Down the Well

Since 1990, I’ve used [email protected] as my personal email address. I remember the WeLL fondly from the early, pre-net days. Loopy stuff from Blair until he snuffed his candle. Long, legendary posts from Howard Rheingold. Spectacular rants from Mandel. Food advice from Duck. Word duels between tnf and Jef. Jokes, poems, commentary on the news, classified ads. It was worth at least an hour a day.

The WeLL wrote me a few days ago explaining that it was time to renew my account. The only package that comes with email is the “Complete Account.” (Web and shell access to The WELL, extra search tools and services, 10 MB of storage, a WELL email address and web page, and access to Table Talk plus Salon Premium subscription.) Special deal for me, a customer continuously for more than a dozen years: $150.

I called the billing department. “You mean I have to pay $150 to maintain my email address?” Yep. I’d get Salon. Hmmm. Seems to me Salon’s been on the edge of bankrupcy for several years. I don’t want to be the one who pushes them over the cliff but neither do I want a ten month subscription to decaying content if they disappear. I paid $15 to have my email forwarded to [email protected] for six months.

I just took a final tour of the Berkeley Conference and the Jokes Conference. For me, the comraderie and the familiar names got lost in the transition to the web. I used to be a wellbeing; now I’m a blogger. Ten years in the future I”ll probably have a wireless connection implanted in my head. (You, too.) I guess it’s progress.

Good bye, WeLL. You gave me lots of memories.

Login name: jaycross In real life: Jay Cross
Directory: /home/j/a/jaycross Shell: /usr/local/shell/picospan
Mail Address: jaycross Registered: Mon Apr 16 15:17:18 1990

Please change your address book to my new address:

[email protected]

Posted by Jay Cross at June 12, 2003 01:03 AM | TrackBack

Sadness. I came along too late to participate in the Well back in those halcyon days but I remember in reading about it and its community, I began to see and become fascinated with the potential of the Internet and the Web to build community and to encourage open discourse among a truly world-wide population. In a sense then I feel like a participant by observation - the existence of the Well community colored my online world even though I was never @well. Another part of the original frontier is gone.

Posted by: mark oehlert at June 12, 2003 04:41 PM

not bad

Posted by: download paris hilton at June 29, 2004 01:51 AM

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