SD Board History: Date of origin, etc?

When did the SD get started? Did anything like it exist before the Internet when there were “bulletin boards” accessed by modem? Also, what Doper has the greatest number of posts to his/her credit? - Jinx

I saw someone say **Liberal ** has the most posts in a recent thread. At 26,237 posts, this appears true.


Guinastasia’s at 27,762.

I believe Dex, Tuba, Opal and others started the board way back when, sending posts to each other by carrier pigeon.

After the pigeons started disappearing (the fact that Dex has a fine recipe for pigeon pie was considered, rightly in my opinion, a false and malicious canard) several other methods were tried.

These involved tom-tom drums, signal beacons and cryptic messages in the Personal columns of certain newspapers.

Each of these, however, proving unsatisfactory, for one reason or another, Tuba finally tapped out one morning, “What about this internets thing?”

The rest is history.

I’ve seen it noted somewhere that there is a usenet group for the Straight Dope, but I’m not sure how old that is. Being usenet though, it has the potential to be quite older.

The board itself, I think is currently in it’s third incarnation. It started on AOL, then switched to the net but using some funky service/BBS engine, and then finally got vBulletin and it’s own servers. I am not sure of any of that though, and definitely not of the relative dates.

Hm… I found the following:


I think that the second incarnation as I termed it may have actually have been a board that everyone leaped to during the Winter of Missed Content, and that there was no middle stage between AOL and here.

Annnnd, here’s the usenet groups:



The current incarnation of this Board began on March 9, 1999.

I joined a week later.

Carrier pigeons are not incompatible with the Internet.

Hence the “NO CARRIER” notice you used to get when logging off.