Why WASNT twitter or reddit invented in the 80s? A Surprising history of chat rooms! I had no idea we even had chat rooms in the 70s and public PC chat in 1980!

in eighties •  last year

So I was watching these videos simulating what twitter or Reddit, facebook or even youtube looked like in the 80s if they had been invented then...


and I know IBM wrote about a reddit like system of threaded user published voting based content way back in the late 80s but you HAVE to wonder why noone actually developed a sort of proprietary user friendly message sharing system like this....I guess you could say BBS boards are that...and also The first online chat system was called Talkomatic, created by Doug Brown and David R. Woolley in 1973 on the PLATO System at the University of Illinois....and there were 80s chat rooms !! I just looked this up and am amazed!

The first[1] dedicated online chat service that was widely available to the public was the CompuServe CB Simulator in 1980,[2] created by CompuServe executive Alexander "Sandy" Trevor in Columbus, Ohio.

and THIS amazing ad actually talking about the CompuServe CB simulator!

And i had to throw this one in too

wow i really had no idea there was actually internet chat through phone li modems in the early 1980s...seems MAGICAL to me to be in a house in american suburb in the 1980s and firing up an old 80s computer, dialing up to the early internet and seeing the screen come alive with all this text showing messages and chat screen showing people actually talking from all around the world! but in the 1980s! People still talking about the soviet union and eastern block countries! Imagine all that still happening but your in the 80s and your still chatting with people late at night online with early PC digital home computers! SO COOL!

Here is some BBS images of what an 80s chat room or forum looked like


WOW Cnet from 1986

Early online gaming in the 80s!


And then IRC is from 1988!

IRC was created by Jarkko Oikarinen in August 1988 to replace a program called MUT (MultiUser Talk) on a BBS called OuluBox at the University of Oulu in Finland, where he was working at the Department of Information Processing Science. Jarkko intended to extend the BBS software he administered, to allow news in the Usenet style, real time discussions and similar BBS features. The first part he implemented was the chat part, which he did with borrowed parts written by his friends Jyrki Kuoppala and Jukka Pihl. The first IRC network was running on a single server named tolsun.oulu.fi.[10] Oikarinen found inspiration in a chat system known as Bitnet Relay, which operated on the BITNET.[11]

holy shit Bitnet thats an old one! someone should bring back bitnet!
Wow here is an old BBS monochrome screenshot of what 80s chat looked like on 80s computers!

In August 1990 the first major disagreement took place in the IRC world. The "A-net" (Anarchy net) included a server named eris.berkeley.edu. It was all open, required no passwords and had no limit on the number of connects. As Greg "wumpus" Lindahl explains: "it had a wildcard server line, so people were hooking up servers and nick-colliding everyone". The "Eris Free Network", EFnet, made the eris machine the first to be Q-lined (Q for quarantine) from IRC. In wumpus' words again: "Eris refused to remove that line, so I formed EFnet. It wasn't much of a fight; I got all the hubs to join, and almost everyone else got carried along." A-net was formed with the eris servers, EFnet was formed with the non-eris servers. History showed most servers and users went with EFnet. Once ANet disbanded, the name EFnet became meaningless, and once again it was the one and only IRC network.[10]

It is around that time that IRC was used to report on the 1991 Soviet coup d'état attempt throughout a media blackout.[12] It was previously used in a similar fashion during the Gulf War.[13] Chat logs of these and other events are kept in the ibiblio archive.[14]

thats amazing how IRC helped information about the fall of the soviet union break through the iron curtain! amazing!
WOW so there had been real multi user chats with the MultiuserChat or MUT talk program which IRC was invented to replace!

And then of course AOL chat



WOW so fucking COOL when there was a text only internet (I actually believe they did have picture sharing it just took forever, digital cameras were expensive but people could fax images etc...i believe they had fax links, and there was a way to send images in the 80s in black and white and only later in color...

Just imagine being in some cold Finnish university in 1988 and being connected through some phone line to a BBS system and you were on a server, watching all these people connect from computers around the world, being able to talk to other people on these early PCs with just command line prompts...they would have had to download the program which might have taken days, and fill up multiple floppy disks, and then install it and have this magical multi user chat where unlimited amount of people could all chat omg it was magical...fucking magical.

..same thing as irc or chat boxes today, its amazing.....amazing to learn about where it all first started...and apparently even before that they were using the Bitnet chat relay and then before that apparently they had fucking CompuServe CB Simulator, DAMN in 1980 compuserve is that old?! CompuServe basically INVENTED the 80s by inventing INTERNET chat in 1980 WOW also discovery channel and CNN came out in 1980, but back to how CompuServe started off the 80s with the first consumer internet chat service is fuckjing amazing so wow CompuServe was like available for people with their Atari back in 1980? wow! just...wow chatting back then just sounds so amazing, i had no idea people had been chatting since before i was born....

anyway, I am sure there is a lot more you guys could add! If anyone was alive during these times and remembers chatting on an early PC in the late 70s or 80s or even early 90s id love to hear about it, I was born in 1987 and I still remember AOL and CompuServe chat from 1994 allowing me to type and talk about the recent movie that just came out (in the 80s) my god it would have been so cool to dial up online on some old school 80s computers while actually living back then...it would just feel so cool to still have text based internet even as fart back as 1980!

It is amazing noone had a vote based type forum 80s version of reddit
and ill leave you with this amazing gem

(and this!)

(Why bitcoin is like internet in the 80s)
and THIS "if Bitcoin had been invented in the 90s!!! This one and the Reddit and Wikipedia are more plausible to think about them having been created earlier..reddit is super simple and bitcoin is also pretty simple...lol imagine mining bitcoin on your commodore 64...


cool 80s art


And when i saw this old netscape page i had a freakin flashback! I totally rmember seeing that netscape homepage!

If you were alive during the 80s and remember early BBS or chat please tell us about it in the comments!

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

In the late 80s, I sold financial products over a system called Q-Link, a sort of super-billboard on steroids for the Commodore Computer user community.

I used a Commodore 64 computer over a 1200 baud modem.

As the financial expert on Q-Link, I made contact with people and if they wanted to do financial planning I would inteview them by asking financial questions over private chat.

I took the information I gathered and sent it to Waddel & Reed corporate where they constructed a financial plan in a binder and shipped it to me. I in turn mailed it to my client and reviewed it and closed the deal over the private chat.

I think I was the world's first online financial planner, a title that I am proud of for my demonstration of imagination.