A friend and I were discussing some of the problems with many security, or hacking, related forums yesterday, and he challenged me to implement some of my ideas about forums in one of my own. In the past, I’ve considered setting up forums on here, but was skeptical of it actually taking off. I still am, however I’m now willing to give it a try. I set up PunBB yesterday, tinkered around with it for a while, and I think it’s finally in decent enough shape to make available to visitors.

There are a few things that make it different from most forums, and a lot of it is inspired by the “good ole days” of dial-up BBS :

  • Sign-up – To view or post anything, you need to be a member. To become a member takes more than simply providing an email address. Members are expected to fill out a small application and email it to me.
  • Lurking – Members are expected to participate. Long periods of inactivity may lead to one’s account being “unactivated”. Members have the ability to read, take part in, and start discussions that take place in a relatively private and exclusive environment where they can be sure there’s not a lot of people just silently looking over their shoulder.

  • Status – User ranks based on post counts are silly, and this is done away with. As it stands now, you’re either in, or you’re out. If you’re in, you’re in good standing and will be respected as such. If you misbehave, you’re out.
  • Atmosphere – The idea is to trade-in large user-base and readership in for something better: a close-knit community.
  • Enforcement – There are rules, but not many. Rather than having a strict set of rules, moderation will center around discouraging and removing behavior that’s bad for the community. Well behaved members will have nothing to worry about.

So, it’s an experiment, as well as a throwback to old-timer nostalgia of dial-up BBS’s. If you are interested in computer security and forensics discussion that is a little more mature than most web-based forums, then I encourage you to join:

McGrew Security BBS

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