A sad day for some as today Duke University, home of Usenet, has shut down their Usenet servers.
It was in 1979 that students Tom Truscot and Jim Ellis first developed a system that became the standard method of online communication between schools and quickly spread to the masses. Predating the World Wide Web, Usenet has been active for over 30 years.
Over those years, in order to support Usenet, maintaining servers had become costly. In the last few months, Duke University had decided to finally pull the plug of the heart of Usenet history. Despite a petition to encourage Duke University to change their mind, they proceeded as planned. Originally scheduled for May 20th, the final plug was pulled today.
Despite their decision, Usenet still flourishes with activity today. Newsgroup subscribers are very much active on the over 107,000 newsgroups available. Due to Usenet being decentralized, it continues to thrive with activity even after its founders and Duke University leaves the scene. Usenet lives.