CBBS is about 25 years old. The first one apparently in Chicago. I actually remember connecting to a Xerox-820 based BBS in Chicago back in the early 80’s but don’t believe it was the Chicago BBS that claims first rights.
BBS memories include intensive exchanges among those of us new to the technology and those elders who experienced large work or university systems and freely guided us along. The learning was free and excellent. The best of current open-source environments reminds me of those days, as do some of the blogs and web sites of those who know and take the time to share.
The longer term perspective shows that people will always find a way to express themselves and will shape whatever media is available. Despite media concentration, channel convergence, and the legions of hidden persuaders (Perhaps that should now be hidden perusers?), the spirit of expression continues.
Thank you to those who built the online BBS systems and those who answered the newbie questions twenty-five years ago. Thanks to those who continue to do so today. And thanks to Jason for making a record of it.