1985 Wayback Machine

The call for Internet manners existed when we only had dial-up and Telnet:

Favorite quote from this 1985 video: "Why not try to be the Miss Manners or Emily Post of bulletin boards?"

A timely idea, thirty years ago and now. Some more thoughts on bulletin boards:

UGM Tip/Wayback Machine: Tony Hsieh, Zappos

In his business book/autobiography, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, Zappos (http://www.zappos.com) founder Tony Hsieh calls the BBS or Bulletin Board System “the pre-Internet version of Craigslist.” In middle school in Lucas Valley, California (near George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch), Hsieh discovered the world of BBSs in the computer lab. Back then, BBSs operated via a computer dial-up modem. Hsieh and his fellow junior high geeks had a list of local phone numbers for different BBSs. Possessing eager young minds, Hsieh and his pals “soon discovered that the computer and phone line were not just limited to local calls, so we started making long-distance calls to BBSs all across the country. It was amazing being able to join in discussions from Seattle, New York, and Miami. We suddenly had access to an entire world that we didn’t know existed before.”

Great idea. fortunately, tween geeks being geeks, they figured out a way to plug in a regular phone and call a phone sex line during lunch hour when the teacher was away—over three hundred calls. When the teacher asked them about the phone records, they pleaded ignorance because “the first rule of the computer-lab-lunch club was that you did not talk about the computer-lab-lunch club.” The teacher concluded the whole thing was a computer error and called the phone company to remove the charges. Until the story appeared in the book, no one found out about Hsieh’s hijinks. The good news: this was pre-Facebook and pre-social media, so Hsieh escaped unscathed and went on to become an Internet titan. His, er, unorthodox thinking paved the way for his success.The bad news: Thanks to the growth of the Internet (and ironically because of innovators such as Hsieh), that era is over. So any computer-lab-lunch clubs out there: keep it clean, or don’t leave a trail. (AIN'T "U" GOT NO MANNERS by Kristin Johnson, Page 143)

“Before Twitter and Facebook there were forums, and I thnk we forget that these can be the most powerful and interesting places to connect with readers*.”

—Carla King, SelfPubBootCamp, http://authorfriendly.com/education/, Santa Barbara 2015 “Building Your Author Platform Panel.”

*Applies to customers, clients, partners, friends, hobbyists, etc. (AIN'T "U" GOT NO MANNERS, p. 142)


#bbs #bulletinboards #manners #goodmanners #Wayback #dialup #1985 #CarlaKing #TonyHsieh #Zapposcom #computer

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