What happened to your Magazine?
The West Coast Online newspaper started out as BABBA (Bay Area Bulletin Board
Advisor) magazine, first published
in March 1993. I wrote most, and edited all the articles and content in every issue.
It went through many changes over the first few years, becoming
West Coast Online in mid-1994.
WCO was freely distributed all over the greater Bay
Area and Northern/Central California.
Eventually, the magazine ended, as did the downloadable
(database-sorted BBS/Web listings) for many reasons, including:
Back up a page...
- My full time and attention was needed to grow the fantastic
Internet Service Provider company, West Coast Online, Inc. (Before it was
sold to Verio, Inc in October 1997.
NOTE: I no longer own the name
WCO - any use of the names WCO or West Coast Online on this website
are used only in the historical descriptions of a magazine I used
Many articles in big magazines/local newspapers seemed to be based
on ideas/articles first seen first in BABBA/WCO.
The primary reason I started my magazine eventually vanished as
the local print media (that had devoted little ink to the online world
and issues relevant to the average computer user)
suddenly changed gears after seeing
BABBA next to their publications, and started covering
the same issues and topics, and
even points of view from my publication.
- Naturally, the above is only my opinion, and my opinion must be
tempered with the reality that the whole world become Online/Internet crazy
at the same time I started my publication. When the Internet became so hot that
web sites started appearing on breakfast cereal boxes - it's only natural that
local print media moved quickly to cover the hottest topic in the world!
- Interest in BBSs in general,
and the resource of my database-style BBS/web site
listings, dwindled with the growth of the WWW, and super sites like
Also, many publications having nothing to do with Internet
or anything online, starting becoming
sources of Internet information, eliminating the need for
general online publications like mine.
- I under-estimated the speed of which the
Internet undermined the importance and popularity of
stand-alone BBSs (and the need for an independent printed publications
I was not alone in misjudging how the online world moved so quickly
away from stand-alone BBSs when the WEB shifted the Internet forever.
Here's a quote from a 1995 newsletter published by the makers
of PCBoard BBS software
(that disappeared off the face of the earth the following year):
"As the Internet matures and the cost of access decreases,
many ISPs will
go out of business because they do not offer their customers
anything more than cheap access to the Internet. This is where
BBSes (sic) stand alone, they provide a unique sense of
community and ease of use for their callers.
Next year, when most of the ISP's (sic) have gone out of
business, the BBS community will still be here offering
superior value, service and access to the Internet."