Echomail Networking: Then and Now
The original message forum: echomail networking. Mostly free from spam and targeted marketing, not as deeply monitored in comparison to the Web, a great community of fellow techies, less creepers, and an excellent place to get your technical support questions answered by groups of technical specialists.
Distributed BBS Networking: The Ultimate Forum
From Fidonet to FSXnet to Sp00knet
Echomail started way back in the day with Fidonet. It has around one hundred message areas and tries to give something to everyone. The focus was and still is on having so many different message areas that no matter who you are you will find something relevant to your interests. After Fidonet other messaging networks popped up which are more and more specialised. The most used echomail network today in terms of traffic through the network, is a net known as FSXnet (Fun, Simple, and eXperimental). It is without a doubt the most popular echomail service online at this time. With the increase in echomail diversity has come message nets on more specialised topics: from the Linux operating system, to survivalism, to ANSI artwork, all the way to Sp00knet (an open-source intelligence echomail network) that claims to be “The World's Most Intriguing Echomail Network.” So we have grown from massive messaging systems to systems that are more and more specialised. However, this means that sysops (system operators of BBSes) may choose to not carry content that they find inappropriate that comes from the specialized nets, opting for a narrower focus of what they want to host.
Who, What, Where, Why, When, How?
Who? Anyone can start their own echomail network. The hard part is getting people to believe in your project that will host nodes that are connected to your new network. What? Echomail is THE messaging system on the majority of BBSes right now. Where? Echonets are connected to the majority of bulletin board systems in use today. Why? This is the case because hooking up a BinkP echomail network is relatively easy when compared to all the technical hoops that you'd have to jump through when messages were synchronised back in the day over POTS phone lines; it was a very complicated and time consuming ordeal that only the most brave of sysops would participate in. When? Echomail was mostly used just by the big names in BBSing servers, now just about any sysop who has Internet connectivity can hook into the echo nets without much ordeal at all; it's rather just plug and play now. Well, its not entirely easy but easy enough to setup with the help of a mentor. How? Echomail uses a hub-focused hierarchical routing that resembles a tree, where many nodes all connect up to higher level hubs until it gets to the master hub and the from the master hub the traffic goes back down to all of the individual nodes that participate in the network.
A Special Nod to Sp00knet Echomail Network: "The World's Most Intriguing Echomail Network"
The Sp00knet Echomail Network Application Infopack