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
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
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.