friSBEe Service-by-Email Platform on

General Information

friSBEe on is an experimental social platform built on top of email.

Because this type of platform is an easy target for abuse, friSBEe is extra strict with user input validation, and not verbose about error messages. If you do not strictly follow input format instructions, you will likely get no response to your email.

Account Registration

You may register for an account by sending an email to with a one-word subject line of "register" (no quotes) and including your choice of account name as the first line of your email. Account names must be less than 20 characters, and must be basic alphanumeric characters. Account names including offensive words will be deleted and the user banned.

You may de-register an account at any time and all data previously associated with your account will be anonymized and the account name freed up. You have full control over your identity on this system, and no trace of your email address or account name will remain once you de-register.

Account Names

The purpose of an account name is to allow you to interact with other users without exposing your email address. Account names may be made public (for example in game high score lists), so choose a name you are comfortable with sharing. By contrast, email addresses will never be shared publicly. The purpose of account names is to mask email addresses.

You may change your account name at any time, so long as the new name you choose is not in use by another user and it meets the account name requirements. However, note that under certain circumnstances, other users who knew your previous account name may be able to note the connection to your new account name. To prevent this, first submit a deregistration request and then register again from scratch (it is ok to use the same email address).

Even though account names are meant to hide email addresses, this may lead one to assume there is some degree of privacy in the system: this is not true! This whole system is just a silly toy and there is no significant encryption or serious privacy protections in place. While the sysadmin pledges to not snoop in your messages or share any information about your system usage, he still recommends that you do not consider this a secure system. This is just for fun!

Other Account Features

You may toggle your account visibility between public and private. Public visibility status (the default) means that your account name (never your email) will be including in user listings requested by others. Private visibility status means your name won't show up in those listings. However... if you send people private messages or post in message boards, you will be exposing your account name. Keep that in mind.

Your account also has a mini "profile" feature, in the form of a oneliner text string. You can update this at any time. How much of your colorful personality can you shoehorn into this short oneliner?

Some friSBEe Services for Members

message board

You may create message boards and post messages to the boards. If other users notice your board (everyone can get a listing of board names) and like the topic, they can post messages to it as well.

Embrace ephermerality! Messages posted to boards and indeed the boards themselves may be deleted after periods of inactivity. This message board system is not meant to preserve a history of topics. It is only meant to facilitate fun, short-run discussions and interactions among members. However, this message board expiration feature is not enabled currently and will only be enabled if board sprawl occurs and old boards need to be cleaned out.

private messages

If you know the name of another member, you may send them private messages. Do not abuse this to harrass or annoy other members. That would result in immediate account termination.

As with message board messages, private messages between users are not stored permanently and may be deleted within some period of posting. The negative consequence of this is that you might miss messages if you don't log in for a long time after their delivery. Life is full of trade-offs and this is one of them.

Like message board expiration, this pm deletion feature is not currently enabled and will only be enabled if things get cluttered.

friSBEe blogs (aka frogs!)

Users may maintain a friSBEe-based blog, called a frog. These are very simple, short posts (less than 1000 chars) that contain a title, a body text, and are sorted by date.

friSBEe system activity updates

For now, you can request a "news" report which prints information like the number of private messages you have sent and received recently, number of message boards (new and total), number of frogs (friSBEe blogs), etc.

An update is planned to turn this friSBEe news feature into a digest that will report messages posted in the past several days.

friSBEe modular extensions

One of the big goals of friSBEe is to allow users to write extensions to plug into the platform. You could create simple services like a gopher-gateway, a weather data feed, or even interactive games.

Some example plug-in modules have been developed for the system:

ascii pizza parlour

Order a slice of ascii pizza. Yeah, it's that simple... Send an email to with "pepperoni", "sausage" or "cheese" as the one-word subject line (no quotes) and your order will be delivered shortly.

ascii pizza parlour demonstrates the use of friSBEe to provide services without the need for user registration.

text adventure demo game

An eternally in-development choose-your-own-adventure text game that you can play via email. This currently has around 75 "chapters", but only some story threads progress to completion. The results of your game will be posted to a public record board. There are many ways to die. Can you die with dignity, or will you be shamed? High scores and game outcomes can he found here.

Once you have a friSBEe account, you can start a text adventure game by sending an email to with "play" (no quotes) as the one-word subject line. Hopefully everything from that point on will be self-explanatory.

The text-adventure demo game demonstrates the provision of services to registered users. Because you can piggyback on the account registration system in friSBEe, you can then maintain game state associated with a user account.

Bugs, Beta Testing, and Future Development

This system was whipped up in cmccabe's spare time, mostly in the morning twilight hours before work. Are there bugs? Boy are there bugs! If you find any bugs, cmccabe will be most grateful if you would create a description of the bug you witnessed, and send him an email. If you have an email with an error message, please send that too.

If you have suggestions for improvement to friSBEe, please contact cmccabe. This system will likely be under very active development for some time and your contributions are welcome!