The Well Is Not Too Deep

July 6, 2012

When I lived in the San Francisco area (Berkeley, Calif. as a matter of fact), I was a user of The Well. This was an in crowd of online sophisticates. The system was the Facebook and Google Plus of the early 1980s. One of the features was a user’s ability to send a message to another logged in user. The terminal style interface happily obliterated whatever one was working on when the incoming message arrived, but the overall experience was okay for me, thrilling for others.

I noted “The Well, a Pioneering Online Community, Is for Sale Again.” The “real” news story pointed out that The Well was pretty much a goner. Here’s the passage I noted:

The Well is now a subscribers-only discussion community, with membership plans that run between $100 and $150 for an annual subscription, according to its Web site. That’s a steep price to pay on today’s Internet, no matter how literate the online discussion is. Or as Salon summed up The Well’s situation in its filing: “As other online communities and social networks emerged over the years, The Well’s subscriber base dwindled to 2,693, which did not bear financial promise.”

My thought is that I should put this paragraph in my template file. I could substitute a few words and have a ready-to-roll “real” news story for what may be the demise of other online pioneers. Candidates could include Yahoo, America Online, Microsoft Network, and a few others.

Online is not forever it seems.

Stephen E Arnold, July 6, 2012

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