Despite those who continue to hang on, are the days numbered for this type of
community? Is it possible that there could be a resurgence of interest in what many
consider to be a limiting medium? Do any other K5 users participate in these, or other,
Well, as one of those who has 'continued to hang on', I would have to
say no, the days are not numbered. I actually find it kind of aggravating
that every story I see about BBSes on web forums inevitable takes the
same tired perspective - "is it dead yet?".. come on.. have some
imagination. I was going to write a story about BBSes for k5 with a
more unusual optimistic perspective, a "BBS primer" of sorts for anyone
interested in getting into oldskool bbsing, either again, or for the first
time. I probably still will.
BBSes are not just a curiousity, some old archaic relic of days past.
Some BBS software is still in active development (mystic and
renegade to name but two, there's also apparently alot of people
working on their own larval linux bbs projects now too). Most areacodes
are stone dead for dialup BBSes (as my own 519 is -- shoutouts to
any oldskool 519ers reading this), but there are plenty
of BBSes sitting on ye olde telnet port nowadays.
A BBS is a hidden corner of the internet, where small communities
form. Discussions tend to be more whimsical and lightweight than the
sometimes a-wee-bit-too-serious idealogical steel cage matches that
occur on web forums. One of the major strengths of the BBS was that
the geographic locations and areacodes that bound the people behind the handles together created a very personal and engaging atmosphere that
you just don't get on "bigger and better" things like the web. Everyone
who is, or has been, a bbs fiend, knows exactly what i'm talking about -
there is something seriously missing in all the other means of creating forums and communities on the internet today besides the old
ASCII / ANSI gfx bbs. The geographic isolation,
which was actually a good thing in the case of bbses, ceases to exist
on most modern day telnet bbses. However, boards generally try to fill
a niche, whether aesthetic or topical, and they still continue to magically
bring like-minded groups of people together.
Contrary to what people incessantly repeat like sheep every time this
is a story on a web forum, the bbs is far from dead. Actually, the darkest
days of the bbs scene were undoubtedly last year at this time. Things
had truly never been so bleak and inactive. Now, a year later, there is
*definately* a resurgence occuring. Alot of bbses are becoming *really*
active again, and alot more are popping up. More people are diving in, and more people are returning to their bbs roots too.
All I can say is that after summer/fall of 99, I am convinced the bbs
will never die. It would have died then if it was ever going to. But it
Right now the bbs scene is tentatively on the upswing, but it's still
on shaky foundations. We do need new blood. If you have an actual
attention span, aren't afraid of the console, and your ego isn't miles
high, you are always welcome to join us. I will submit my 'bbs primer'
story to k5 soon, for the benefit of all of you who may need a little
help, or some insight into what exactly does constitute the bbs 'scene'.
A bbs is not just an oldskool version of the weblog. A bbs is not
about commentary and debate so much as it is about just simple self-expression and communication for it's own sake.
For the time being, I'd recommend inso.darktech.org. A nice minimalistic
color ascii board with good message flow. Running on mystic/linux.And yes you can play the old door games like LORD and TW there too ;)
Also, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned it yet, but there are quite
alot of bbses, some really great and some really shite, under the .darktech.org domain. Have a look around... one bbs leads to another leads to another.. and eventually you're going to find one you feel right at
There is no K5 Cabal.