100 hour board know-it-alls known to nobody

By on October 4, 2004.

By Ashley Morgan

Students who crave answers to any question, no matter how random, can look to another source for their answers. The 100 Hour Board offers a unique and amusing service to students. Submit any question, keep it clean, and within 100 hours the answer will be posted online.

Questions ranging from, “Do girls care if a guy has a hairy back?” to “How many Otter Pops could fit in the Wilkinson Student Center?” are submitted by students hoping for answers.

“We will research and answer any question,” said Skippy DeLorean, a writer for the 100 Hour Board. “From homework to doctrine to dating tips, just anything.”

A key factor to the board is anonymity. No real names are used; in fact DeLorean is a pen name. Students have the option of creating any name they want when submitting questions, possibly changing with every question they ask.

The writers who answer the questions create alternative identities. Each of them specializes in a certain area of knowledge or is known for a personality quirk. The real names of the writers are unknown to most readers, and they want to keep it that way.

“The questions have always been answered anonymously, and it”s just always been the informal policy that writers can say they write for the board (if they want), but they cannot reveal who they write as. And of course, half the fun of reading the 100 Hour Board is wondering who these people really are,” said Leibniz, also the pen name of a writer for the board. “It”s also for our sakes in that we can feel free to express our opinions openly without getting any personal flak from ornery readers.”

Writers have varying levels of zeal when it comes to keeping their names secret. Some will reveal their name if students really want to know, and others guard it sacredly, not even telling close friends or roommates. The writers” quirky answers attract people to the board.

The board has developed a following. Some questioners participate almost daily and create almost personal relationships with the writers, as personal as an anonymous identity can be.

These avid readers often contribute to one of the most asked questions, “How do I become a writer for the board?” The answer is illusive, sending the requester on a scavenger hunt through the board archives.

The writers have all been involved in the board varying amounts of time, from a few months to a few years. Most writers were originally readers who were selected to write for the board.

BYUSA acts as a sponsor for the board, giving it a stamp of approval.

“We”re thrilled to have the board here at BYUSA because the board is students serving students, which is the main goal of BYUSA,” said Jason Smith, executive director of public relations for BYUSA.

The board exists in both a physical and online form. The physical board, which is located on the first floor of the Wilkinson Student Center, is not in use at the moment, but when in action, can be used as a submit and receive center for questions. The Web page, theboard.byu.edu, is the primary location of the board at the moment.

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