The Old CompuServe Forums Are Shutting Down
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The CompuServe Forums, which have existed in some form or another since the 80s, are shutting down. So if you want to experience the Reddit of its day before it disappears, you have until December 15 to check them out. And you won’t even have to pay an exorbitant fee to do so.

What Is CompuServe Anyway?

CompuServe isn’t a name the average millennial will be familiar with. However, anyone over a certain age will recognize the name, even if their memory has faded. It was the first major commercial online service provider in the U.S., letting people connect using dial-up modems.

Connecting to CompuServe in the 1980s wasn’t cheap, costing between $5-an-hour and $30-an-hour. The CompuServe Forums were therefore reserved for the geekiest of individuals convinced home computing was the future. And while they were proven right, CompuServe’s power waned.

The CompuServe Forums Are Done

Despite changing hands many times, CompuServe is still a thing, and owned by Verizon subsidiary Oath. And Oath, formerly AOL and Yahoo, has decided to shut down the Compuserve Forums on December 15, 2017. The same day the company is putting AOL Instant Messenger out to pasture.

The Old CompuServe Forums Are Shutting Down compuserve forums screenshot

The CompuServe Team said in a message, “We regret to inform you that the Forums will be removed from the CompuServe service effective December 15, 2017. For more than two decades, the CompuServe Forums paved the way for online discussions on a wide variety of topics and we appreciate all of the participation and comments you have provided over the years.”

Astonishingly, given that most people assumed CompuServe had been dead for years, the other parts of the site — email, news, weather, maps, and more — will remain functional for the time being. But this will be of little comfort to current users of the CompuServe Forums.

Relics From a Bygone Age

Let’s face it, just like AOL and Yahoo, CompuServe is a relic from a bygone age. And there are plenty of other places for like-minded people to discuss their interests these days. Still, in the same way it was sad to see Geocities be laid to rest, it’s sad to see the CompuServe Forums die.

Do you remember the CompuServe Forums of the 1980s or 1990s? What’s your abiding memory of the CompuServe Forums? Are you still a member posting there now? If so, how do you feel about Oath shutting the CompuServe Forums down? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Karen Blaha via Flickr

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  1. Phil Friel
    November 20, 2017 at 8:44 pm

    Infomum, have you any more details on the steps being taken to move the Compuserve forums elsewhere before the closure?

    It's a major topic of discussion on the CIS forum where I still hang out, where we've been discussing about setting up a new forum somewhere else. There seem to be moves afoot behind the scenes to set up new forums, but nobody has told us what they are yet. We don't want to leave ourselves hanging at the last minute, but things are a bit chaotic right now. What is actually happening? Do we set up our own forum, or are others taking steps to do it for us? If we leave it and nothing happens, we'll be a bit stuck. It's very confusing right now. :(

    I've been on Cserve since the end of 1995, and still hang out occasionally on SFLIT despite drifting away largely from Compuserve circa 2002-2003 or so. I've never really been able to totally cut my ties with SFLIT, as it was my original online home and some of the old guard still man their posts there. :)

  2. infmom
    November 16, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I signed in in 1983 and I am still there. The value of the Forums is something that has never been simple to explain to people who weren't there, and, alas, that included several iterations of CompuServe management. They didn't know what they had and they didn't care if it lived or died.

    Several of the Forums are finding spaces in other venues so the conversation will continue.

  3. Fik of Borg
    November 16, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    When I read the word "Compuserve" just now, I almost heard the sound of a 9600 baud modem connecting, and remembered the dream of 14400 service in my area.
    I still have the very first file I downloaded, a txt describing the specification for the internal structure of gif files (but don't renmember why I wanted that)

  4. Gazoo
    November 16, 2017 at 1:31 am

    I remember compuserve being an overpriced forum famous for it's venomous microsoft shills, at least when I started BBSing. I did jump on Prodigy for a bit (they had good DOS support) before I focused on local boards.

  5. dragonmouth
    November 15, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    At least CompuServe did not rabidly collect data on its user as today's site do.