• Online Communities

    From Charles Pierson@2:221/6.21 to All on Fri Nov 6 09:19:20 2020
    Hello, All.

    I was reading an article the other day titled "What Makes a Great Online Community". It actually was primarily an extended advertisement/invitation for a Twitter discussion scheduled for later today.

    While I have very little interest in that. The article did raise some points of interest to me.

    The author mentions being introduced to online communities in 2007. Specifically, having just recently joined Facebook, and learning of a new thing called Twitter.

    Also around that time, they discovered message forums on a website they were subscribed to.

    This is the highlights of what they took away from those communities:

    Even though one community was on a private platform and the other was a public and global event, both expected participants to be respectful toward others.

    Community members offered two-way feedback. There was (and still is) a wonderful balance between giving and taking, asking and answering.

    The members created tight-knit, global communities that supported people despite living miles apart or in different time zones.

    I felt that both communities were safe, nonjudgmental spaces.

    It gave me the opportunity to network with like-minded people.

    Learning from people from all over the world is an enriching experience. 


    While I'm reading that, I find myself thinking that this is exactly what I found more than 20 years prior to that in the BBS community and eventually Fidonet.

    So why is it the online forums and things like Facebook and Twitter are such huge presences in the world, but Fidonet, and the BBS community in general, aren't?


    --
    Best regards!
    Posted using Hotdoged on Android
    --- Hotdoged/2.13.5/Android
    * Origin: Houston, Tx (2:221/6.21)
  • From Charles Pierson@2:221/6.21 to August Abolins on Sun Nov 8 14:21:11 2020
    Hello, August Abolins.
    On 11/8/20 1:22 AM you wrote:

    Hi Charles! 07 Nov 20 05:28, you wrote to me:
    I remember the initial participation fall off of some of the
    echos I most actively participated in. At the time, connecting to
    the internet was primarily dialup, so I don't really accept that.
    There were a lot of different BBSes (mostly single POTS) to choose
    from in the early days. As the AOL, Prodigy, and public uucp
    services emerged, busy signals were probably a rarity for those
    well supported systems with multiple lines. Hence, users gravited towards systems where they could get on right away. That's how I
    felt with Compuserve; I don't recall ever getting a busy signal
    with that. Meanwhile, supporting multiple lines for a hobby-based
    BBS was expensive. The other services mentioned above were all $'s supported.

    I remember with AOL, it would cycle through local numbers until it connected. The others I don't recall.

    But as far as single line BBSes, I had several different systems in my terminal program. At least 20-30 local one's during the height of popularity. With autodial, the terminal program would simply go down the list until a system connected. I primarily logged on transferred QWK or BW packets and logged off. A few systems, I would play a few door games. Primarily league games.

    Once Telnet became more common, it was much the same, but more globally as far as BBS systems were concerned.



    I did see it as being something shiny and new, so obviously
    people were going to look around. But I also expected them to
    eventually come back around the echos. Perhaps not as often as
    before, but consistently.
    To come back? Why would they do that, when they get pretty
    graphics and colours (html) and buttons to click on the screen?
    It's so much more fun.

    True, you could see things that you couldn't on a BBS, but why is it either/or?

    For the most part, with a few exceptions, you still have far better quality discussions on Fido than elsewhere online.


    Obviously I was wrong.
    :)
    I tried newsgroups now and then. I didn't care for them. It
    seemed a cheap imitation of echomail. Email group lists were
    better, but many of the lists I was on then were primarily by
    people coming from a Fidonet background, and the lists reflected
    that.
    I thought ngs where quite amazing - before my regular hangouts
    started getting trolls and spam.

    Maybe I was late to it, but i generally saw more spam than anything on usenet.

    Myself, my community for fast answers and interesting
    conversions included Compuserve for at least 3 or 4 years.
    I never did find anything like that on Compuserve or AOL.
    I hung around the areas for music and film primarily. The odd
    technical place for Windows and OS/2 was pretty good for questions
    and answers.

    Fidonet had a Message area for nearly any topic you could imagine.

    The only difference was that until internet packet transfers became more common, a conversation took days or even a couple of weeks, depending on routes. Now instead of everything in North America have to go system to system usually during an overnight mail hour, until reaching a system who volunteered a good hit to their phone bill to call overseas to a similar system in Europe or Asia or Australia or Africa or South America, then hop system to system again until the end. Then replies come back the same way.

    Now systems either can send packets as soon as there is new mail or hourly, as they choose, so you can have back and forth in a conversation several times a day.


    FTN echomail... web forum style too (eg Synchronet's eWeb
    thing?)
    It has. But it's also had a tendency to be very insular. There is
    very little, if any promotion of what it has to offer.
    Sysops do there best with listings on TelnetBBS Guide, getting
    noticed on places like ipingtherforeiam, creating Welcome webpages
    that offer fTelnet connections, and even some Facebook presence to
    make announcements and try to inform new visitors. But, for the
    most part Fidonet (or any othernet for that matter) remains
    obscure to the average user out there.

    Exactly. How many of those things would someone not part of the BBS community even know exist?

    Even with Facebook, I belong to a Group called FidoNet TREK Echo.
    It was supposedly set up to mimic it's namesake. There are about 175 members in the Group. Besides myself, I know 3 members that were for certain part of Fidonet in the past.

    Even if more were in FidoNet before, as far as I can tell, I'm the only one still actively participating in FidoNet.
    As far as the content of that group, people share articles related to various Star Trek related shows, movies, events, actors. Occasionally, someone will post an opinion on an episode. But there is no discussion to speak of.

    It hardly reflects what the Echo it's named after was.

    My point is that if you have something like that, wouldn't you want to promote where it came from?


    BBSing is probably still strongly associated with dialup.
    I actually think more in terms of Telnet these days, the local
    BBS's I called on dialup vanished long ago. I'm sure there are
    some still, but I no longer even have a landline phone.
    Precisely. So, the average person thinks that BBSes are quite dead
    since many people don't use dialup for their internet/computer
    activity anymore.

