Discussions and Discursions

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What is this place?: See below, or click. You might want to read this -- yes, you.

About this page:

Before there were guestbooks or blogs or webforums, in the dim and dusty days of yore before the creation of the World Wide Web, there were bulletin boards and newsgroups. When I first got online back in 1987 I was active on several of these. Most are long gone.

One place I have hung out online since 1995, my virtual home on the nets, is the newsgroups at news.sff.net. I won't bore you with all the history, but my personal newsgroup, sff.people.lwe, has been my refuge and delight, and I've rather regretted that I was never able to establish much of a connection between the newsgroup and my webpage. I tried a few times, but it seemed as if websurfers and newsgroup users were separate communities who didn't want to merge.

But now SFF Net has provided software that provides a web interface for the newsgroup, so that it looks like a blog or forum, so I'm trying again, and I think it'll work this time.

The Misenchanted Guestbook has always had space constraints because of its linear nature; this discussion area shouldn't have that problem.

I'm expecting the regulars from my Guestbook, and new people, to discover the newsgroup here -- and to discover an established community that's been going for many years*, with a lot of ongoing discussions and established traditions, and a somewhat different atmosphere. On the Web I've always tried to put on my best face, to be polite and well-behaved and make a good impression on people discovering me for the first time; in the newsgroup I've been less restrained. I knew there weren't kids around, for one thing, and I always felt as if I was among friends, rather than talking to an audience -- where the webpage is a stage, the newsgroup has been my back porch, where pretty much anything goes as far as subject matter. Not, I hasten to add, as far as behavior; I don't tolerate flaming or blatantly offensive behavior any more than I have in the Guestbook, but topics can be very varied, and language can be more, um... colorful.

I hope any newcomers will feel free to join in the discussions, and won't be offended by the more casual attitude.

You've been warned.

-- Lawrence Watt Evans

* About that "many years" thing -- you won't see messages going back more than a few months; old posts get automatically archived every so often. If you really must, you can find the archives somewhere on SFF Net.


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