Conch BBS is, or was, the name of a BBS I ran for a decade. A
BBS is a Bulletin Board System that used to allow computer users to form online
communities by posting messages on online bulletin boards. This was in the day
when modems were king before the Internet was opened to the public. Once the Internet
did take over, the idea of a BBS was translated into something called forums. Forums
allow users with similar interests to publicly trade posts in a discussion.
When I left Shell, I set up a forum on my website with the
intention of re-establishing the online community that used to be on my BBS. That
was six years ago now, and there are still no users on the forum beside me. Running
a forum requires posting enough material in the forum to attract interested users
via web search engines. Essentially, you have to put enough blood in the water
to keep drawing the sharks. The catch-22 is that you really need to have users
to help create the materials necessary to attract users!
Of course, one role I envisioned for my Conch BBS forum was
to provide online support for Xpress-It. That’s how many companies do support
these days, and it makes sense to me. Who wants to wait for a question to be
answered when it was already answered for someone else? That was the idea,
anyway, but I’ve yet to sell any copies of Xpress-It so what’s the
I actually did buy a license for my forum software so I could
legally continue to run the current version without further updates, roughly
$40/yr. But again, why? To be clear, the website will continue, but not the
forum. Users who want to contact me can do so in email or through my blog.