Puffball is a generic non-newbie online user, in a social or bvehavioral context. The word was coined in the early nineties in the Backstage host (moderator) conference (forum) on the WELL, to refer to anyone who was a real handful for a host to deal with or "moderate," including other hosts or oldtimers.
(The term evokes the name of a wild mushroom, the idea of an enlarged ego, and the concept of being ballsy, but it is a pure coinage and not a derivation.
Usage: "If puffball goes off on a rant in the middle of the one-word-sentence game, how do I get him to take that energy someplace where we can respond to it, so the other users aren't all yelling at me to make him conform to the game?"
February 17, 2004