While I started getting interested in internet subcultures around 2006 and I knew of anonymous image boards and ran a few using software from here, I didn’t actually PARTICIPATE in any of the existing imageboard communities. I briefly saw how they worked and though “I like the free speech format” and ran them for a year or so.
Had I gotten involved in the EXISTING chan communities in 2008-2012-ish, I might have gotten a clue. But by then, I was fascinated by the brony and then furry phenomena and the oncoming influx of GenZ crowding online suddenly.
it was SO easy to run too. One of the easiest forums/bbs’/message things I’d ever run.