The FidoNet chapter from BBS: The Documentary (2004) is I think required viewing for fediverse admins.

Bulletin board services (BBSes) were pre-web online communities with forums, mail, games, etc. FidoNet was/is basically a volunteer-run federation layer that let BBSes communicate with each other.

The video talks about FidoNet's growing pains, especially around governance & a mismatch between what users wanted and what the sysops felt was required to maintain the net.

"It was fairly easy for a small number of people to wreak a large amount of havoc. It's also easy to lose perspective on that, and realize that on a large scale, the network crawled on. It breaks up into little pieces and it reforms and it doesn't really matter, because underneath there, there's people who are using the network technology to do some thing [...] and they just don't have to pay attention to any of it [...] It runs in spite of the idiots."

- Tom Jennings (~37:02)

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"A lot of times you don't get the praise until you leave. And when you throw up your hands and say 'Oh man I quit, I'm so tired of this' -- 'well you can't leave, you're the greatest we've ever had!". Really? Well why didn't you tell me that back then? Why do you wait until now?"

-Frank Vest on running a Fidonet node (~39:07)

tbh this is one reason I would never run an open reg fediverse instance. Friend Camp users are great at letting me know they appreciate my work... because we're friends!

as a non-FriendCamp user I'd also like to thank you for nurturing a friendly atmosphere on your instance :)

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