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But there were also other avenues for social interaction long before the Internet exploded onto the mainstream consciousness.
One such option was Compu Serve, a service that began life in the 1970s as a business-oriented mainframe computer communication solution, but expanded into the public domain in the late 1980s.
Yet there was no stopping the real Internet, and by the mid-1990s it was moving full bore.But as it expanded beyond just a privileged few hubs and nodes, so too did the idea that connected computers might also make a great forum for discussing mutual topics of interest, and perhaps even meeting or renewing acquaintances with other humans. Related: Mullets reigned supreme in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s; computers were a far rarer commodity.Machine languages were bewildering, and their potential seemingly limited.What’s more, this whole sitting-in-front-of-a-keyboard thing was so… Put all this together and you have a medium where only the most ardent enthusiasts and techno-babbling hobbyists dared tread.It was, in effect, a breeding ground for pocket-protector-wearing societal rejects, or nerds. Yet it also was during this time, and with a parade of purportedly antisocial geeks at the helm, that the very gregarious notion of social networking would take its first steps towards becoming the omnipresent cultural phenomenon we know and love in 2014. Short for Bulletin Board System, these online meeting places were effectively independently-produced hunks of code that allowed users to communicate with a central system where they could download files or games (many times including pirated software) and post messages to other users.
Those forums proved tremendously popular and paved the way for the modern iterations we know today.