    The average person has no idea what a BBS is, or if they do, it's a vague idea of what computer geeks did in thier spare time when not running away from dinosaurs going to and from school.

    Twitter, I won't comment on, except to say that I don't like the
    hashtag mess that the tweets become.
    I don't get the hashtags. I mean, I understand what the intent
    was, but I don't get it.
    They are a way to categorize a message. Clicking on the tag in the message shows you other messages that contain the same tag.
    Apparently Telegram has something similar but I haven't studied
    that.

    I know what hashtags are and their purpose. I don't get the need for them.

    ...Perhaps if there was a consistent approach to reacquaint the
    ex-BBS user and the new generation of conversationalist to the
    Fidonet and BBS communities then maybe we'd notice some
    increased presence by their participation.
    There is the issue in a nutshell. But it's more than that. The
    BBS community is where I've met some of the most innovative
    people in computers. Terminal programs, BBS programs, offline
    readers, door programs, FTN and other style networks.... while
    there is commercial software, for the most part it was done by
    individuals, or groups of people, creating these wonderful
    programs because they could.
    The ZDnet article mentioned The Well. The internet presence for
    The Well looks amazing and well organized. It's basically the
    same thing as Fidonet, but webbased forums. Not sure if there is
    an offline option for messages. Its philosophy of real names,
    etc... reads very much like the Fidonet BBSses of old.

    The Well is a commercial BBS, more or less.

    You don't see very much of that now. Now, the BBS community seems
    more about preserving the history. Why can't it be both?
    I dunno. I think the preservation part is due in part to the
    necessity of sticking to minimum FTN standards? But Fidonet (and
    its counterpart othernets) have done a pretty good job being
    accessible via nntp, qwk, and other means.

    I wasn't clear enough, I guess.

    History is important. FidoNet showed what a bunch of regular people are capable of. Linking thousands or more people together worldwide talking about things. Not governments, not corporations, not Universities. People. On their own time, out of their own pockets.

    Different computer systems, it didn't matter.

    Different OSes, no problem. We have this program in DOS, let's make it available for people that use OS2 or Linux. Or vice versa.

    You have a C=64? No problem, join in the fun.

    If I'm not mistaken, every model of home computer there was could participate.




    Smart phones and tablets have been around for over a decade. But
    look what happens when the conversation comes up about software
    for these mobile devices to connect with FTN networks. There is
    very little interest, if not outright hostility to the idea.
    I don't sense hostility as much as I sense apathy. Time and money
    could be limiting factor. Producing an app for the MacOS requires
    some kind of upfront fee, I think. WRT time, there is probably the
    notion that something like Fidonet is dying anyway, so why bother?

    Maybe hostility wasn't the right word.

    Apathy fits a lot of it. But there is more than that.

    How many BBS related programs are there that have versions for multiple operating systems? What if those programmers thought, "I only use X OS. I don't need to port it to Y." ? Or release the code so someone else can.

    That's exactly what this is here. Android is simply a different OS.

    But there are negative reactions to the idea.

    Recall the reactions to my idea of running a BBS on a smartphone
    or Tablet?
    You would encounter critics wherever you go.

    True. Criticism if fine, expected even.

    It's the negativity.

    "The screen is too small"
    "The Keyboard is too small"
    "It's too hard to read on it"

    Ok, in your particular situation, any or all of these comments might be true. But that doesn't make it universally true. Millions of people use tablets and smartphones on a daily basis.

    A few months ago, I saw a guy testing a connection with a software he's working on. I thought it was along the line of what I'm looking for, but it's more a remote connection to his home system. It's not something that I necessarily would use myself, but I'm fully supportive of his efforts.

    My more current discussion in Asian Link. His idea works. It's more programmer heavy than I'm looking for. But it's there, and if it works for people, I'm in full support.

    The general public aren't big programmers. But they can install an app. They can type an address. They can fill out a form.
    So the typical BBS related software, a decent Telnet that supports ANSI graphics and BBS transfers for Mail Packets, seem a very good thing to me.

    A point system that has the features that one on a PC does seems even better. Once you're set up, it's only a matter of sending and receiving mail.

    As far as the BBS on Android idea? It's definitely not for everyone. But it's something that I see potential for.



    At best, my ideas have been met with a response that is
    basically, "Yes it is possible, but I have no interest in using
    that myself. Good luck with that."
    At the moment you haven't met the right individual that shares
    your vision.

    I've seen some alternative ideas.

    I may not ever find that person. That's fine.

    Like it or not, you're going to have little, if any growth in the
    BBS network community without adapting to new technology. This
    doesn't mean discarding the past. But existing BBS software can
    be adapted to mobile device technology without making the
    existing tech obsolete. The proof of concept exists in the
    program I am using now. It's just not being supported.


    Yes, Hotdoged seems to be a fine adaptation for Android devices.
    But is that the one where the code is not available?

    The Fido provider portion of HotdogEd is based on jNode. I'm not sure about the other portions.

    Aftershock I don't know about,

    --
    Best regards!
    Posted using Hotdoged on Android
    --- Hotdoged/2.13.5/Android
    * Origin: Houston, Tx (2:221/6.21)
  • From August Abolins@2:333/808.7 to Charles Pierson on Mon Nov 9 00:36:09 2020
    Hi Charles!

    07 Nov 20 17:10, you wrote to me:

    I only skimmed over it quickly. I want to re-read it. It was
    nice to read that Fidonet was remembered and with a link to the
    "official" domain.

    I see articles every now and again about BBSes. They even give links
    to some now and then. It's usually nostalgia type pieces though.

    Good point. Most stories and reports seem to refer to fidonet/bbs in the past tense.

    Perhaps an article that summarizes the current status and the availability to participate with the fidonet community (and othernets) TODAY could be created and posted in places where conversationalists reside: reddit?


