In the mid-1990's, email discussion lists, like VenicePlace (the first S&H slash discussion list), were the primary online fannish venue. Fans treated VP like "...a large, rambling virtual apartment building with unlimited space where we all live next door to those two gorgeous cops, and where every window has a great view of the boys when they come after work!" (From the FAQ) (Thanks to Fanlore.)
"Neighbors" (list members) referred to having discussions from the "windows" of their apartments. One fan, as the self-proclaimed Head of Security, installed security cameras throughout Hutch's apartment with Starsky's complicity and Hutch's ignorance, since Starsky believed every moment of their lives should be recorded. Tenants could then tune into a special cable channel (channel 69 naturally) and watch everything the boys were doing. A group created a band and installed a lobby to practice in. Unfortunately for Flamingo (the list mom), they only played tunes she hated. Any neighbor could join the band by announcing what their virtual instrument was. There were a lot of kazoo players. VP members wrote funny "VenicePlace stories" where "neighbors" interacted with S&H and one another.
The apartment building offered unlimited space. We had a European wing, a South American wing, and a New Zealand wing. Besides the lobby, we had an artist's studio on the top floor with a two-way mirror in the floor located directly over the bed of a certain pair of cops who thought it was a mirror. We did have problems when it rained and the mirror leaked. We had an indoor pool and while some folks thought it was on the roof, we had to be practical and place it in the basement. Most of us didn't like to talk about the basement. Strange things went on there, especially in the Rumpus Room. Pets were allowed, and besides fans' dogs and cats, we ended up with otters, unicorns, tarantulas, dragons, panthers, wolves, and all sorts of extremely difficult animals.
The virtual building even had its own civic associations: ASSET (the Association for the Scrutinization of Starsky's most Exquisite Tush), HAIL (Hutch's Arse is Luscious), and GUSHER (Grad-Uate of Starsky & Hutch Erotic Research). (Thanks to Fanlore.)
With the advent of LJ and Facebook, email discussion lists have largely shut down. While S&H still has a few active lists, including VP, traffic has been greatly reduced.
Even so, the "VenicePlace stories" evolved into longer comical works written by Flamingo, Rosemary (CrowRow as she was known on the list), and others, published in zines produced for the S&H slash convention, SHareCon. These stories often focused on the tech trend of the day and its affect on fandom, and on the guys (who never grow older even as we do).
Okay, that's the Cliff Notes. Remember Cliff Notes?
Number of Stories:
, ZineficWarnings: Author Chooses Not to Use Archive Warnings