The BoyChat Digest is a brief overview of posts made on BoyChat in any given month. Its purpose is not to create an archive of posts, but rather to allow readers to review a condensed version of events.
Posts are selected by a group of volunteers, sorted, and then edited into each monthly issue. The digest is compiled and published using a custom-designed web application on the Free Spirits server.
In 1998, not compiled the first BoyChat Digest as a collection of notable posts made that year. The project was discontinued after December 1998, when not left the Free Spirits community.
From 2001 and onwards, Fleetwood repeatedly expressed interest in reviving the Digest. At the time, BoyChat administration was unable to provide the necessary support, citing reasons such as copyright issues, server problems, and unavailable older posts.
In July 2002, Puzzled began an unofficial digest of BoyChat. His stated purpose was to encourage BoyChat administrators to revive the BC Digest and show that it could be done with a reasonable amount of effort. Puzzled's digest was published until March 2003.
In early April 2003, Fleetwood was asked to begin the project officially as the Editor, and a team of cogs and other posters (who they called "gesters", a name coined by Zero) was gathered to restart the service. Floating Point graphically designed the new site, and together with Cognito created the first version of the software tools. The copyright issue was solved by adding a disclaimer on BoyChat's posting form, asking users to opt out if they did not want their post in the digest.
In June 2003 there was a mass exodus of "gesters." In addition, the donated server that ran the tools was lost, so that Fleetwood had to assemble posts manually. Updates were rare until September. At that time, Fleetwood installed his own computer on which to run the digest tools, and Atom joined the team and manually put together the July issue. The next issues were compiled with great difficulty, as the digest tools were not designed to be run outside Free Spirits, and repeatedly caused Fleetwood to be automatically banned by the web server for collecting posts.
Other technical incidents only augmented the problems. Most vexing to the Digest team was that the original tools had difficulties handling the year 2004, and the original creators no longer could support them. This prompted Atom to write and host a new set of tools in January 2004, the software that in modified form still is in use today. From March, the toolset was run on a donated server. The software was later scrutinized by Free Spirits so it could be installed on their own server. The July issue was the first to be prepared there.
Fleetwood resigned as Editor in November 2005 and the BoyChat Digest stopped being updated as of June of 2007..
List of Digest Editors
- not (1998)
- Fleetwood (April 2003 - November 2005)
- Afin (November 2005 - March 2006)
- IrishBL (March 2006 - December 2006)
- Afin (February 2007 - June 2007 (?))
- My Own Memory Lane by Fleetwood, where Fleetwood tells the story of the Digest up to August 2004 from his point of view