Before I get started on this post, I just want to put it out there that I don't have my book on me, so I won't be able to reference the exact article until later, so I'm going to have to make a few changes later on. But here goes anyway.
I've been finding the Communication and Cyberspace to be an interesting read because it has been a bit of a trip down memory lane for me. What I found to be an especially interesting entry was the one that discussed the history of the internet, how it began with ARPAnet, which was soon rivaled by USENET NEWS. This took me back to the early days of my internet usage, where a lot of my online time was spent on these groups. Online bulletin boards were still in their infancy, so these groups served as a decent area for group discussion. As popular as these groups were and how significant they were to the development to the modern internet, I think it's very interesting to see that newsgroups have more or less disappeared from the internet. What was once an alternative, the independent message board seems to have evolved to the point where it has rendered the USENET groups more or less obsolete. Why go to rec.sport.pro-wrestling (an old favorite of mine) when there are plenty of other wrestling websites to go to?
As far as I know these groups have been archived by Deja, which was later bought by (who else?) Google, and still seem to be archived to an extent as Google Groups. People can still pull up old posts and continue to join in discussions, but people now seem much or prone to use forums on websites rather than these outlets. It's also interesting to look at as how technology becomes more sophisticated on the web how many other once popular outlets go away. IRC attracts an even smaller niche than before, and FTP sites have been done away mostly by P2P and Torrent sites. Even AOL Instant Messenger, a program that everybody and their mother seemed to use, is becoming less frequently used on the internet (right now it seems as though Facebook chat is the preferred means). Although these old forms of communication will probably never go away, it's definitely interesting to see how newer web technologies have absorbed and even replaced them. Even one of the first and most important forms of internet communication has been swept up in this.