On the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Eternal September

Authors: Lapshin I.E. Published: 07.02.2019
Published in issue: #1(75)/2019  
DOI: 10.18698/2306-8477-2019-1-591  
Category: The Humanities in Technical University | Chapter: Philosophy Science  
Keywords: history of the Internet, Eternal September, social networking sites, memory, nostalgia

The article considers the development of network communication means in two aspects: with regard to the hardware technologies and social organization of network space. We investigate the problem of rapid increase in the number of users in social networking sites and similar resources due to the changes in the administration conditions resulting in the influx of “newcomers”. "Eternal September" which happened to the Usenet in 1993 is one of the most dramatic events of this kind, and it is used to explain typical problems which arise owing to such changes. First, it is a problem of new users’ assimilation and the necessity to preserve former practices which are often ignored by them. Resource managers and experienced users usually cope with both tasks but face with difficulties when outnumbered by newcomers. Technological progress, on the one hand, is definitely straightforward, and computer hardware is steadily moving towards complication. On the other hand, social networks, forums and other means of communication sometimes change the direction in which they develop and return to the forms previously rejected as obsolete. Furthermore, highly attended resources which at a certain point experience crucial changes or pale into insignificance, giving way to other projects, are saved in the memory of the Internet in their most recent forms. The article shows that the term "Eternal September" is still relevant and similar events occur now and then on various Internet resources without remaining in the memory of Internet users for long

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