Children of BBS [...]

> The basic Web forum is easiest to recognize as the lineal descendant of the original world of BBSes, but the BBS is actually the ancestor of nearly all conversation models on the Web

  • Blog-comment models
  • Reblogging and backtracking models (blog-to-blog relays and conversations)
  • Comment aggregation (Disqus)
  • Email groups
  • Wall-to-wall chatter on Facebook
  • Hashtag based transient conversations on Twitter
  • Web forums (generally bolted on to a community that does other things as well)
  • News aggregation/discussion sites.
  • General announcement lists/boards

The one conversation model that was clearly not present in the BBS world was wikis. Wikis are, in my opinion, the only fundamentally new conversation model on the Internet that arose independently of the BBS/Usenet family tree. The basic metaphor for wikis is the blackboard as a collective, harmonized, canonical, erasable, editable, conversational memory. By contrast the bulletin board is more of a cacophony, where the only source of privileged status for a piece of content is recency of creation. The two metaphors are conceptually distinct, and one cannot be derived from the other, which is why wikis had to be invented separately. (Source)


The history of wiki predates the web. See Wiki Wiki Hypercard
Wiki Inversions is a start at looking at how wiki inverts traditional structures.

Wikity users can copy this article to their own site for editing, annotation, or safekeeping. If you like this article, please help us out by copying and hosting it.

Destination site (your site)
Posted on