The history of Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) in Finland started in 1982. This article provides a case study, focusing on the general history of the Finnish BBS culture.
The article recapitulates the author’s ethnological licentiate thesis on the usage of BBSs in Switzerland and Germany in 1995, when this particular user culture was in decline. It also takes into account the contemporary media discourse of “cyberspace” which differed greatly from the observation of this study.
Bulletin board systems, or BBSs, represent an early form of online community for home computer owners. Using demographic data from public and private sources, the article attempts to estimate the population of this dynamic, decentralized network from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.