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What made you start a forum?

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Shawn Gossman

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Jun 17, 2022
I first found forums when I was a young teenager. I was using guestbooks on my website and would try to engage with people who posted. But they would post once and never come back.

I also loved using chat rooms. MSN Chat, Yahoo Chat. ICQ, IRC, you name it.

Then someone suggested I try out a forum. Back then it was PhpBB2 for the most part.

I fell in love with the idea of forums after that. It's like building your own little town.

How about you? What was that moment that made you want to start a forum?
Not really anything as most would look at... I started my "encumbrance' with BBS's back in the mid-80s (ran a multi-node BBS as was NEC for the Dallas, TX locale)... forums ended up being the "new" extension of FidoNet and BBS's.
And yes, I have NO problem with dating myself.... I'm an old f*cker that's been around the roads several times... I've seen it come and go... BBS's didn't vary much from Forums... back then... the internet overtook the BBS/FidoNet backbone... it's ultimately a big circle...things simply come back upon themself with a basic refactoring.
I'm old enough to remember seeing a BBS but never ran one.

I do remember PhpBB1 though, that's how old I am :p
I'm old enough to remember seeing a BBS but never ran one.
I absolutely LOVED Maximus/2 (which ran under OS/2) with Binkley.... and that was at a time when most were trending towards Wildcat BBS.
I was really fond of the stability of OS/2 and really hated when it died on the vine. For actual stability...... if it had been continued it would rival ANY Linux derivative out.

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with a rollover to 3 lines. I ran a BBS from about 1989 until around 1995. I don't know where they got Diamond Texas from.. it was based in Lewisville at the time. Code 3 referred to the response code you ran as a law enforcement officer to hot call... which i was at the time. Code 3 was lights & siren and balls to the wall (safely).
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I started posting on forums in the mid-90s, which led to a lifelong obsession with them. After a couple of years as a member I decided to take a stab at running my own and the rest is history. Many, many failures, a few successes, and a lot of working to help others run their forums, but I wouldn't change any of it. I make mistakes that I needed to make in order to learn, and I enjoy helping others when they ask me to join their staff. Forums are amazing, they've given so much to me over the years, it's nice to still be able to enjoy that passion.
I love the way forums work. Help each other, learn new things and so on. Won't miss something like that for sure.
I was 12 and thought it would be fun owning my own community.... and it was! I didn't think I'd have the community twenty years later haha
I was 12 and thought it would be fun owning my own community.... and it was! I didn't think I'd have the community twenty years later haha

Aside from owning a forum for 20 years, that sums up my experience with them!
Ahhh... to be young and messing with stuff.
I really have to wonder how many ran a BBS in the hey days!
There was something called ISDN. It was like what Gbps is today.
There was something called ISDN. It was like what Gbps is today.
Very few sites had ISDN, and even fewer SysOps could afford it as it was targeted towards business entities and priced accordingly..... and those that did usually used it for their FidoNet backbone hauls and where the primary distribution point for a region. POTS lines were cheaper and just as efficient in a roll-over environment.
The majority of those sites used multiple roll-over lines and U.S. Robotics high speed modems (14.4kHST, USR Dual Everything, US Robotocs V.32).
It was not cheap either, even on the SysOp plan..... each modem was around $200 each (about $525 in todays dollars) and you had to have an active line to qualify for it. And I had 3 of the suckers running. ZOOM also had a SysOp plan, but their modems were never as popular as the U.S. Robotics. You also had to advertise that you were running their modems to qualify for the SysOp plan. Back then, that was a LOT to invest in a hobby. For $3700 you could have a 16ft Bass Tracker boat, and for $9300 a 23 foot travel trailer.
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Those prices are long gone :LOL:
Yeah, but it just shows how much some invested into the "hobby".... and the majority of us with no returns. I won't even get into the LD phone bills to deliver mail to new folks requesting membership and then having to route them to the appropriate NEC (or getting them fitted into our local structure so they were connecting with someone that was a local call for them). Luckily being where I was, I could call locally all of Dallas and some into Fort Worth.
BTW, that 16ft bass boat would cost you around $6700 now and a decent new travel trailer at that length about $28,000.