For Internet users today, there is more to the BBS story than mere nostalgia. As our online lives are channeled through an ever-smaller number of service providers, reflecting on the long-forgotten dial-up era can open our eyes to the value of diversity and local control.

After all, people often get frustrated that today’s social-media platforms can’t deal with small-scale disputes or apply different policies to different constituencies. BBS users of the past could complain directly to the sysop—maybe even with a phone call—and he or she could act immediately and unilaterally on their behalf.


AuthorScott Kubie