Steve Cisler on Fri, 7 Mar 97 17:24 MET

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Re: nettime: Flash!! WIRED is Looking for an Ideology!!

I grew up on the WELL, having joined in 1985, just a bit before
Howard Rheingold did. I've been involved in it heavily in the early
days, and I drop in every few days almost 12 years later. It's been
an important part of my online life and a small part of my whole life.

Contrary to what David Hudson said, you still have to register to 
read and participate in the actual conferences, so it's no more open
to the world than it has been.

Also, I think the numbers on the WELL, about 10,000, has been at that
level for several years. It may be more or less, but I don't think
there has been any spectacular growth, a la AOL.  There has always 
been a lot of turnover, partly because of the text-based conferencing
software that has a terrible interface.

Ever since I can remember, people have brought interesting postings
from Usenet, from gopher, and sometimes from email, to share with
other people in the conference.  I learned about netttime from
reading postings ported by Bruce Sterling.  And some people have taken
the time to get permission from WELL members to take a particular
discussion out to another forum (real or virtual).

For instance, last year the major foundations had a meeting to figure
out how to proceed in the digital age, and I took about 25 pages of
suggestions from WELL members to the foundation people (on paper), so
there can be give and take between a for-profit system like The WELL
and a controlled mailing list.  I value both, but at this time in
my life I probably read nettime more than The WELL.

Steve Cisler
Network Outreach
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