Saturday, July 01, 2017

Message in a Bolthole

Image result for bulletin board system

Before there was the notion that We blog, we had the online message board. Did we go to it for answers? Nowadays we don't need the format to find out about breeding Angora goats for their wool. We can go to a dozen places to learn to darn socks and sites are specifically set up to help us sell good girl calendars.
It's all added to the mix: some of us want to read a blog about repurposed tins and others a message board where people discuss the single bed.

The original BBS (Bulletin Board System) debuted in the seventies and survived until the mid-nineties. Computerized Bulletin Board was developed by Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss*.

According to
Usenet is an international system used primarily for topical discussions. The network is built in a hierarchical fashion where each step within the hierarchy corresponds to a particular topic, or newsgroups. Using a news client, users can subscribe to these different newsgroups based on their interests.
 This system predates the World Wide Web.

 IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, made its appearance in 1988. A glorified chatroom system that started as a way to have live chatting between multiple users, it became a network for data transfers and file sharing.
 With IRC, multiple users can connect to a specific server and join multiple chatrooms on that server, though the technical term would be channels.
Forums aka message boards are similar to BBS and Usenet but on a larger scale and in more specialised ways. Software for forum protocol was developed in 1994; WIT by the W3 Consortium. Since then there have been hundreds of packages, and forums remain popular.
*actually it's Randy Suess. Active on social media and a reminder that the Internet isn't always reliable through his very name; I've seen it written both ways


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