for those wondering why I'm posting a random phone number and why the hell you would call it - I promise no human will pick up. anyone can call it. it's the bleep bloop hotline, a place where I put little synth sketches from time to time. it'll always play the most recent one

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Lectured to by a four-year old about the advantages of tally marks over Arabic numerals

The WELL, the community founded by Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant in 1985 (still going strong) has a conference open to the public: inkwell.vue. In mid-January, I will facilitate a conversation with @Markoff about his recent biography of Stewart Brand, "Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand."

I will post a link when it starts.

Do you have questions for me to ask John?

Does anyone have examples from prior work for how to write effective messaging to encourage peer-to-peer interaction in online communities? Specifically, if you wanted to encourage users to comment on a post by another community member? Is there GroupLens or other work that evaluated this? @estellesmith @bkeegan @andresmh Any ideas?

No Toner: New book of #Toronto #zine covers edited by Hal Kelly includes Trash Compactor, J.D.s, Bimbox, Don't Tell Jane and Frankie, S.C.A.B., F.O.D. Maggotzine and more

Do I know anyone with #wordpress skills who would be willing to help restoring our archive of text-mode graphics?

"GROGGS was a distributed discussion board system on the Cambridge University Data Network, open to all users" created in 1986.

Fantastic jargon file (and other historical docs) here 📄♥🌀 ➡

Shouts to @KevinMarks for the ref!

"Social media desperately requires innovation, both in the underlying technology and the business models through which developers attempt to make it sustainable."

"Unfortunately for us, social media companies are profoundly, criminally uncreative."


30 years ago—on November 25, 1992—I started The Cave BBS in Raleigh, NC

I was only 11 years old, and after a devastating hack, I began to hide my age online

I wrote about my BBS for Ars Technica:

Teaching students how to make 90s-style homepages while listening to Cybotron 😺 🤖

Also, the Neocities HTML tutorials are 🔥🔥🔥

what was your first social network?

(plz boost for sample size)


Just saw your Canadian connecton.

This was my first Internet book in '93. Three weeks after release, it was #1 in the Globe and Mail and National Post. That's why i keep saying that right now here is like 93.

My co-author and I ended up writing 34 and sold a million books. The growth online was explosive.

And I think we had Finger in the original book!


"ARE YOU STILL OFFLINE?" asked Online Access magazine in the fall of 1990 💻🗞📠🙋❓

@driscoll It's also worth noting that this practice has real consequences for non-centralized communities - i.e. how users just coming out learn about what it means to be "transgender" can be shaped more by Google/Wikipedia than any community-produced document - which has real risks.

Ironically, communities could and did lobby to get keywords. Just "Gender" took you straight to the Transgender Community Forum on AOL for at least 10 years.

A fitting end to a great (and hyper relevant!) book:

"If there is a future after Facebook, it will be led by a revival of the sysop, a reclamation of the social and economic value of community maintenance and moderation."

Crazy how quickly we are marching into this, hopefully better, future. Big recommendation for this book, if you're at all interested in history of online communities and possible futures, read Modem World by Kevin Driscoll!

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post-twitter, post-web3, democratic ethical future 

i personally believe web3 has distracted good technologists from the important causes of decentralisation and digital democratisation in a post-platform era, and deceived the end-user and society by promising a false prosperous future–and, in so doing, has set the world back N years at least.

The damage web3 has done still cannot be fully estimated.

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A personal Mastodon server. Folks from the WELL online community have been invited here to test this out. Not part of the WELL. Not Officially Supported. Shake Before Using. This End Up. It is pitch black, you are likely to be eaten by a grue.