    --- GoldED+/W32-MINGW 1.1.5-b20180707
    * Origin: ----> Point Of VeleNo BBs (http://www.velenobbs.net) (2:333/808.7)
  • From Charles Pierson@2:240/1120.976 to August Abolins on Sun Nov 8 19:53:44 2020
    Hello, August Abolins.
    On 11/9/20 12:36 AM you wrote:

    Hi Charles! 07 Nov 20 17:10, you wrote to me:
    I only skimmed over it quickly. I want to re-read it. It was
    nice to read that Fidonet was remembered and with a link to the
    "official" domain.
    I see articles every now and again about BBSes. They even give
    links to some now and then. It's usually nostalgia type pieces
    though.
    Good point. Most stories and reports seem to refer to fidonet/bbs
    in the past tense. Perhaps an article that summarizes the current
    status and the availability to participate with the fidonet
    community (and othernets) TODAY could be created and posted in
    places where conversationalists reside: reddit?

    Add it to the list.

    --
    Best regards!
    Posted using Hotdoged on Android
    --- Hotdoged/2.13.5/Android
    * Origin: Houston, TX (2:240/1120.976)
  • From August Abolins@2:333/808.7 to Charles Pierson on Sat Nov 7 01:46:12 2020
    Hi Charles!

    06 Nov 20 09:19, you wrote to All:

    I was reading an article the other day titled "What Makes a Great
    Online Community"...

    [snip]

    While I'm reading that, I find myself thinking that this is exactly
    what I found more than 20 years prior to that in the BBS community and eventually Fidonet.

    That is what I found the various message boards and echomail to be.


    So why is it the online forums and things like Facebook and Twitter
    are such huge presences in the world, but Fidonet, and the BBS
    community in general, aren't?

    That has been debated before. Opinions varied from "the eenernet is sexier", less dialup wait times or faster connections of internet, lots of purty pictures and graphics.

    I wouldn't know if newsgroup use has waned over time since then (more spam and trolls), but even participation in a newsgroup had a faster and more broad response than an isolated BBS or a hobbiest echomail network.

    Myself, my community for fast answers and interesting conversions included Compuserve for at least 3 or 4 years.

    Web forums also evolved out of a need to build communities with special interests. I joined a few when I needed info on Thinkpads and Macs. I still have the Thinkpad one in my back pocket.

    Meanwhile, FTN echomail has found a way to participate in similar web forum style too (eg Synchronet's eWeb thing?)

    Along the way, people have probably grown accustomed to using the browser that often would come included with their computer purchase and not learn about the FTN/BBS options out there. BBSing is probably still strongly associated with dialup.

    As for Facebook and Twitter, they address the short term memories and fickle approach of communication (memes, pics, one-liners, forwards of other people's pics/memes/jokes) to the vast majority of computer users, I guess.

    I think Facebook made it easy for an individual (and now companies and groups) to establish a presence and have pretty good control of content and promotion. No fancy web-page coding required. People on Facebook are not interested in conversations as much as they are interested in telling the world about themselves. It really upped the anted on blogging, I think.

    Twitter, I won't comment on, except to say that I don't like the hashtag mess that the tweets become.

    And now over time, people are migrating to using different devices to access their Facebooks and Twitters via "apps".

    Where does all this leave the Fidonet and BBS community? ..probably in the dust. Perhaps if there was a consistent approach to reacquaint the ex-BBS user and the new generation of conversationalist to the Fidonet and BBS communities then maybe we'd notice some increased presence by their participation.


    --- GoldED+/W32-MINGW 1.1.5-b20180707
    * Origin: ----> Point Of VeleNo BBs (http://www.velenobbs.net) (2:333/808.7)
  • From Charles Pierson@2:221/6.21 to August Abolins on Sat Nov 7 05:28:02 2020
    Hello, August Abolins.
    On 11/7/20 1:46 AM you wrote:

    So why is it the online forums and things like Facebook and
    Twitter are such huge presences in the world, but Fidonet, and
    the BBS community in general, aren't?
    That has been debated before. Opinions varied from "the eenernet
    is sexier", less dialup wait times or faster connections of
    internet, lots of purty pictures and graphics.

    I remember the initial participation fall off of some of the echos I most actively participated in. At the time, connecting to the internet was primarily dialup, so I don't really accept that.
    I did see it as being something shiny and new, so obviously people were going to look around. But I also expected them to eventually come back around the echos. Perhaps not as often as before, but consistently.

    Obviously I was wrong.

    I wouldn't know if newsgroup use has waned over time since then
    (more spam and trolls), but even participation in a newsgroup had
    a faster and more broad response than an isolated BBS or a
    hobbiest echomail network.

    I tried newsgroups now and then. I didn't care for them. It seemed a cheap imitation of echomail.
    Email group lists were better, but many of the lists I was on then were primarily by people coming from a Fidonet background, and the lists reflected that.

    Myself, my community for fast answers and interesting conversions included Compuserve for at least 3 or 4 years.

    I never did find anything like that on Compuserve or AOL.

    Web forums also evolved out of a need to build communities with
    special interests. I joined a few when I needed info on Thinkpads
    and Macs. I still have the Thinkpad one in my back pocket.

    Specialized forums like that I understand. It makes sense. In some larger companies I've worked at, they had them set-up as a sort of peer to peer help system to spread everyone's knowledge and experience around.

    Meanwhile, FTN echomail has found a way to participate in similar
    web forum style too (eg Synchronet's eWeb thing?)

    It has. But it's also had a tendency to be very insular. There is very little, if any promotion of what it has to offer.

    Along the way, people have probably grown accustomed to using the
    browser that often would come included with their computer
    purchase and not learn about the FTN/BBS options out there.
    BBSing is probably still strongly associated with dialup.

    I actually think more in terms of Telnet these days, the local BBS's I called on dialup vanished long ago. I'm sure there are some still, but I no longer even have a landline phone.

    If you mention BBS to the average person these days, they are as likely to associate the term with thise web forum things, which can tend to be as badly infested with bots and spam as usenet ever was.

