"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2011 - All rights reserved
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
alt.coffee is Dead
Long Live alt-coffee-moderated
Friday, February 11, 2011
For those of you who are not aware, a popular portion of the Internet is called "Usenet." This is an area for discussion groups. There are literally tens of thousands of groups there - some valuable, some not. From support for cancer victims to automotive topics and brands, to overtly-sexual topics, you can find just about anything. You can type and send a message to be posted there and receive responses, or respond to the messages of others. When discussing Usenet it has been difficult for me to type "is" instead of "was." Usenet has largely been overrun by spammers, sexual content, and anti-social types.
"alt.coffee" was a very valuable Usenet group frequented by those new to coffee, experienced home baristas, and even professionals in the field. Along with hundreds of other users, I frequented that group on a regular basis. Did I say regular? I checked that group many times each day. For quite some time I was one of the top-five most frequent participants. But then something happened. The group was ruined by a self-proclaimed professional who attacked others, spammed the group, assumed multiple online-personalities using multiple e-mail accounts, and just generally assumed an anti-social, near sociopathic attitude. Most of the folks abandoned the group and it fell into an Internet wasteland losing its value as a resource for coffee information. Where did the responsible participants go?
There are numerous forums that are hospitable, valuable places to visit. The common thread with them is that they are moderated. That generally means that you first need to register with a real name and then you need to log in to the site to participate. There are moderators to assure that the participation of each member stays within the site's policies of decent and friendly participation.
Among the many forums on which I participate is a Google Group known as alt-coffee-moderated. As the name suggests it was created as a replacement for the "original" alt.coffee and it is moderated. There are volunteer folks participating who are dedicated to keeping this group from becoming a social wasteland. The group is located here: alt-coffee-moderated
The reason I am posting information concerning this group is not only to give you a place to go for coffee information but also to "advertise" that I have created a new alt.coffee T-shirt for this group. It is generally similar to the original, with updated text to reflect the changes in our detail-oriented hobby. The shirts are available in my store at Cafe Press. Each item there is being sold for a flat rate of $3 over the Cafe Press cost, and all of that $3 is donated to Coffee Kids.org which is a non-profit organization which In other words, I created the graphics and set up the store and am selling the shirts and making nothing from the effort.
So, join the group, buy a shirt or tote bag, help folks in the various coffee growing regions of the world, and enjoy a friendly discussion group.