Social Media – We Have Come a Long Way From Bulletin Boards

Bulletin Board BBSIn the late 70’s, 80’s and 90’s we had Bulletin Boards (BBS) and that essentially was the Internet. You could chat (multiple phone lines), upload and download files and mail messages. If you sent a message from California to New York; it could get there in 3 days or 4 or 5 or more depending on the BBSes you were sending them through. The BBS was run by a system operator who was officially called the SysOp and his job was the building and daily maintenance, which was a full time job. Uploading a file could take hours and so you had to wait in queue, The whole thing was buggy and highly technical and cumbersome at best. It was the high tech of the day, but we were always striving to do more faster and easier.

I had the opportunity to work with the now famous D&D VIP Dataexchange as a CoSysop. I was just learning and my teacher and mentor Doug Luce was a pro who knew the ropes and worked very hard to make sure his members were serviced. We also had hackers then and we had to run watchdog programs to keep things safe. It seems it was fun for some to get into your member or chat database and wipe it out?

Now we have an open architecture that allows us to send email around the world in seconds, upload and download huge files in no time. As the founder of a couple of social media sites I find that we still spend too much time maintaining, marketing, seeding, taking care of complaints, checking links, SEO, paypal, building, changing, educating ourselves on a continuing moving learning curve.

Maybe it is not so different?

Bulletin boards are long gone, most of them, I believe…. but it is possible that Social Media is more like the early cell phone, microwave oven or fax machine. We know they existed, but did not know if they were right for us and our business. Then more and more people had them and we realized we needed them too. So we got them and really didn’t know what to do with them…. Now we can’t live without them….. So Social Media is here to stay, whether you understand it or not and the early adopters will be the winners.

I will start putting out layman tips, tricks and observations to help you along with SEO, Social Media, Social Marketing and whatever else pops up.

Stay tuned.

JW Najarian




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