Keep on truckin' Sonic.net

I’ve mentioned in the past how absolutely in love with Sonic.net I am. They’re by far the best ISP I’ve ever encountered and treat their users, especially technical ones, very well.

Being a Sonic.net customer, I’ve always enjoyed the fact that they run a USENET server (news.sonic.net) which I’ve used as my news server of choice since discovering it. In addition to running a news server, there’s actually a number of Sonic.net-specific news groups under the sonic.* namespace, which is also pretty neat.

Understandably, Sonic.net CEO Dane Jasper is urging people to switch from these sonic.* newsgroups to use Sonic.net’s new forums because the news servers at Sonic.net are old and they are no longer going to invest in the infrastructure for less than 400 subscribers that use the USENET service.

As can be expected, when any amount of change occurs, gnashing of teeth from this very vocal < 400 subscribers ensued. What happened next was what makes me respect Dane as a CEO but also continue to love Sonic.net.

Dane was honest his customers. He explained the history of the news.sonic.net servers, the investment that Sonic.net has made in them and why they can no longer justify the cost. Along with other newsgroup members, he also suggested a number of alternative services who specialize in USENET, including free ones like eternal-september.org.

To expect a company to bear the major cost of a very niche service for its users is absurd, but I think many other companies can learn from Dane’s example and communicate openly and clearly with their customers why certain things are happening and suggest alternatives, etc.

Kudos Sonic.net.