    As for Facebook and Twitter, they address the short term memories
    and fickle approach of communication (memes, pics, one-liners,
    forwards of other people's pics/memes/jokes) to the vast majority
    of computer users, I guess.

    For all that might be said now, Facebook basically can be broken down to being started as a computer nerd online frat party.

    I think Facebook made it easy for an individual (and now companies
    and groups) to establish a presence and have pretty good control
    of content and promotion. No fancy web-page coding required.
    People on Facebook are not interested in conversations as much as
    they are interested in telling the world about themselves. It
    really upped the anted on blogging, I think.

    Facebook does have groups, which can imitate echos. But for the most part, you're correct.

    Twitter, I won't comment on, except to say that I don't like the
    hashtag mess that the tweets become.

    I don't get the hashtags. I mean, I understand what the intent was, but I don't get it.

    And now over time, people are migrating to using different devices
    to access their Facebooks and Twitters via "apps".

    Apps are easy. They're convenient. But then again, I'm a software geek.

    Where does all this leave the Fidonet and BBS community?
    ..probably in the dust. Perhaps if there was a consistent approach
    to reacquaint the ex-BBS user and the new generation of
    conversationalist to the Fidonet and BBS communities then maybe
    we'd notice some increased presence by their participation.

    There is the issue in a nutshell. But it's more than that.
    The BBS community is where I've met some of the most innovative people in computers.
    Terminal programs, BBS programs, offline readers, door programs, FTN and other style networks.... while there is commercial software, for the most part it was done by individuals, or groups of people, creating these wonderful programs because they could.

    You don't see very much of that now. Now, the BBS community seems more about preserving the history.

    Why can't it be both?

    I think I was around 12 years old when we got our first home computer. Younger if you include things like Atari games.

    Now, there is an entire generation that a computer in the home is like a television or a stove. You yourself have referred to your computer as an appliance.

    Smart phones and tablets have been around for over a decade.

    But look what happens when the conversation comes up about software for these mobile devices to connect with FTN networks. There is very little interest, if not outright hostility to the idea.

    Recall the reactions to my idea of running a BBS on a smartphone or Tablet?

    At best, my ideas have been met with a response that is basically, "Yes it is possible, but I have no interest in using that myself. Good luck with that."

    Like it or not, you're going to have little, if any growth in the BBS network community without adapting to new technology. This doesn't mean discarding the past. But existing BBS software can be adapted to mobile device technology without making the existing tech obsolete.

    The proof of concept exists in the program I am using now. It's just not being supported.



    --
    Best regards!
    Posted using Hotdoged on Android
    --- Hotdoged/2.13.5/Android
    * Origin: Houston, Tx (2:221/6.21)
  • From August Abolins@2:221/360 to Charles Pierson on Sat Nov 7 20:18:33 2020
    On 06/11/2020 10:28 p.m., Charles Pierson : August Abolins wrote:

    I did see it as being something shiny and new, so
    obviously people were going to look around. But I also
    expected them to eventually come back around the echos.
    Perhaps not as often as before, but consistently.

    Obviously I was wrong.


    This article seems to analyse the trend and reasoning from BBS to
    internet use too:

    https://www.zdnet.com/article/before-the-web-online-services/


    --
    __/|ug

    --- TB(Stealth)/Win7
    * Origin: nntp://rbb.fidonet.fi - Lake Ylo - Finland (2:221/360.0)
  • From Charles Pierson@2:240/1120.976 to August Abolins on Sat Nov 7 14:58:22 2020
    Hello, August Abolins.
    On 11/7/20 8:18 PM you wrote:

    This article seems to analyse the trend and reasoning from BBS to internet use too: https://www.zdnet.com/article/before-the-web-online-services/

    I didn't get any reasoning on BBS's decline. It was more of a footnote of also was...

    I do remember checking out most of the services they talk about. GEnie and WELL I didn't. But it was in addition to BBS, not in place of.



    --
    Best regards!
    Posted using Hotdoged on Android
    --- Hotdoged/2.13.5/Android
    * Origin: Houston, TX (2:240/1120.976)
  • From August Abolins@2:460/58 to Charles Pierson on Sun Nov 8 00:14:11 2020
    Hello, August Abolins.
    On 11/7/20 8:18 PM you wrote:

    This article seems to analyse the trend and reasoning from BBS to internet use too: https://www.zdnet.com/article/before-the-web-online-services/

    I didn't get any reasoning on BBS's decline. It was more of a footnote of also was...

    I do remember checking out most of the services they talk about. GEnie and WELL I didn't. But it was in addition to BBS, not in place of.



    --
    Best regards!
    Posted using Hotdoged on Android

    I only skimmed over it quickly. I want to re-read it. It was nice to read that Fidonet was remembered and with a link to the "official" domain.

    --- tg2fido gate v0.6.1
    * Origin: Telegram to fido gate by Stas Mishchenkov (2:460/58)
  • From Charles Pierson@2:240/1120.976 to August Abolins on Sat Nov 7 17:10:53 2020
    Hello, August Abolins.
    On 11/8/20 12:14 AM you wrote:

    I only skimmed over it quickly. I want to re-read it. It was nice
    to read that Fidonet was remembered and with a link to the
    "official" domain.

    I see articles every now and again about BBSes. They even give links to some now and then. It's usually nostalgia type pieces though.

    --
    Best regards!
    Posted using Hotdoged on Android
    --- Hotdoged/2.13.5/Android
    * Origin: Houston, TX (2:240/1120.976)
  • From August Abolins@2:333/808.7 to Charles Pierson on Sun Nov 8 01:22:02 2020
    Hi Charles!

    07 Nov 20 05:28, you wrote to me:

    I remember the initial participation fall off of some of the echos I
    most actively participated in. At the time, connecting to the internet
    was primarily dialup, so I don't really accept that.

