I've just updated "The Talkers Tree" document, where you can trace the history and development of talker bases. Talkers were born with Unaxcess, the first BBS to have a "talker" command. In paralel, there were MUD's and IRC. Soon, with the development of several kinds of MUD's and MOO's, the talkers appeared. The survivors of the talkers today are NUTS and NUTS based talkers. Unfortunately Neil (the author of NUTS) decided in 2003 to release "NUTS-IV" which doesn't fall into the concept of talkers anymore. Fortunately, there are still ideas of how to make talkers revive, prosper and evolute.