New Year's 1995/1996
Cyberfoo: First Night in Cyberspace
In 1993, a group of people on The WELL decided that they had had
enough with the bad publicity that the Internet was receiving in the media.
Every story, it seemed, was about crackers, stolen credit cards, and
pornography. As members of a vibrant online community, they decided to show
the public at large just what "that Internet thing" was like, so people could
see for themselves.
On New Year's Eve, Public terminals were set up in Boston, New York, Copenhagen, Rome, and San Francisco, and people also logged in from every continent but Antarctica.
In 1994, we had public access to the chat area on ECHO, the East Coast Hangout; IRC, the Internet Relay Chat; WELLMuse, a text-based virtual reality system on the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link; Usenet newsgroups; the World Wide Web; and a First Night in Cyberspace conference also on The WELL.
People logged in from New York, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Rome, Copenhagen, London, Brussels, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Vancouver, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Houston, Kansas City, Nashville, Atlanta, Detroit, Caracas, New Brunswick, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, Middlesborough, Helsinki, Prague, Lithuania, Jerusalem, and South Africa. At that point we stopped keeping track.
It was magic to see people walk in off the street and play with the possibilities of this new medium for the first time.
This time we want to generate more smiles, more wonder, and more memories than ever before.
- Someone visiting Boston from Belgium typed out a message to the people partying in Brussels and came back a few minutes later to see what their reply was. She left with a huge smile on her face.
- One mother with her 10 year old child walked in and said "He wants to see cyberspace". A volunteer showed him the MUSE, the multi-user simulation environment, and he left excited about the whole experience.
- A young man posted an obituary for someone who had died of AIDS that year to the WELL's conferencing system. It was obvious that his friend was on his mind at New Year's, and being able to memorialize him in this way helped.
Cyberfoo: First Night in Cyberspace will be a surprise and surprising--just as it has been in years past.
1995 Public Venues!
Rome: Accademia delle Arti e Nuove Tecnologie;
Via Benaco 2 in Rome's Trieste district.
Boston: Virtually Wired, 55 Temple Place.
New York: ECHO; Grand Central Station, 42nd Street and Park Avenue. (Ballroom Dancing)
New York: Jackie 60, 432 W. 14th Street. (Jackie Hackers 7:A Brief History of Time)
Philadelphia: Zipperhead, 407 South Street.
State College, PA: Schlow
Memorial Library, Penn State University.
San Francisco: Hoytt Theater, Marin JCC, San Rafael. (Reptiles concert)
For an idea of what it can be like to set up a cyberfoo venue, read 1994's behind-the-scenes report from The Other Side Cosmic Cafe in Boston. You may be able to coordinate something with your local cybercafe.
These aspects of the Cyberfoo were already in place for any venue:
For the more technologically adventurous, there was:
Visit some cool places from this jumpstation.
The WELLMuse was open to the Internet; and here were instructions and how to connect.
- ECHO's chat area was open; here's connect information.
- IRC Chat channels, at
Both the WELLMuse and ECHO's Chat were more robust than they were the year
before; we hoped to be able handle the massive influx of guests that crashed the systems several times in 1994.
Transmitting and receiving Audio from sites around the world.
Transmitting and receiving live video from various sites by way of CU-SeeMe. The CU-SeeME reflectors were:
If folks were having an internet party that was open to the public, they could
find out about WELL support for public cyberfoo venues.
If you're already a WELL subscriber, click here to
visit the Cyberfoo Conference via WELL Engaged.
If you're not yet a WELL subscriber but want to be, click here to
telnet to the WELL in order to
Of course, you did not have to be associated with The WELL to participate; anyone could -- from home or from a public venue. Even that Howie guy.
Where did that word CYBERFOO come from, anyway?