1978: The First Computer Bulletin Board System, CBBS, Goes Online

Ward Christensen and Randy Suess develop the Computerized Bulletin Board System (CBBS) in Chicago. Opened to the public the following year in 1979, it is the first electronic message-posting network.  Christensen manages the system under the title "system operator" (eventually shortened to "sysop"). CBBS starts the first online cyberspace community or  bulletin board system. Users are able to  post messages to a public "message board," and others users can read and respond to those messages, there by creating the first virtual messaging system.

the BBS Xchange
the BBS Xchange