When I was into the BBS scene, I was a pretty active message board poster. My main haunt, a place called Inverted Reality, had some pretty lively discussions on a variety of topics – sports, video games, high school (I was 18 at the time), things like that. I would probably average 20+ posts a day. There were probably 50 active users, with about 10 of us being “heavy posters.” Since then, I’ve participated in various message boards and the like, but I have never returned to my prolific posting ways. I still participate in the occasionaly discussion over at Evil Avatar, but that’s about the extent of my posting nowadays.
A while back, I came across a link to the site Forum Rankings, which ranks the most active message boards across the ‘Net. I was simply amazed by the numbers some of these boards are boasting. Unbe-fricken-lievable! Gaia Online, the #1 board, has 3.8+ million members and 630+ million messages. That is insane! (Don’t even get me started on the way the message threads are laid out, what an atrocity that is.) Honestly, how do the members of these forums keep up!? If you go into the actual discussion areas, there are threads that are 25 THOUSAND posts long! I simply can not wrap my brain around those kind of numbers. The Boards at IGN (aka the Bane of Gamers everywhere) come in a distant second, with a paltry 132 million posts. Honestly, are there that many things to say about things? That’s a lot of things! With those kind of numbers, shouldn’t the internet be full by now? Holy shnikes!
Funny thing is, I wonder how many of those messages are “me too!” and “O RLY?”. Is anything really accomplished in these threads? Are people ever convinced by the other side? Or is it simply the inane cacophony of millions of disparate voices? The mind boggles at the collective hive that is the internet. I think the singularity may be farther away than some people think.