Back before all this Internet hype, people were playing games, meeting lifelong friends, downloading files, chatting and sending mail via a service known as a BBS (Bulletin Board System).
BBSes were VERY popular and at one time there were almost 50,000 BBSes in the U.S. alone and hundreds of thousands across the world.
Since the late 1990's people have pretty much put aside BBSes because they feel they can get the same and more amounts of information via the Internet and WWW. People are now saying "BBSes are dead!" or "Just give it up!". ... BBSes are NOT dead--there are several BBSes on the Internet at excellent speeds, with some really cool people and great content.
BBSes are great because, let's face it, there are just some things the Internet and the World Wide Web will never be able to do and there are a lot of things that annoy most people that you won't find on a BBS.