Another Year, Another Volume of the Digest

We are now on volume 25 of the Digest (in case you had not noticed) and we are in another year, 2006 (which I am sure you _did_ notice.) We started off yesterday, Sunday, with issue 1 of volume 25. This Digest has been around now for a _quarter-century_, since 1981, and as far as I can tell, Telecom Digest is the _oldest continuously published Digest and newsgroup on the internet. Some have suggested that there may be another Digest/newsgroup which is older (sci-fi) but I do not know if that is true or not.

When this digest started, we were a Usenet newsgroup (comp.dcom.telecom) and a newsletter/Digest only; it was strictly in text format. Beginning in 1995, we began a web-based version as well

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still continued mostly in text format. In 2004, in addition to Usenet, the Digest, and the web page, we began syndication of the Digest via RSS format. And with RSS format, the Digest/newsgroup -- still principally a text-based format publication, expanded in scope to being more of a general telecom-based news magazine. The good thing about RSS is the 'share and share alike' concept; you use and print my stuff as you wish, I use and print your stuff as desired, subject to certain rules; we must honor the copyrights others place on their work as they must honor our copyrights, and the choice of articles to use is otherwise wide open. Overall, I would say, RSS has been one of the best things to happen to the internet. I could not begin to pick through everything offered each day on the various RSS feeds made available. Of course, we still have our archives, material dating back into the closing days of the old AT&T/Bell System, along with many technical reports and other stuff.

Our 'official' quarter-century mark occurs on August 11. If I think of it about that time, I might prepare a special issue on that day, or maybe not ... but I do hope there will be another 25 years of this publication, whoever is maintaining it at that point in time.

Patrick Townson

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