BLOG – My views on BBSing – August 2019 edition

Hey folks! I’m going to get back to blogging again. It’s been a while since I really did some serious blogging, and I figure this would be a good place to start.

So what’s on my mind with regards to BBSing? Quite a bit actually.

BBSing in the summer of 2019 is interesting from the perspective of the guy who runs and maintains this site. Lots of activity around here, if you haven’t noticed.

So here are my thoughts on BBSing in the age of social networking (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)

1) There are a number of BBSes out there, and the number seems to be GROWING, not shrinking. As you may know, I’ve been a Sysop for 26 years and I’ve been running the Telnet BBS Guide for almost 22 years. I’ve seen quite a bit of changes, trends, and just overall things that show that this still an evolving field, even though the numbers of people actually knowing what this field is and participating in this field is very small these days. Except for a very few people, how many Millennials and Gen Zers actually know what a BBS actually is? I think most of us who know what a BBS is either used them back in the modem days pre-Internet, or found out by some history site such as Lazy Game Reviews on YouTube. But I’m still surprised that the field is growing.

2) Speaking of growing, the major growth is the use of two kinds of software. Synchronet and Mystic. Both are very good BBS packages, continue to be well supported, well documented, and have a fairly substantial use in the small BBS world. Both are modern software packages that bridge the gap between the old world and the new. Synchronet dates back to the late 1980s, while Mystic is all new-school. But while both are extremely powerful and capable, there are distinct differences. But because of that, they appeal to different audiences. Synchronet is more “old school” in looks and style. Mystic is the up and coming system that appeals to the creative type. So you appeal to two types of people, but at the same time fills the niche. Right now, Synchronet leads the pack with the number of BBSes (177) but Mystic is not far behind (127).

3) So even though right now we are experiencing a peak of BBSes out there, how many actual users are there? As time marches on, both people and operating systems have marched on from BBSing. For example, Windows no longer has Telnet installed by default. Hardly anybody uses Telnet anymore because of security. SSH works, but it’s not really good for BBSes (a pain to use with BBSes). And finally, Facebook pretty much took over as the social media giant.

Botton line – So I’m wondering, with the resurgence of BBSes, does anybody other than the Sysops who run these BBSes even care? Or does anybody even know we exist?

Just my 2 1/2 cents.

Author: diamond45