ACA social media history

Members of the American Cryptogram Executive Board (ACA EB) have asked publicly for anyone with dates and knowledge of the ACA’s social media presence to provide them. I have researched this and constructed this timeline. Most of this was found from searching the CD-ROM provided to members, but that only goes to 2009. Citations are provided.


1993 ACA-L LISTSERV (email)-based Bulletin Board formed first post on ACA-L (12/27)
1995 ACA-L first mentioned in The Cryptogram ND1995 p. 3
1996 ACA-L & Crypto Drop Box NORTH DECODER mentioned as owner. Both are not official, but sanctioned by the ACA. The CDB was a place where member’s file content could be uploaded. JF1996 p. 3
1996 ACA-L NORTH DECODER, DABASAP, PRIME are owners MJ1996 p. 21
1999 ACA-L NORTH DECODER mentioned as owner SO1999 p. 3
2002 Yahoo Discussion Group KEYSTONE operates it as an official ACA group. “The ACA has created …” JF2003 p. 11
2003 ACA-L, Yahoo, MSN ACA-L disbanded and “replaced by a Yahoo chat group which has recently moved to MSN” JF2004 p. 10
2004 MSN group KEYSTONE appears in masthead for the first time JF2004 p. 2
2008 MSN group KEYSTONE still operates group on MSN JF2008 p. 3
2009 MSN group Disbanded. Microsoft transferred groups to as a “blog” Feb. 2009 per wikipedia
2012 Multiply blog Disbanded. discontinued blogs and soon went out of business. per wikipedia
2012 Google+ Community THE RAT formed it on 12/7/2012 as ACA community to fill void first post in Community
2013 Google ACA group KEYSTONE formed it. It’s email-based, similar to old ACA-L 12/2013 post in Google+ Community
2013 Google+ Community Renamed Recreational Cryptanalysis (RC). THE RAT encouraged members to move all discussion to the new KEYSTONE official group, but RC continues to have cons posted for people to solve, graphics, etc. (non-email-based content) 12/2013 post in Google+ Community
2016 ACA facebook group Formed by BartW in March JA2016 p. 3

For those not familiar with social media, Facebook and Google+ Communities are both free web-based commercial services, in effect competitors. Both allow posting of graphics, surveys, and other things that are less suitable for email, although it is now possible to put such things in email. Facebook has ads. Google+ or the Google group might also, but I have an ad blocker and do not see ads in either place, so I am not sure. Google+ allows “hangouts” for communities, i.e. live video/audio meetings similar to Skype. The Facebook group, Google group and the Google+ community are closed and thus people must join to post, but people who search for them can find them and request to join. ACA membership is no longer required in the RC. Consult the owners of the other two media for details on those. KEYSTONE reports that the Yahoo group and all its contents, including member files, were taken down by Yahoo, and Yahoo was non-responsive as to why, thus motivating restarting with MSN. The MSN and Multiply groups were disbanded because the host company discontinued all social groups. Much or all of the content of the CDB was moved to the Member’s Area of the ACA website and is still available for download.

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