There is an episode of BBS The Documentary from @textfiles that is about FidoNet, which was... almost, kind of, like an early federated forum thing (basically it let people on BBS server 1 could talk to people on BBS server 2). The tech details don't line up exactly but I was struck watching it a few years ago at how the social dynamics of admins of different BBSes mapped pretty perfectly onto fediverse admins.

Anyway if you want to feel like time is a flat circle:

Also struck by the description text for that video, which says FidoNet "may have been the single-largest 100% amateur organized and run computer network of all time". Reminds me a bit of what we've got going on here. Exciting, scary, exhilarating.

@darius Man, FidoNet does bring some memories - that and how it found a way to connect with your favorite Usenet groups. Good times, good times.

@Jigu @darius I got UUCP service from my ISP and ran some kind of program that dialed them up once a day and exchanged email and usenet posts with my local one-line SuperBBS equivalents. Good times!

@darius I read more fidonet daily at that time than ever on any social media platform.

@darius FidoNet was life changing for me. This does feel similar.

@darius @textfiles An awfully long time ago when I managed email for Netcom, an awful lot of my time was spent on debugging FidoNet/UUCP gateways. I suppose that maps to Twitter/ActivityPub gateways.

@darius @textfiles as an Old, I can confirm that all my folk who were into the BBS scene way back when, particularly the networked BBSes like fidonet and citanet (my fav from the day), feel it too. cc @Ricardus who was my citadel sysop back in the 1980s.

@darius @textfiles yup. I ran a #FidoNet node on my #BBS back in the day and the #Mastodon network reminds me of it *very* much. Almost a 1:1 mapping of admin considerations and concerns.

@drfyzziks @textfiles glad to hear my very strong suspicion checks out from someone who's participated in both of these things

@drfyzziks @darius @textfiles #FidoNet

I was on the FidoNet Trek Echo, and even vice-moderator for a while.

@darius @textfiles Heh I hadn't really considered this but yeah. Growing up with FidoNet in Oklahoma meant having to pull feeds from multiple BBSes depending on the beliefs/politics of the sysadmin and what groups they relayed.

@darius I remember those days fondly. :) FidoNet actually still exists, though. I was running a BBS earlier this year and didn't hook up to any of the BBS networks, but several are still alive and kicking.


@darius @textfiles Holy shit, what a blast from the past; I ran a BBS in the early 90s which was a point node on FIDOnet.

@darius @driscoll @textfiles @nancybaym @josh This popped up in my feed without immediate context, and from the title I thought this might be a book about bad kerning 🙈

Looks really good though, thank you for sharing!

@gosha @darius @driscoll @textfiles @nancybaym Forgot to use the “unlisted” setting for my reply. Glad it turned out to be of interest, then!

@darius I was thinking about this recently and reflecting on my experience running a BBS as part of WWIVnet in the early 90s. That documentary has been on my list for a while, and I guess it’s time I got to it.

@darius @textfiles I used to be a Fidonet BBS sysop, and even ran the local Fidonet hub for a while. Yes, each sysop had their own personality (should I say quirks? 😁), but that was the nature of the Fidonet BBS network.

@darius @textfiles

If you'd like to chat about it over netmail you can reach me at :


@darius @textfiles Yes. Another former Fidonet user here and my exploration of the Fediverse has brought back many memories. I kinda wish we were still there, actually.

@maverick604 @darius @textfiles Fellow #FidoNet and #BBS user here. One of my early Internet email addresses was via a FidoNet gateway. Jason Scott's documentary is *fantastic* and I highly recommend it.

There is another one, done last year, that looks at the modern BBS scene - which is still present, even including FidoNet:

@darius @textfiles FidoNet was amazing for the time period. I ran a BBS that had multiserver games that ran off it. #solarRealmElite

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