Time passed, and the 100 Hour Board developed a regular following, which was much smaller than its current following, for the Board existed solely as a physical entity, and nowhere in cyberspace could its equivalent be found. Because the Board only posted answers in the Wilk at this time, people who read the Board were serious about it. Posting comments on the Board also had a different form. If you wanted to respond to something specific in a question, you pulled out a pen and wrote your response directly on the posted sheet of paper.
It is at about this point in time that I began to take part in the history of the Board. I passed through the initiation rites that were in existence in the year 2000, and rose through the ranks four months later to be the chief editor. At this time, the 100 Hour Board had grown in such a way that it was a mildly-centralized system, but Board members continued to communicate exclusively via e-mail, a system that was previously mentioned.
The submission box had a lock, but the key had long since been lost, so anyone could have gone by and taken a question out of the box. Since the writers all knew that, it was a standing rule that if one of them went by and found a question he or she wanted to answer, it was his or hers for the taking. How far the Board readership was aware of this situation is unknown, but the Board did not appear to suffer from any sabotage. The Board's suggestion box has since acquired a new lock with a key, so don't get any funny ideas!
Things went along smoothly for most of the year 2000. It was at this time that the online version began to develop. The original online version was very basic. It did not allow readers to submit questions; it had no search feature; no About Us or Browse the Archives; or any other decorations. The whole of it was nothing but archives, with just a bunch of links on a white page. The links told readers the date of the posting, and once they were in the posting, there were no links to go anywhere else. They had to use the back command of the browser. But that system was sufficient for its time.
Now you may have noticed that I said things went along smoothly for most of 2000. In July of 2000, I walked by the Board one day for a routine question pick up. There were no questions in the box, and all the posted answers had been removed from the Board. In their place was a sign that said, "The 100 Hour Board is being shut down for now. We are looking for a new program director. If you are interested, please contact Mr.SAC@SAC.byusa.edu."
The anonymity of the SAC director of the time will be preserved in this narrative. Although he will get something of a bad rap in this story, he was sincere in his efforts to make SAC (and through SAC, BYU as well) the best he could make it. He knew that vital campus issues needed firm and controlled discussion, and cutting The 100 Hour Board was somehow going to help that happen. For convenience in this narrative, he shall be referred to as Mr. SAC.
I was highly consternated and immediately contacted the given e-mail address, expressing my interest in taking charge of the program. I met with Mr. SAC to discuss the vision of the Board. It turned out that SAC was overhauling of its programs and eliminating anything that wasn't contributing to their mission of discussing campus issues. As noted earlier, the 100 Hour Board had separated itself from SAC, so if the SAC people wanted any input from the Board, they would have to do it the way everyone else got it: by going to the Board and reading what was there.
I had a plan was to regain control of The Board. When Mr. SAC asked me what my vision for The Board was, I would describe his vision for The Board, enabling me to obtain control of The Board once more, and then continue running the Board as it long had been run. Unfortunately, I failed to understand just how narrow the Mr. SAC's vision for the Board was, and did not impress Mr. SAC enough to be immediately granted the title of "100 Hour Board Program Director." In many ways, it was just as well. Mr. SAC wanted the person in charge of the Board to attend all of SAC's meetings, but would not make the 100 Hour Board Director a member of SAC.
For those of you readers unfamiliar with how SAC is run, a brief explanation is necessary to help you understand the ridiculous situation this would put the 100 Hour Board Director in. At a SAC meeting, one can only speak when the president gives permission, and the president is only allowed to give permission to speak to nonâ€‘members of after a motion has been carried and seconded by other members of SAC. In other words, Mr. SAC was expecting the chief editor of the Board to sit through one or two hours of meetings each week where he or she would not be able to speak unless spoken to.
Mr. SAC told me that he would get back to me about the Board and say if I was to be given charge of it, or if that position would go to another. I don't think anyone else applied. I kept e-mailing Mr. SAC, as fall semester was fast approaching, and I hoped that the returning students would see their beloved 100 Hour Board up and running in full form by the time classes started. Such was not meant to be the case, however. I received an e-mail from Mr. SAC about a week after the semester had started saying that he was sorry, but that the 100 Hour Board was going to be permanently shut down, and that if I wanted any other position in BYUSA, there were lots of places I could help.
As you can imagine, I was not interested in any other position in BYUSA. As I thought about what to do, an idea came to me. Bill Brady, who was then the president of BYUSA, was publishing a column every week in the Daily Universe where he had explicitly said, "If you have a concern, please e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org." (That address no longer works, if you were wondering.)
I decided to take Bill at his word. I e-mailed all the writers and told them to e-mail Bill Brady. I put up a sign on the 100 Hour Board that said, "SAC has shut the 100 Hour Board down. If you want it to stay open, send Bill Brady a respectful e-mail and let me know." One writer also wrote a letter to the Daily Universe to keep The Board running, which the newspaper printed.
Bill Brady's next column was about the flood of e-mail he had received from students concerned about the loss of 100 Hour Board. In the greatest act of his presidency (as far The Board is concerned), Bill Brady decided to keep the Board alive. The Board was transferred from the care of SAC to the care of Public Relations, a move that meant nothing to the Board at all, but apparently made BYUSA feel better about the situation. To this day, I believe that Mr. SAC was became slightly bitter over the turn of events because the wooden plaque that had once adorned the Board mysteriously disappeared shortly after Bill Brady decided to keep the Board alive. It was found in a random place in the BYUSA office some time much later.
Before the Board began again, BYUSA wanted to meet with the Board writers to discuss how things would operate from there on out. This meeting would not have been mentioned if it weren't for a funny element. The first meeting scheduled with BYUSA failed because none of the Board writers had ever met each other. A number of us showed up at the designated place in the BYUSA office, but the meeting never started because we didn't know who to meet with. The second attempt to meet was successful, and the Board began again in the same format that had made it near and dear to the hearts of the students.
The BYUSA meeting incident left me with a desire for future Board members to get to know each other better. That idea, along with my insatiable appetite, led me to start the tradition of a semesterly Board pizza party. All agreed it was a great idea. "Now if we could just get BYUSA to pick up the tab," I thought. So I went to see the vice president of Public Relations in BYUSA and asked for a budget. She immediately offered $200 per year. Or was it $200 per semester? I didn't ask because I quickly figured $200 would buy more than enough pizza, pop, chips, and so forth to be able to hold the two pizza parties each year I wanted.
The parties were held, and attendance got stronger with each successive semester. The Board members got to know each other somewhat, and we all enjoyed playing games together, especially the game "Apostasy." Trust me, it's not as bad a game as it sounds.
After the meetings, I contacted Oz, a known computer wizard. Oz was fairly interested in the Board and agreed that the Web site needed to be improved. Through Oz's efforts, the online version of the Board became much more user-friendly, allowing readers to ask questions and navigate through various links. It even had a pretty background. Oz eventually added a search engine and an About Us section of the Board. The new site represented a tremendous stride forward for the Board's ever increasing popularity, because the Web site is where most of the action is these days. The Web page was far from perfect, but the next advances were not made under my watch, so they will be left for another chronicler of Board History.
Shortly thereafter, I got a job working as a research assistant, and the duties of real life, the kind that you get paid for, became a higher priority than managing the Board. I passed the torch of chief editor on to another writer, and faded back to the obscure rank of writer. The transition was so profound, that I even changed my pseudonym from Othello to Der Berliner. Eventually, I graduated, and pretty much stopped writing for The Board altogether, though I did keep in touch.