Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

The line times, they are a-changing and changing and changing

Yow. Today's truly remarkable labor of love is XKCD's New Map of Online Communities -- drawn this time not in terms of number of users, but the much more interesting measure of number of social actions taken. Lots of heroic assumptions involved, but it's still a damned excellent overview of the subject.

But for a real sense of historical perspective, I invite my fellow long-time netizens to find Usenet on the map. It's there, but you'll have to click through to the large-size version and do some serious hunting. It makes for some hard introspection to realize that, when I started online, Usenet would probably have made up 2/3 of this map. (And the main map would have been such a small fraction of the "Spoken Language" inset as to be invisible.) Of course, in those days I could actually follow all the messages in every newsgroup that I actually gave a damn about -- I was probably *reading* a non-trivial fraction of the map. So the real change is that the map is now -- well, I don't really want to think about how many orders of magnitude -- bigger than it was then...

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