    There were a lot of different BBSes (mostly single POTS) to choose from in the early days. As the AOL, Prodigy, and public uucp services emerged, busy signals were probably a rarity for those well supported systems with multiple lines. Hence, users gravited towards systems where they could get on right away. That's how I felt with Compuserve; I don't recall ever getting a busy signal with that. Meanwhile, supporting multiple lines for a hobby-based BBS was expensive. The other services mentioned above were all $'s supported.

    I did see it as
    being something shiny and new, so obviously people were going to look around. But I also expected them to eventually come back around the echos. Perhaps not as often as before, but consistently.

    To come back? Why would they do that, when they get pretty graphics and colours (html) and buttons to click on the screen? It's so much more fun.


    Obviously I was wrong.

    :)


    I tried newsgroups now and then. I didn't care for them. It seemed a cheap imitation of echomail. Email group lists were better, but many
    of the lists I was on then were primarily by people coming from a
    Fidonet background, and the lists reflected that.

    I thought ngs where quite amazing - before my regular hangouts started getting trolls and spam.


    Myself, my community for fast answers and interesting conversions
    included Compuserve for at least 3 or 4 years.

    I never did find anything like that on Compuserve or AOL.

    I hung around the areas for music and film primarily. The odd technical place for Windows and OS/2 was pretty good for questions and answers.


    FTN echomail... web forum style too (eg Synchronet's eWeb thing?)

    It has. But it's also had a tendency to be very insular. There is very little, if any promotion of what it has to offer.

    Sysops do there best with listings on TelnetBBS Guide, getting noticed on places like ipingtherforeiam, creating Welcome webpages that offer fTelnet connections, and even some Facebook presence to make announcements and try to inform new visitors.

    But, for the most part Fidonet (or any othernet for that matter) remains obscure to the average user out there.


    BBSing is probably still strongly associated with dialup.

    I actually think more in terms of Telnet these days, the local BBS's I called on dialup vanished long ago. I'm sure there are some still,
    but I no longer even have a landline phone.

    Precisely. So, the average person thinks that BBSes are quite dead since many people don't use dialup for their internet/computer activity anymore.


    Twitter, I won't comment on, except to say that I don't like the
    hashtag mess that the tweets become.

    I don't get the hashtags. I mean, I understand what the intent was,
    but I don't get it.

    They are a way to categorize a message. Clicking on the tag in the message shows you other messages that contain the same tag.

    Apparently Telegram has something similar but I haven't studied that.


    ...Perhaps if there was a consistent
    approach to reacquaint the ex-BBS user and the new generation of
    conversationalist to the Fidonet and BBS communities then maybe
    we'd notice some increased presence by their participation.

    There is the issue in a nutshell. But it's more than that.
    The BBS community is where I've met some of the most innovative people
    in computers. Terminal programs, BBS programs, offline readers, door programs, FTN and other style networks.... while there is commercial software, for the most part it was done by individuals, or groups of people, creating these wonderful programs because they could.

    The ZDnet article mentioned The Well. The internet presence for The Well looks amazing and well organized. It's basically the same thing as Fidonet, but webbased forums. Not sure if there is an offline option for messages. Its philosophy of real names, etc... reads very much like the Fidonet BBSses of old.


    You don't see very much of that now. Now, the BBS community seems more about preserving the history.

    Why can't it be both?

    I dunno. I think the preservation part is due in part to the necessity of sticking to minimum FTN standards? But Fidonet (and its counterpart othernets) have done a pretty good job being accessible via nntp, qwk, and other means.


    Smart phones and tablets have been around for over a decade.

    But look what happens when the conversation comes up about software
    for these mobile devices to connect with FTN networks. There is very little interest, if not outright hostility to the idea.

    I don't sense hostility as much as I sense apathy. Time and money could be limiting factor. Producing an app for the MacOS requires some kind of upfront fee, I think. WRT time, there is probably the notion that something like Fidonet is dying anyway, so why bother?


    Recall the reactions to my idea of running a BBS on a smartphone or Tablet?

    You would encounter critics wherever you go.


    At best, my ideas have been met with a response that is basically,
    "Yes it is possible, but I have no interest in using that myself. Good luck with that."

    At the moment you haven't met the right individual that shares your vision.


    Like it or not, you're going to have little, if any growth in the BBS network community without adapting to new technology. This doesn't
    mean discarding the past. But existing BBS software can be adapted to mobile device technology without making the existing tech obsolete.

    The proof of concept exists in the program I am using now. It's just
    not being supported.
    --
    Best regards!
    Posted using Hotdoged on Android
    --- Hotdoged/2.13.5/Android

    Yes, Hotdoged seems to be a fine adaptation for Android devices. But is that the one where the code is not available?







    --- GoldED+/W32-MINGW 1.1.5-b20180707
    * Origin: ----> Point Of VeleNo BBs (http://www.velenobbs.net) (2:333/808.7)
  • From August Abolins@2:333/808.7 to Charles Pierson on Mon Nov 9 02:42:24 2020
    Hi Charles!

    Answering a msg of <08 Nov 20>, from you to me:

    those well supported systems with multiple lines.
    Hence, users gravited towards systems where they
    could get on right away..

    I remember with AOL, it would cycle through local
    numbers until it connected. The others I don't
    recall.

    The others had little to no busy signal issues. Even IBM had its own BBS. That was fun to connect to and get info about OS/2 updates and post messages in the online community. From the latter, I learned about an OS/2 user group that would meet every month in downtown Montreal in one of the IBM buildings. They featured guest speakers (programmers, designers..), door prizes. I won an OS/2 Warp T-shirt one evening - that was cool.


    But as far as single line BBSes, I had several
    different systems in my terminal program. At least
    20-30 local one's during the height of popularity.
    With autodial, the terminal program would simply
    go down the list until a system connected.

    I had much the same. I just robo-dialed my usual BBSes.

    But TODAY, that dial-n-wait process is obsolete. I don't think the prospective public knows that BBSes are accessible via Telnet (with their exisiting internet service) and the waiting queue is practically non-existent.


    I primarily logged on transferred QWK or BW
    packets and logged off. A few systems, I would
    play a few door games. Primarily league games.

