Fourtalk ( is a web-based Usenet interface, run by the Finnish television channel Nelonen ("Nelonen" = "four", so the name is self-explanatory).

This web interface (at the moment, to SFNET and finet groups) is still in its infancy, but there's a few things that must be mentioned about it, for historical reasons...

  1. Their article posting systems aren't exactly up to the standards (bad filters, I guess - I hope this will be fixed) and the system generally violates almost every rule set forth in GNKSA.
  2. The page doesn't exactly tell vocally that it isn't a Ruutunelonen-owned medium (so the users don't know that they're making fool of themselves on public place =) Many newbies even mistook the thing for a chat, and got confused when the only people replying in real time were other Fourtalk users...
  3. The reaction from regular Usenetters? "Imminent death of the Net predicted!"... "the September that never ended"... Actually, it's probably the greatest new Usenet-related service that has generated a large amount of opposition - I think that even Deja didn't cause such things. (then again, Deja wasn't marketed in Finland, and was never referred to from "popular sites" as a way to discuss with other readers...)

Since the service is still new, I'd rather not comment about it much - what will happen to it remains to be seen.

One thing is sure: Thus far, sfnet has seen a flood (well, as far as it can be called a "flood") of sort of clueless postings, far above the average. I hope the folks at Nelonen will someday point the users to the Netiquette documents, because otherwise one of the last remaining islands of Decent Usenet is going to sink.

Update 2002-11-13: Fourtalk was (un)surprisingly short-lived, and was shut down in September 12, 2002. At the moment, it just has a link to Google Groups. During its short life, it was indeed the big newbie house of sfnet and finet, and people don't seem to remember it with much joy and happiness. It had a short but permanent impact on this side of the net. Good riddance.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.