If I could say I had a home base on the Internet for the past twenty years, it was sff.net. I had a web page there with some of my work. They had newsgroups, email, and other useful things. It was a primarily started as a science fiction and fantasy site. I wrote neither. Perhaps in my heart, I wanted to, but in reality, I sucked in those fields.
Sff tolerated other fields with grace and respect. All that mattered was that you were a writer or a fan of writing. Fans often got to connect up with their favorite writers through newsgroups. SFF’s closing web page reads as follows:
“SFF Net opened on 10 July 1996 as an online home for authors, publishers, editors, media pros, and fans, catering to genre fiction, mostly science fiction and fantasy. It closed on 31 March 2017.
During its heyday, SFF Net hosted hundreds of domains for authors and writing organizations, had discussion groups, sponsored parties at cons, and provided email, chat, and other such services. It also produced a series of anthologies, helped readers connect with writers, and provided private areas where members of professional organizations could speak with each other about the craft and business of writing.
Alas, the economics of hosting services favor large providers over small communities. Free hosting, free email, and social media (all supported by advertisements) came along, and large providers took over the remainder of the business by offering low-cost sites with tools for designing and maintaining websites without understanding HTML. Google was only a year old when SFF Net started. Social media sites, such as Facebook, founded in 2004, have mostly replaced the traditional “bulletin board” sites.
SFF Net was a hobby rather than a business. Jeffry Dwight custom-wrote most of the servers, services, scripts, and utilities. Steve Ratzlaff provided most of the ongoing technical support for SFF Net’s customers. Jim Macdonald helped lost souls from GEnie find their way.
In the end, after putting it off as long as possible, SFF Net decided to close its doors. Although we will miss each of our members, we hope to stay in touch through other means.
It’s the end of an era for me, and I suspect for many of us. I missed the closing notice, so was shocked to see my SFF email stop working on March 31st. My only solace is that I have found a home on beBee.
I have invited the founder of SFF to start a home for SFF members on beBee. They are many. Rich and diverse. Here’s hoping they join us.
Copyright 2017 Joyce Bowen
About the Author: Joyce Bowen is a freelance writer and public speaker. Inquiries can be made at email@example.com
Sobre el autor: Joyce Bowen es un escritorindependiente y orador público. Las consultaspuedenhacerse en firstname.lastname@example.org