Reportedly conceived when Christensen was trapped in his Chicago home during the Great Blizzard of 1978, BBS took its basic premise from the community bulletin boards that once adorned the entrance of public places like libraries, schools and supermarkets.
A big thank you and a happy CBBS anniversary to Randy Suess and Ward Christensen, creators of the world's first public dialup BBS. Here's a history of CBBS from the creators themselves. Christensen, a longtime technical sales specialist for IBM, also invented the Xmodem protocol (h/t Miles).
And let us not forget that Jorn Barger, early Web celebrity and innovator of the Wunderkammer model of blogging, coined the term "weblog" when he was living in Rogers Park.