Confessions of a Nifty refugee

29 posts in this topic

What do you want me to point with?

Your tripod... but don't fall off the chair.

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On 7/25/2015 at 5:19 PM, Rutabaga said:

I don't know if anyone has ever written down the early history of Nifty. I'm familiar with it because I was a student at Carnegie-Mellon University where it started out as a directory on the school's computer server, with the address It wasn't until some time later that it got moved to its own solo URL. I always assumed that the powers-that-be at C-MU decided that perhaps the content hosted there was not consistent with the image C-MU wanted to project.

Back in its original incarnation, I don't recall that the Nifty archive was as open to contributions as it is today. As far as I know it's possible to go back to the earliest days on the present site and see what the stories were like back then.

Nowadays there is an appalling amount of chaff to sift through in order to find any wheat.


A partial history of Nifty is described in the History section of the "About" page. Nifty shifted to a non-CMU site because the staff member who originally started to collect the stories and provide the hosting chose to leave CMU because the university refused to recognize benefits for domestic partners.  This also coincided with the litigation of the Communication Decency Act. When that was resolved, Nifty re-appeared and was hosted on a number of donated web hosting sites. Nifty eventually transitioned to its own web hosting.

Nifty always welcomed contributions and some people uploaded stories and collections of stories to the FTP site anonymous upload area. Most of the stories were collected from postings to USENET erotica groups, such as and As USENET waned, the collection effort shifted focus to direct story submissions.

In regard to the other part of this thread, I appreciate that not all readers like all of the topics and stories on Nifty. After reviewing nearly all of the stories for the past 25 years, I definitely have learned that there are a wide variety of tastes and a wide variety of writing styles. I am trying to utilize "Best of Nifty and the Net" and the redesigned front page to highlight well-written, adult stories so that readers can find the types of stories that they prefer. Ideally I want Nifty to host a very wide variety of stories. I realize that it is a delicate balance and it is difficult to please everyone. I hope that all authors with less overtly sexual stories will share their stories through Nifty as well.

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