I first used the Internet, and had my first email address, in 1990 at Library school. This was just before Mosaic, GUI interfaces and web 2.0, so it was a bit of a trip down memory lane to think about, let alone look at, Usenet after such a long time.
While overall Usenet stats are up, there is also the suggestion that much of this traffic increase reflects not an increase in discrete users or newsgroup discussions, but instead the combination of massive automated spamming and an increase in the use of .binaries newsgroups in which large files (frequently pornography or pirated media) are often posted publicly. For details see wikipedia/Usenet. Mmm so much for Newsnet.
Meanwhile back at the Google Group soc.libraries.talk, usage has tanked in the last 12 years. See the following graph for details. I guess with so many other online discussion services and social network sites available, there are now so many more options.
Learning 2.1: Google Groups and Usenet