Artefacts #014: The Galaxie 500 Mailing List miniFaq, 1996
Today’s artefact is the first born digital one!
Way back in the day discussion happened in mailing lists - and if you had a mailing list you invariably had a Frequently Asked Questions to accompany it. The thinking behind it was to discourage newbies from asking the same questions (or at least having somewhere you could point a newbie to for an answer).
Some FAQs where huge, rambling, overblown, and over-detailed things. Mine wasn’t. So I called it a miniFAQ to set expectations.
This is the earliest copy I still have, dating from June 1996, but it’s version 1.2 so it had been running a while before this.
This next bit is probably only of interest to me but… it’s my website!!
- Ryko had just announced the Galaxie 500 box set - release was still three months away.
- The FAQ dates from before my ISP, Demon, gave us free webspace so the website was transitioning from the Turnpike URL (as all freebie Turnpike accounts were being closed) to some space provided by a fan, Matt (on his work server).
- The mailing list was still being run from some software I’d written in Arexx on my Amiga and using my dial-up internet connection - I might have got a 14.4K modem by then! This meant the list only ran when I connected to the internet - briefly in the morning before I went to work and for a few short periods in the evenings. If I went on holiday discussion stopped for a week!
- As well as a mailing list I also ran an automated email fileserver where you could request “all sorts of Galaxie 500 product” - I’m pretty sure this was just pictures and text documents.
- Luna had no web presence at all - this was before triangle23 pinched my content for their official Luna page, and long before fuzzywuzzy.
- I don’t think that URL in the What is a Galaxie 500? section is quite right!
By 2000 the FAQ had become huge, rambling, overblown, and over-detailed!
I thought I’d just go through some of the stuff I’ve acquired over the years and post about it here… how interesting the posts (and artefacts) are will undoubtedly vary!