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6. Web Boards

You may not have heard, but there's this thing called ``Usenet''. It is, essentially, a massive, distributed bulletin board system, organised into groups by topic. If you think you have something to say, you post an article to one of these groups, and it gets disseminated around the world, so that anyone reading that group can read it -- or not, if they think you're a wanker. It's an elegant way for people around the world to discuss shared interests, and may be (at least potentially) the best thing to happen to the net.

Then we have web boards. A web board is, essentially, a single Usenet newsgroup, with a clunky and horrifically insecure authentication system and a balky and counterintuitive HTML-based interface, running on a single site, connected to a bloated, disk-sucking relational database, and taking up far more bandwidth.