ausalito, CA — October 7, 1998 — The WELL, the pioneering online discussion community, is launching a new type of conference readable by anyone on the World Wide Web.

The Vue conference offers an opportunity for Internet users to sample the culture of The WELL for free. It’s designed to give readers a taste of The WELL by allowing them to visit without joining, and to help WELL members distribute their ideas.

“The WELL is a community of smart, articulate and funny people. I love being part of it, and can’t wait to strut our stuff in front of the entire Web,” said author Cynthia Heimel. Heimel is hosting The WELL’s first Vue conference, Inkwell.vue, at The WELL Inkwell.vue page, along with musician-author David Gans and novelist Steve Kaye.

The Inkwell.vue conference will be dedicated to conversations between authors and book readers. It will feature interviews of authors, plus a behind-the-scenes peek into on-the-road hijinks during promotional tours, book parties and new publications, and generous servings of writer-to-writer schmooze.

Although anyone can visit Vue conferences, only WELL members may post comments in the conferences’ online discussions. Users pay $10 a month for conferencing only and $15 for conferencing plus other services.

The WELL ( was established in 1985 by Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Review, and is often described as the original online community, an organization that was close to ground zero for the Internet explosion.

The WELL’s membership is an eclectic mix of computer activists, writers and other articulate folk, described variously as the only virtual community that’s not an oxymoron and the world’s most influential online community.

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