9 Apr 2000 data   » (Journeyer)

Does anyone read these? I don't know. It feels rather like writing on a wall. There was, I recall, a feature of some old BBS packages which allowed people to post bally well anything; it served as a way for them to get their vandalistic tendencies out, and a way to blow off steam. Sometimes the posts were quite funny ...

Advogato is an interesting site - at least, it looks interesting. I've not quite got the point of it. It feels, so far, like a BBS. That's a good thing, I think. It never occurred to me until recently that BBSing never really went away, although when we all went off to college and discovered the 'Net, we rather saw the BBSes we used to dial into as a bit passe'. Nevertheless, there was a certain peculiar feeling associated with dialing up a local BBS, and an even stronger feeling that went with running one.

Running a web-site doesn't carry the same feeling with it. I think this is mainly because you don't really "log in" to a website. With BBSes, and Unix accounts, and MUDs, and IRC, you log in: you establish a presence; you step through a door; you are there, and nowhere else. A web-site doesn't work like that. It's like reading a newspaper, or talking through a bulletin-board. Nobody's "inside" a web-site, because there is no "inside" to a web-site; it's just a wall, a poster, a television screen.

Ironically, however, a web-site is truer to the term "bulletin-board service" than most BBSes ever were. A web-site really acts like a bulletin board; BBSes worked a bit differently. The more things change ..

I must confess that the one thing I found annoying about Advogato was the use of the "term" "Journeyer". If I am ever blessed enough by the Masters to rise above the rank of Apprentice, I will consider myself a Journeyman. Those of the female persuasion may feel free to call themselves Journeywomen, if they wish; but a "journeyer"? A made-up word, used to avoid offending the easily offended - those who are offended by the sequence of letters 'M', 'A', and 'N'.

Having said that, I also will confess that I think the word "journeyer" is a vastly better choice than the nauseating word "journeyperson". Kudos to those in charge for displaying a bit of taste.

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