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Monday, July 02, 2012


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I hope this bastion of "The Old Internet" can make it, Hamlet. My Usenet group of toy-collectors moved to Facebook and a private forum.

If Tim Wu is correct in The Master Switch, and I suspect he is, the Internet as we Gen Xers knew it is fading, as telecom monopolies gain ever more power. Pity.

So why is this turn of events "not. . .such a bad thing"?

Masami Kuramoto

I'm curious: What makes running The WELL so expensive? 2600 subscribers paying $100 per year or more, that's quite a lot of money to maintain what seems to be little more than an online discussion forum. I am probably missing something, and I would like to know what it is.

Hamlet Au

It's slowly losing subscribers, so at some point, Salon would start losing money. More key, I think they're betting that they can make more from selling well.com.


It's sad to see things devolve this way. From a true sense of community to - I don't know what - metaphors of main streets torn asunder for shabby malls abound and all are as replete with maudlin laments as any other --- and yet, here, in this ephemeral space of cyber lies moments of meaning and history and with that the human desire to preserve at least a taste of it all. My time amidst the Well was brief but essential. It would be wondrous to see it maintained as, at the very least, a place of history or point of pilgrimage - so contradictory in this world of practical necessities - and yet better as a continuing enclave of thought, culture and conversation. Best of luck - from the depths of this part of the Well.


I was [email protected] around 1987-88. Now reddit.com (part of the same company as Wired) has taken its place for me.


no 1000 fans? typical
always get someone else to pay for your toyz -egoz

Erbo Evans

Wow. Just...wow.

After having been on the WELL all that time, and writing his book, Howard Rheingold used some of their technology to found Electric Minds, a similar online community, in about 1996. A year or so later, that community was acquired by Durand Communications of Santa Barbara, which I was working for at the time, and Durand itself was later acquired by Webb Interactive Services of Denver. Webb eventually moved to shut down the CommunityWare platform and the Electric Minds community with it, but the members of that community--of which I was now one--didn't let go that easy. We bought our own server, and I personally wrote a new conferencing system to replace the existing software. The "freed" Electric Minds lasted until a couple of years ago, when we were finally done in by hardware failures and internal conflicts.

So, as a veteran of this kind of rescue operation, I wish the WELL denizens luck. Heaven knows they'll need it.

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