April 12, 2017
Social Media’s Dial-Up Ancestor: The Bulletin Board System
A love letter from the IEEE Spectrum about the 1980s BBS phenomenon with an emphasis on how BBSes and the FidoNet message system spurred the creation of local social networks between users, the local part mostly being lost on our current global social media platforms.
An add-on for FidoNet called Echomail written by a developer in Dallas, Texas took simple conversational forums like this across the nation — for a fictionalized account of this history, see the 2nd season of Halt and Catch Fire (OK, that show is riffing more on the Lucasfilm Games-develoed Quantum Link Club Caribe, but it’s of the right era and zeitgeist)
Go check it out →