Friday, June 05, 2015

The Well

A salute to our predecessors

Remember the acronym BBS? Remember the Whole Earth movement?

Before "Chat rooms" and IM, for 20 years there has been an online community of readers and contributors.

While it started in the Bay area, it is international in scope.

On the net since April 1, 1985, happy birthday to the Well.

"There is nothing quite like The WELL, and the secret has a lot to do with its evolution. Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant founded the Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link in 1985, starting with a dialog between the fiercely independent writers and readers of the Whole Earth Review.

This set the tone for the open but remarkably literate and uninhibited intellectual gathering that continues today. Over the years, WELL members have made fast friends, created enduring traditions, gathered casually face-to-face in cities 'round the world, and provided support to strangers.

They have founded organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Craig's List, and documented what was emerging in books like Howard Rheingold's The Virtual Community, John Seabrook's Deeper, and Katie Hafner's The WELL. They have gone into business together, fallen in and out of love, cultivated feuds, taken kickass vacations together and enriched lives. bought The WELL in 1999, and upgraded its servers to greet the century. These days WELL members enjoy access to Salon's remarkable independent journalist and the benefits of Salon Premium."

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