inkwell.vue.446 : Andreas Schneider and the WELL Documentary Project
permalink #51 of 57: Gail Williams (gail) Sat 14 Jul 12 18:16
    
You know, Cynsa, I think that was indeed the Neil era, but there was a
time when the tech crew was pretty big, and there were a bunch of
root-holders. 

I remember when you had a seminar to teach HTML to the whole staff, as
we were getting ready to offer web pages for members.  There were so
few HTML tags at the time that they were easy to memorize.  What a
time.
  
inkwell.vue.446 : Andreas Schneider and the WELL Documentary Project
permalink #52 of 57: a plaid pajama ninja (cynsa) Sat 14 Jul 12 19:35
    
oh my, yes. I remember that presentation. holy hannah, I still have the door
plate from "The WELL WWW Project" office couey and I shared. ~:
  
inkwell.vue.446 : Andreas Schneider and the WELL Documentary Project
permalink #53 of 57: Andreas Schneider (andreasschn) Thu 19 Jul 12 02:20
    
Julie, you asked me, if I think that the WELL is comparable with other
social media. Yes, I do think so. Esspecially the idea of "writing as
a performining art" seems - at least to me - significant for online
interaction. I sometimes imagined the WELL like a theater piece that
takes place on many stages, many "actors" at the same time. And other
social media are comparable, in that sense. Online interaction has it´s
own significances.

Then there is the aspect of a common history of a group, which also is
typical for various kinds of social media.
I remember talking about this with Cliff a lot. And I think that it´s
this "histoy" (also that it´s recorded while it´s typed), that helps to
create a strong identity and has influence on the behavior amonst
group members ?

So, the difference to other social media is the WELL´s 30 years
history and WELL users (often, I don´t want to generalize too much)
identify very deep with the WELL. I think that this is, what´s special
about the WELL and I´m not sure if this kind of history could happen a
second time. I remember Johntelling me, that " it was an agonnnizing
decicion for a few people" to leave the WELL.

And I also remember Cliff saying, that "there was no other place to
go" in the beginning (ok, Compuserve etc., but places were very rare
and expensive). That there was even a feeling of being "isolated". 

I think that the circumstances that had influence on the WELL (and
that still have a lot to do with the WELL present state) are very
special circumstances. The WELL often is dicribed as an experiment
(maybe more in the early years) and I think that this experiment can´t
be repeated and is unique. It happend under social, technological and
histiorical conditions, that will not happen again in the future.
I hope there is some responses to this, I´d be very interested to get
to know some views of users on the circumstances of the WELL´s growth. 
And also, maybe Julie and other younnger WELL users; How is your view
on this history of this place?

And maybe another question, that I kept me thinking a lot. What is the
"human need" or longings that brought people here and kept people
coming back for years? How can this "human need" be discribed?
Nancy for example told about her view on this and she discribed it as
a longing for a structure, a place, like a small town, that maybe even
was a loging of the boomer generation. Certainly there is other ideas,
theories after 30 years that would be fantanstic to get to know a
little more about.
  
inkwell.vue.446 : Andreas Schneider and the WELL Documentary Project
permalink #54 of 57: a plaid pajama ninja (cynsa) Thu 19 Jul 12 16:55
    
>That there was even a feeling of being "isolated".

There definitely was that...but I also remember people liking it that way.
In fact, when the WELL was first considering opening itself to the
Internet (from being a dial-up) there was a very real panic. Oh,
the barbarians are at the gate!  We will be inundated by idiots who
don't understand our culture and our traditions and our ways--just
like a small town afraid of someone building a highway exit nearby.

It didn't happen, though, just like nothing awful happened when Engaged
was introduced (this inspired another panic because people assumed that
somehow Picospan was another type of natural gate or Turing Test. But 
now just anyone would be able to see and respond to our precious words!)

So now I find myself hoping, if we manage to rescue the WELL from Salon's
downward spiral, that we do move forward into marketing ourselves to 
the greater net, because I think somehow our culture is a little too 
powerful to overwhelm.  We're like the world's stinkiest cheese. ~:
  
inkwell.vue.446 : Andreas Schneider and the WELL Documentary Project
permalink #55 of 57: Julie Sherman (julieswn) Sat 21 Jul 12 08:05
    
Thank you for your time, Andreas. I hope you let us know when the
ducumentary is finished. However, our Inkwell attention has  now turned
to a new conversation. This topic will remain open for any more
comments and desired discussion.
  
inkwell.vue.446 : Andreas Schneider and the WELL Documentary Project
permalink #56 of 57: Craig Louis (craig1st) Tue 7 Aug 12 23:53
    

"We are like the world's stinkiest cheese."

 heh
  
inkwell.vue.446 : Andreas Schneider and the WELL Documentary Project
permalink #57 of 57: (fom) Sun 26 Aug 12 12:49
    
I'm late reading this but I wonder (if Andreas is still here) if you 
have talked with more current users, after talking with the historic 
members you menioned in an early post. Most of those people (Howard 
Rheingold, et al) haven't participated here for years or even decades.

Of course it's great to have a sense of the history of the place, but I 
hope you have also talked with people who are actually active users here.
  



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