The Usenet Improvement Project is an attempt to make Usenet participation a better experience for those who are clued as to what the Usenet medium is and how to use it.
Most of the people who post to Usenet via the clunky Google Groups web interface are lusers or lamers. Because of their use of a clunky Usenet web interface (and all Usenet web interfaces suck - Usenet wasn't designed for webification and does not need webification), they have no idea what Usenet is, how it works, or how to use it properly. And, generally, they don't want to learn.
Here's a truly priceless quote from a Google Grouper accused of spamming a newsgroup (with my elision of a couple of letters), which nicely illustrates this: "As you f**kwits keep reminding me, YOU are on usenet. The rest of the millions upon millions of us real world readers are on the internet." Ah! I get it – it's FedEx or something like that that carries Usenet, not the Internet. Unbelievable.
If these Google Groupers were using proper news clients, some of them might have a chance at becoming clued themselves; but clinging to Google Groups prevents this. It doesn't help that the Google Groups interface (which grew out of the infamous beta of 2005, which as of August 2006 was reclassified as as non-beta) is now worse than their original one. Update, Spring 2007: That wasn't bad enough; now they've downgraded further to another new version and it seems to be in a continual state of continued degradation.
There is an excellent short article about these issues here. Please read it.
Read this short paragraph on the Eternal September. Its relevance to the current lamer problem is historical in that when AOL dropped their Usenet connection in 2005 its members were emailed with the recommendation that they become Google Groupers.
Google Groups is also responsible for a lot of spam. Take a closer look at the spam you see in Usenet, and note what a large proportion of it originates with Google Groups. (You will find that information in the Message-ID header, not the From header.) Certainly Google Groups isn't the only source. Some news feeds block certain spam sources, but unfortunately, they're not blocking Google Groups. Yet. With any luck, eventually they will wake up and take that step. Google doesn't care that they're a major source of Usenet spam, so others will have to address that problem for them. We users can do that locally; news feed admins could be doing that globally.
Great site Blinky. Keep up the good work. I just killed 54 Google posts. The slaughter continues unabated. – James E. Morrow
I didn't think anyone could top the annual autumn spewage when college classes resumed--then along came the AOL/WebTV crowd. They're now morphing into GoogleGropers, like some biblical sequence of plagues. – Harold Stevens
I've finally had to join the Usenet Improvement Project, it took me a very long time to do so but I finally became convinced yesterday. I've been analyzing posts from GG and have to agree the percent that contain useful info is way too small to worry about. – XS11E
From my own informal sampling, the trash from Google _far_ outweighs the treasure and I'll gladly accept a few losses. – John McGaw
An ungodly large number of numbskulls use google groups and think they're posting to "Google Groups" when they're posting to USENET. – Magus
I finally gave up and I'm blocking google groups posters. Ever since I dropped Google Groups, the world has become a better place. – Evan Platt