    Same here. I wasn't too much into the games, but it was a nice diversion at times.


    To come back? Why would they do that, when they
    get pretty graphics and colours (html) and
    buttons to click on the screen? It's so much more
    fun.

    True, you could see things that you couldn't on a
    BBS, but why is it either/or?

    For the most part, with a few exceptions, you
    still have far better quality discussions on Fido
    than elsewhere online.

    The target audience is jappers like you and I. I don't need the graphical distractions that online web interfaces provide.


    Obviously I was wrong.
    :)
    I tried newsgroups now and then. I didn't care
    for them. It seemed a cheap imitation of
    echomail.

    On that, I concur.


    Fidonet had a Message area for nearly any topic
    you could imagine.

    Over time, the majority of active echos reduced to areas geared for sysop/bbs interests.


    Now systems either can send packets as soon as
    there is new mail or hourly, as they choose, so
    you can have back and forth in a conversation
    several times a day.

    This is what today's Fidonet ought to leverage and promote for the user's advantage.


    Sysops do there best with listings.. But, for the
    most part Fidonet (or any othernet for that
    matter) remains obscure to the average user out
    there.

    Exactly. How many of those things would someone
    not part of the BBS community even know exist?

    Word needs to be seeded outside the Fidonet realm.


    Even with Facebook, I belong to a Group called
    FidoNet TREK Echo. It was supposedly set up to
    mimic it's namesake. There are about 175 members
    in the Group. Besides myself, I know 3 members
    that were for certain part of Fidonet in the past.

    I hung out in the fido PHOTO group. Then, when internet came along, someone built a Facebook group and everyone went there. The FB solution was pretty good considering that echo was primarily about each other's photos. FB made it easy to share images. BUT... I noticed that the converstional content degraded to zero. The FB group maybe had a brief description (or none at all) for an initial photo, but the rest of the content was just the "thumbs-up" thing, or one-liners like "great photo".

    The group even experimented with scheduled audio chat events (think Zoom, but for audio-only). That was rather cool, except for me still on dialup at the time, it was a brutal experience. Group audio could get confusing.


    ... people share articles related to various Star
    Trek related shows, movies, events, actors.
    Occasionally, someone will post an opinion on an
    episode. But there is no discussion to speak of.

    It hardly reflects what the Echo it's named after
    was.

    Same result as PHOTO echo.


    My point is that if you have something like that,
    wouldn't you want to promote where it came from?

    That is a good point. A shout-out to a sister "disscussion" group on Fidonet could appeal to some of the FB TREK users too, like you.


    Twitter..
    I don't get the hashtags. I mean, I understand
    what the intent was, but I don't get it..
    They are a way to categorize a message...

    I know what hashtags are and their purpose. I
    don't get the need for them.

    It is a way to attempt to build a community of likeminded people on a particular topic. Case in point: #metoo And look how that sky-rocketed into media fame.


    The ZDnet article mentioned The Well. The
    internet presence for The Well looks amazing and
    well organized. It's basically the same thing as
    Fidonet, but webbased forums. Not sure if there
    is an offline option for messages. Its philosophy
    of real names, etc... reads very much like the
    Fidonet BBSses of old.

    The Well is a commercial BBS, more or less.

    Was it always commercial? One of the history articles in WIRED didn't quite cover that aspect. But it did primarily focus on an LA community. No mention of anything like echomail connecting people worldwide.


    I wasn't clear enough, I guess.

    History is important. FidoNet showed what a bunch
    of regular people are capable of. Linking
    thousands or more people together worldwide
    talking about things. Not governments, not
    corporations, not Universities. People. On their
    own time, out of their own pockets.

    I sense a fine Fidonet article in the making!


    Different computer systems, it didn't matter.
    Different OSes, no problem. We have this program
    in DOS, let's make it available for people that
    use OS2 or Linux. Or vice versa.

    You have a C=64? No problem, join in the fun.

    If I'm not mistaken, every model of home computer
    there was could participate.

    Yes.. there was excitement to accomodate the caller/user.


    Apathy fits a lot of it. But there is more than
    that.

    How many BBS related programs are there that have
    versions for multiple operating systems? What if
    those programmers thought, "I only use X OS. I
    don't need to port it to Y."? Or release the code
    so someone else can.

    That's exactly what this is here. Android is
    simply a different OS.

    But there are negative reactions to the idea.

    Age? I think the sysops/progammers of yesteryear are tired, satisfied to just dwell in nostalgia.


    It's the negativity.

    "The screen is too small"
    "The Keyboard is too small"
    "It's too hard to read on it"

    Those are user's/sysop's comments. What is lacking is a programmer/visionary.


    Ok, in your particular situation, any or all of
    these comments might be true. But that doesn't
    make it universally true. Millions of people use
    tablets and smartphones on a daily basis.


    Except for the tried and true genuine BBS interface experience, there is no real reason NOT to embrace supporting echomail on a smartphone/tablet. Some of the NNTP apps are pretty good. They just need cooperating sysops to provide the server-side for that - which there is. JamNNTP goes a step further and tries to mimic the FROM:/TO: in the typical nntp field so that you can see both names in a conversation.


    My more current discussion in Asian Link. His idea
    works. It's more programmer heavy than I'm looking
    for. But it's there, and if it works for people,
    I'm in full support.

    Which discussion is that? I think I missed it. Short-lived? Was it just a comment or two?


    The general public aren't big programmers. But
    they can install an app. They can type an address.
    They can fill out a form. So the typical BBS
    related software, a decent Telnet that supports
    ANSI graphics and BBS transfers for Mail Packets,
    seem a very good thing to me.

    That is all good. Keep expressing it. If you could draw in someone who can explore your ideas futher, it could get traction.


    As far as the BBS on Android idea? It's definitely
    not for everyone. But it's something that I see
    potential for.

    I'm reminded of the BBS-on-a-Stick project.


    Yes, Hotdoged seems to be a fine adaptation for
    Android devices. But is that the one where the
    code is not available?

