Posting On The Outer Edge
May 8th, 2010 by Ice Cream Jonsey

Here is a forum:

It doesn’t look like much. Threaded conversation – the kids hate that today! No logins – the kids are deathly afraid of that! When it was in its heyday, there wasn’t even a CAPTCHA. It also probably had less than ten regular readers when it was being updated. It is (was) Pinback’s Web Central 3 BBS.

I am completely fascinated with forums, and I run a couple of them myself. I also ran a dial-up BBS for 9 years in the 90s. (I still have the hard drive with all the contents, and a CD with the contents of that hard drive. It’ll make a comeback, some day.) I’m fascinated in the dynamics, the ways the software dictates the style and content of conversation, and how desperate people are to cling to the great division in format: threaded vs. flat. What was accomplished on PWC3 fascinates me to this day.

There were three main posters on PWC3 – Pinback, Gerrit and myself. We had contributions from a handful of others, but I think it’s safe to say that 95% of the posts were from three people. And yet, when you go to the site, you might see posts from people like the Boysauce Commando, the Sundae Goblin, or digital depression. Now obviously, the intent wasn’t to ever make people think, “wow, there is a guy who actually works in the military who gets propositioned by his commanding officer constantly” as it was to simple try to be amusing on a bulletin board. The three of us seemed to almost constantly want to top each other and honestly, I wouldn’t post this web log if I didn’t think it still held up today.

But yeah, what absolutely doesn’t work on the Internet is when I tell you, “This is funny: go read it.” People almost immediately get defensive. “It’s funny, REALLY? EAT MY ASS” seems to be the normal reaction. Of course, I say this, keeping in mind that I have been introduced to the FX TV show “Archer” and air-traffic control sims lately, and enjoyed them both. So really, this is just my impression of the rest of mankind and maybe you’ll prove me wrong here – I waited like ten years to write this blog entry, but maybe you’re bored at work and looking for some content. Here’s some friggin’ content.

I think Pinback will agree that the funniest of all of us was Gerrit. I linked to the Sundae Goblin before, but very, very few things crack me up like when the Goblin freaks out because SUNLIGHT turns them to STONE. Ha ha ha! Additionally, the musings of the PWC2 Reader / Tragic Burn Victim is just… genius.

Pinback’s Web Central 3 BBS was a tiny corner of the Internet that brought joy to a few close friends, and getting back to the theme of fascination – it exists on the net, almost accidentally. Someday, will fail, and all these posts will be gone. Someday, some prick will do to their hosted forums what Yahoo! did to Geocities. And I will be sad. But how many of these little forums are out there, where a group of friends just busted each other’s chops and engaged in a kind of performance art for each other? One of the things I think I want to do is again run a dial-up BBS, as there’s just something tantalizing about passing information in 2010 that is completely away from the Internet. And I don’t mean that it would just be a useful way to libel people – just being on the peripheral of the great communication network intrigues me.

I’ll leave you with this. For seven years I’ve posted as the fastest man in the world here. It remains the lengthiest sub-project I have ever continuously been involved with. And I must now go, because I think Spinner! is finally going to start answering questions.

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