But what exactly was the main point of Usenet? Well, that it was distributed and clients only go over the local link, because long distance bandwidth was precious. Today you spend the bandwidth of 100 usenet messages going half way around the world loading the front page of one online news site, so who really cares if your local ISP cuts it as long as “there are many nntp servers out there that offer text-only for free” according to you?
The whole concept of usenet is out of date, you can argue back and forth about the nntp protocol versus the http protocol but today it is far more practical to have one group on one server and have everybody access that. It guarantees that everybody sees all messages (not everything would propagate well), you can have captchas to prevent spam, moderators (without premoderation like usenet), search (without downloading everything) and so on. If people don’t like a server, move the community to a different one.
Sure, it would be neat if you could standardize on a discussion protocol and use the tool of your choice but I think it’d be almost easier with a screen scraper than doing it by committee. There’s honestly not that many different discussion board servers in common use.
“This week marks the end of an era for one of the earliest pieces of Internet history, which got its start at Duke University more than 30 years ago. On May 20, Duke will shut down its Usenet server, which provides access to a worldwide electronic discussion network of newsgroups started in 1979 by two Duke graduate students, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis.”