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.
That's it; here's your list of handy exits:
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