    The Fido provider portion of HotdogEd is based on
    jNode. I'm not sure about the other portions.

    I see lots of tutorials and info on jNode. Sounds good.

    ___/|ug

    --- GoldED+/W32-MINGW 1.1.5-b20180707
    * Origin: ----> (2:333/808.7)
  • From August Abolins@2:333/808.7 to Charles Pierson on Mon Nov 9 05:52:33 2020
    Hi Charles!

    07 Nov 20 17:10, you wrote to me:

    I only skimmed over it quickly. I want to re-read it. It was
    nice to read that Fidonet was remembered and with a link to the
    "official" domain.

    I see articles every now and again about BBSes. They even give links
    to some now and then. It's usually nostalgia type pieces though.

    I've read the ZDnet article properly now. You are right. It reads more like a nostalgia piece afterall. But I think it has a few things wrong w.r.t Fidonet. I'll share that in a post in FUTURE4FIDO.



    --- GoldED+/W32-MINGW 1.1.5-b20180707
    * Origin: ----> Point Of VeleNo BBs (http://www.velenobbs.net) (2:333/808.7)
  • From Charles Pierson@2:240/1120.976 to August Abolins on Mon Nov 9 00:20:12 2020
    Hello, August Abolins.
    On 11/9/20 2:42 AM you wrote:

    Hi Charles! Answering a msg of <08 Nov 20>, from you to me:
    those well supported systems with multiple lines. Hence, users
    gravited towards systems where they could get on right away..
    I remember with AOL, it would cycle through local numbers until
    it connected. The others I don't recall.
    The others had little to no busy signal issues. Even IBM had its
    own BBS. That was fun to connect to and get info about OS/2
    updates and post messages in the online community. From the
    latter, I learned about an OS/2 user group that would meet every
    month in downtown Montreal in one of the IBM buildings. They
    featured guest speakers (programmers, designers..), door prizes. I
    won an OS/2 Warp T-shirt one evening - that was cool.

    That could be a difference in location. At that time, Houston and Philadelphia, PA were playing ping pong with being the 4th and 5th largest cities in the US. Houston had a larger population than the State of Kansas.

    I'm not sure where you are located, but I would guess Eastern Ontario, or now I suppose Quebec, since you mentioned Montreal.

    Based on the populations of these areas, I suspect more callers in the Houston area than in either of those, just based on density. The Houston metro area population is about 3/4 of the population of Quebec, and close to half of Ontario's.

    But AOL had enough lines available that I never could not connect.



    But TODAY, that dial-n-wait process is obsolete. I don't think
    the prospective public knows that BBSes are accessible via Telnet
    (with their exisiting internet service) and the waiting queue is practically non-existent.

    True. But you have to explain Telnet.

    I primarily logged on transferred QWK or BW packets and logged
    off. A few systems, I would play a few door games. Primarily
    league games.
    Same here. I wasn't too much into the games, but it was a nice
    diversion at times.

    I liked checking them out. Like I've said I'm a software geek. I like seeing what's out there.

    To come back? Why would they do that, when they get pretty
    graphics and colours (html) and buttons to click on the screen?
    It's so much more fun.
    True, you could see things that you couldn't on a BBS, but why is
    it either/or? For the most part, with a few exceptions, you still
    have far better quality discussions on Fido than elsewhere
    online.
    The target audience is jappers like you and I. I don't need the graphical distractions that online web interfaces provide.

    Exactly.

    Obviously I was wrong.
    :)
    I tried newsgroups now and then. I didn't care for them. It
    seemed a cheap imitation of echomail.
    On that, I concur.
    Fidonet had a Message area for nearly any topic you could
    imagine.
    Over time, the majority of active echos reduced to areas geared
    for sysop/bbs interests.

    Because for the most part, that's what's still here.

    So the issue there is get the other echos listed if they fell off, BBS's carrying them, and ensuring the various uplinks are linked correctly.

    Much like is being done with the echos being linked into Telegram.

    Now systems either can send packets as soon as there is new mail
    or hourly, as they choose, so you can have back and forth in a
    conversation several times a day.
    This is what today's Fidonet ought to leverage and promote for the
    user's advantage.

    That's what I've been thinking.

    Sysops do there best with listings.. But, for the most part
    Fidonet (or any othernet for that matter) remains obscure to the
    average user out there.
    Exactly. How many of those things would someone not part of the
    BBS community even know exist?
    Word needs to be seeded outside the Fidonet realm.
    Even with Facebook, I belong to a Group called FidoNet TREK Echo.
    It was supposedly set up to mimic it's namesake. There are about
    175 members in the Group. Besides myself, I know 3 members that
    were for certain part of Fidonet in the past.
    I hung out in the fido PHOTO group. Then, when internet came
    along, someone built a Facebook group and everyone went there.
    The FB solution was pretty good considering that echo was
    primarily about each other's photos. FB made it easy to share
    images. BUT... I noticed that the converstional content degraded
    to zero. The FB group maybe had a brief description (or none at
    all) for an initial photo, but the rest of the content was just
    the "thumbs-up" thing, or one-liners like "great photo". The group
    even experimented with scheduled audio chat events (think Zoom,
    but for audio-only). That was rather cool, except for me still on
    dialup at the time, it was a brutal experience. Group audio could
    get confusing.
    ... people share articles related to various Star Trek related
    shows, movies, events, actors. Occasionally, someone will post an
    opinion on an episode. But there is no discussion to speak of. It
    hardly reflects what the Echo it's named after was.
    Same result as PHOTO echo.
    My point is that if you have something like that, wouldn't you
    want to promote where it came from?
    That is a good point. A shout-out to a sister "disscussion" group
    on Fidonet could appeal to some of the FB TREK users too, like
    you.

    Unfortunately, in this case, the former Fido folks I still am in contact with outside of Fido have little interest.

