For a long time Bulletin Board Systems were the heart of the Internet. Along with email, the BBS is the oldest type of website in existence. There’s a good reason for that. The design is simple, intuitive, and easy to maintain.
What this means for you is that you’re probably going to want to have one if your site is of anything other than a solely personal nature. And even then it can’t hurt.
Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) are mostly known these days as forums. A forum is a place where internet users with similar interests can get together and have a discussion. This discussion is not in real time like a chat room or instant messaging session. Rather, users post their messages to specific sub-forum, and within that to a thread.
A thread is a long list of messages relating to a topic at hand. For instance, you might have a website dedicated to action figure collecting. In this case it would be beneficial to you to have a BBS installed for your users to discuss the hobby. In this case the overall topic of the forum will be action figure collecting, and this will be split into sub-forums such as Collecting, Buying and Selling, and General Discussion.
Within the Collecting sub-forum there will be a list of threads. Each of those threads may be about a particular new figure that has come out and the forum users reactions to it. Each user can read the others comments, and then respond to them. In this way a conversation develops.
A BBS is often the place internet users will spend most of their time online. It’s important that your BBS be easy to read and navigate for your users. Take careful consideration when deciding how many sub-forums to create, and also make sure to keep the rules of your forum easy to find and reference for the users. Themes are also very important. Fonts that are harsh, or not easy to read will drive users away. Also be careful of background colors that strain your users eyes over time. Overall, the design goal of a forum should suggest an atmosphere of being at home or a favorite hangout, and your users will accordingly develop the loyalty and candidness that comes with being in a place among friends.
Zettabyte Systems began as a company by hosting a BBS with over 1200 active users that is still online today. BBS’s are our specialty, and if you choose to host your BBS on a Zettabyte server you can be promised that you will have long up times and access to expert technical support at all times to ensure that your site will be online user base will not be disturbed.