Further BBS musings

Sep 14, 2005

I'm continuing to work my way through BBS: The Documentary. When I first read about the project, I thought it was sort of a goofy approach. A bunch of video interviews just didn't seem like the right medium for discussing a community that was completely built from text.

My opinion on that has spun 180 degrees, though. Not only are the interviews an absolute treasure trove of information, an oral history that would have vanished if nobody had bothered to document it, they also add an in-person human element that was always there on the BBSes. Even if you never went to a Get Together, never met the other dorks that you talked to every day, there was still a real human face on the other end of the line.

The movie is inspiring me quite a bit, and I keep having all these goofy ideas for projects flit through my head, these weirdly anachronistic ideas that would take that kind of dated-tech, very personal, home-brew duct-taped sort of model and shim it into the 21st century.

The one I keep coming back to, even though it's completely impractical and a throwback rather than an evolution, is — what if I wrote a BBS in Python for Series 60, and ran it on my mobile phone? People could call it up, it'd ring in my pocket, they could leave text messages on it that other people could read —

I mean, obviously this is a terrible idea. But I kind of love it regardless?


If you liked this, you're welcome to read more of my blatherings.