    Twitter..
    I don't get the hashtags. I mean, I understand what the intent
    was, but I don't get it..
    They are a way to categorize a message...
    I know what hashtags are and their purpose. I don't get the need
    for them.
    It is a way to attempt to build a community of likeminded people
    on a particular topic. Case in point: #metoo And look how that sky-rocketed into media fame.

    It got media attention because famous people, or people used by famous people used it. If not for the celebrity connection, it would have been relegated to a "trending now" type of report.


    The ZDnet article mentioned The Well. The internet presence for
    The Well looks amazing and well organized. It's basically the
    same thing as Fidonet, but webbased forums. Not sure if there is
    an offline option for messages. Its philosophy of real names,
    etc... reads very much like the Fidonet BBSses of old.
    The Well is a commercial BBS, more or less.
    Was it always commercial? One of the history articles in WIRED
    didn't quite cover that aspect. But it did primarily focus on an
    LA community. No mention of anything like echomail connecting
    people worldwide.

    I believe so.

    I wasn't clear enough, I guess. History is important. FidoNet
    showed what a bunch of regular people are capable of. Linking
    thousands or more people together worldwide talking about things.
    Not governments, not corporations, not Universities. People. On
    their own time, out of their own pockets.
    I sense a fine Fidonet article in the making!

    I still owe an article to Fidogazette.

    Different computer systems, it didn't matter. Different OSes, no
    problem. We have this program in DOS, let's make it available for
    people that use OS2 or Linux. Or vice versa. You have a C=64? No
    problem, join in the fun. If I'm not mistaken, every model of
    home computer there was could participate.
    Yes.. there was excitement to accomodate the caller/user.

    There was a much wider selection of computers and operating systems.

    Apathy fits a lot of it. But there is more than that. How many
    BBS related programs are there that have versions for multiple
    operating systems? What if those programmers thought, "I only use
    X OS. I don't need to port it to Y."? Or release the code so
    someone else can. That's exactly what this is here. Android is
    simply a different OS. But there are negative reactions to the
    idea.
    Age? I think the sysops/progammers of yesteryear are tired,
    satisfied to just dwell in nostalgia.

    Not all of them. Otherwise you wouldn't see anything being updated. Look at MysticBBS, or Synchronet for examples.

    It's the negativity. "The screen is too small" "The Keyboard is
    too small" "It's too hard to read on it"
    Those are user's/sysop's comments. What is lacking is a programmer/visionary.

    Look at your comment here. If users and sysops are saying those things, how many programers are going to make the effort?

    At this point, I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I will have to muddle through myself to get to an Alpha or Beta phase at least.

    Ok, in your particular situation, any or all of these comments
    might be true. But that doesn't make it universally true.
    Millions of people use tablets and smartphones on a daily basis.
    Except for the tried and true genuine BBS interface experience,
    there is no real reason NOT to embrace supporting echomail on a smartphone/tablet. Some of the NNTP apps are pretty good. They
    just need cooperating sysops to provide the server-side for that -
    which there is. JamNNTP goes a step further and tries to mimic
    the FROM:/TO: in the typical nntp field so that you can see both
    names in a conversation.

    I'm not sure what you mean. Tried and True genuine BBS interface? Other than a lack of a good, reliable ANSI telnet, I can connect to BBSes on my phone. Obviously I can exchange messages through points and nntp. I just think it can all be better. You can have the same experience, and use the newer technology.

    My more current discussion in Asian Link. His idea works. It's
    more programmer heavy than I'm looking for. But it's there, and
    if it works for people, I'm in full support.
    Which discussion is that? I think I missed it. Short-lived? Was
    it just a comment or two?

    It was a short exchange just after the Telegram link was announced but not yet active. Maurice wrote a BASH script he used in Termux to do mail exchange.

    The general public aren't big programmers. But they can install
    an app. They can type an address. They can fill out a form. So
    the typical BBS related software, a decent Telnet that supports
    ANSI graphics and BBS transfers for Mail Packets, seem a very
    good thing to me.
    That is all good. Keep expressing it. If you could draw in someone
    who can explore your ideas futher, it could get traction.

    My problem is my brain goes several times faster than I can explain. You see how long it takes sometimes to understand what I'm talking about.

    I also make leaps in logic sometimes that make perfect sense to me, then spend days having to figure it out backward so I can understand the steps i mentally skipped to get there.

    As far as the BBS on Android idea? It's definitely not for
    everyone. But it's something that I see potential for.
    I'm reminded of the BBS-on-a-Stick project.

    I'm guessing some sort of USB flash drive?

    Yes, Hotdoged seems to be a fine adaptation for Android devices.
    But is that the one where the code is not available?
    The Fido provider portion of HotdogEd is based on jNode. I'm not
    sure about the other portions.
    I see lots of tutorials and info on jNode. Sounds good.

    Other than the issues I have mentioned before, it us a decent program,


    --
    Best regards!
    Posted using Hotdoged on Android
    --- Hotdoged/2.13.5/Android
    * Origin: Houston, TX (2:240/1120.976)
  • From August Abolins@2:221/1.58 to Charles Pierson on Sun Nov 22 23:08:00 2020
    Hello Charles!

    ** On Sunday 08.11.20 - 14:21, Charles Pierson wrote to August Abolins:

    Twitter, I won't comment on, except to say that I don't like the
    hashtag mess that the tweets become.
    I don't get the hashtags. I mean, I understand what the intent
    was, but I don't get it.
    They are a way to categorize a message. Clicking on the tag in the
    message shows you other messages that contain the same tag.
    Apparently Telegram has something similar but I haven't studied
    that.

    I know what hashtags are and their purpose. I don't get the need for
    them.

    In review, I see that hashtags can act as a subject for a
    message in a traditional sense. They are also clickable. By
    clicking the hashtag, you follow the "thread" of everyone else
    who uses the hashtag and any addtional comments they might
    have.

    --
    ../|ug

    --- OpenXP 5.0.47
    * Origin: Mobile? Join CHAT here: https://tinyurl.com/y5k7tsla (2:221/1.58)