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.
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. ~:
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.
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. ~:
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.
Craig Louis (craig1st) Tue 7 Aug 12 23:53
"We are like the world's stinkiest cheese." heh
(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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