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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Answerboard  
  A forum or computer meeting location with experts on a particular topic.  

Good name for an expert forum; the word "answerboard" is rarely used on the Internet.

He leaned away from the wall and listened to Chumlig. That was why the school makes you show up in person for most of the classes; you had to pay a bit of attention just because you were trapped in a real room with a real instructor...

And for a while, Juan paid attention, too. He really did. Answerboards could generate solid results, usually for zero cost. There was no affiliation, just kindred minds batting problems around. But what if you were'nt a kindred mind? If you thought transcription was a type of translation, it could take you months to get anywhere.

From Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge.
Published by Tor in 2006
Additional resources -

Obviously not an invention or prediction. However, Vinge makes a good point on how difficult it can be to really understand different bulletin boards and forums that have been in operation for years. A good teacher is often a good interface to a particular subject-matter.

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