Happening Now in the Inkwell

New York Times reporter and author John Markoff in discussion with Howard Rheingold about his new bio,  ‘Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand‘, January 24 – Feb. 6, 2023.

JOIN the Conversation


Coming in February

Authors and apology experts Susan McCarthy and Marjorie Ingall in discussion with media personality Angie Coiro about their ‘Sorry, Sorry, Sorry: The Case For Good Apologies‘ Feb. 28 – March 13, 2023.

Check back for links to live conversations.


Welcome to a gathering that’s like no other.

When we talk about The WELL, we are usually talking about the conferences. The conferences are where the magic happens: where posts develop into conversations, and members become a community.

For more about why conversation is so treasured on The WELL, and why members of the community banded together to buy the site in 2012, check out the story of The WELL.

If you like what you see, join us!

Featured in The Inkwell

Unlike most conversations on The WELL, you don’t need a WELL member account to participate – this one is open to all!


Ben Tarnoff: Internet For The People

Starting August 2, 2022

Technology writer Ben Tarnoff joins a conversation about his book, “Internet for the People: The Fight for Our Digital Future”  about how and why the Internet is broken, and how to fix it by deprivatizing, creating an Internet where people, not profit, rule. A solution calls for shrinking the space of the market and diminishing the power of the profit motive. It calls for abolishing the walled gardens of Google, Facebook, and the other giants that dominate our digital lives and developing publicly and cooperatively owned alternatives that encode real democratic control. To build a better internet, we need to change how it is owned and organized.

Join the Conversation


If  you have a comment or question, send via email to inkwell at well.com.

To read all previous Inkwell interviews, go Here.


Recently in the Inkwell

June 24 – July 22, 2022

Kevin Driscoll – Modem World: A Prehistory of Social Media

Author and media studies professor Kevin Driscoll discusses his book “Modem World: A Prehistory of Social Media,“a history of bulletin board systems (BBSs) and early grassroots networks that preceded the privatization and commercialization of the Internet.  Kevin argues that “the modem world” of BBSs was as relevant as ARPANET to the creation of the Internet we have today, if not more so. It’s fitting that we’re having this discussion on The WELL, which began as a BBS based in the Bay Area.

Visit the Conversation



Well Members Say:

I am a political junkie, and the heat-to-light ratio in the Politics conference is very favorable — there’s a lot of substantial discussion without a lot of name-calling. The Sports conference features the day-to-day discussion of all kinds of sporting events, but the best things about the conference are the annual football and March Madness pools. Finally, the Legal conference is where I go to share war stories and get advice and dark humor from the grizzled old war horses.

–Doug Masson, Attorney
WELL Member since 1999

I love the Writers conference, home to a wonderfully supportive community of all types of real working writers being real people together. Byline is full of inside info the working writer needs — contracts and contacts, editors and agents. Current gives me thoughtful insights — and some fiercely argued points of view — on what’s happening in the world.

-Joe Flower, Healthcare Futurist     
WELL Member since 1989

My home on The WELL is the convivial chow.ind. It’s the best place online to talk about food — eating it, cooking it, going out for it, and heck, even making dioramas from it. You’ll also find me in the San Francisco conference, which I co-host. There we discuss all aspects of city life from arts to sports to politics to — okay, eating again. I’m also a fan of Plumage, where a fashion reality check is always available from friendly cohorts.

-Brady Lea, Playwright/Teacher     
WELL Member since 1998

I have always loved the Weird conference because “weird” only begins to describe it. I love the Plumage conference because my friends and I never get tired of talking about clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, and grooming, and because on Oscar night we cast all discretion aside and call it like we see it. And the Media conference is as rich and huge and fast-moving as media culture itself.

-Stephanie Vardavas, Attorney and Author
WELL Member since 1994