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The trouble with online local networking

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Don't want a meat market? Don't already know the people? Then where do you go?

One of the trouble with modern day online is that is can be tough to meet people who are local and also online. One would think that it would be easier, being that a whole lot of people now have the ability to go online, have email, join social networking services like myspace, friendster, fubar, orkut, hi5 and a host of others, yet it isn't.

If you belong to a school, then GREAT - you've got it easy.

If you go out to work at an office... okay - you have a chance of finding someone local online - but then if its workmates you have to really watch what you say in case it doesn't get back to your boss.

But if you work from home? Don't go to starbucks? Don't want to "hookup" (that's an important feature) - just want to make friends with people who happen to live nearby?

Very very tricky.

Back in the early 1990s, there was a thing called a BBS. Bulletin Board Service.

You and your fellow geeks would each set up their computers so that you could dial (with your modem and telephone line) each others computers. You would set up a BBS (similar to a full-featured website, although everything was colored text with a screensize of 80x25 characters) and call each other's home computers, leave messages, make groups. Some BBS' would have dozens or hundreds of local people on them, all actively chatting away. All different ages, from teen to senior. And it was pretty cool. Sometimes you'd meet some of the BBS buddies at a local Duncan Donuts (the Starbucks of the day) or White Castle / McDonalds / etc, or just meet up at an empty lot by a supermarket.

You'd hang out, B.S for a while and then a few hours later (around 2am or whenever the cops came by to break it up) and you'd go home.

Or you'd go to each others' houses, watch movies, etc.

In other words, friendships were forged through technology.

the same was true for CB radios. Local, geeky, bonded by technological geekiness.

Ah, I miss those days.

but perhaps with some of the social networking services out here, maybe it'll get easier. We'll see.

Ken Udut old geek.
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The trouble with online local networking Don't want a meat market? Don't already know the people? Then where do you go?