) may find that unintuitive but that was what actual
> experience taught us.
> P.S. An expression that arose from Usenet was "Eternal September":
>    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September
> In simple terms students, millions, arrived every September, got
> access to Usenet, and began imagining what the rules for things like
> newsgroup creation were or ought to be. Every year.
> Then AOL added Usenet and it became "Eternal September", the academic
> schedule no longer throttled the flood of new accounts.
> Unfortunately some of these TLD discussions have that "Eternal
> September" feel to them.
>    "I don't want to hear YOUR opinion! I want to hear MY opinon coming
>     out of YOUR mouth!" -- some wag
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