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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

What the Well's Rise and Fall Tell ­S About Online Community


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Howard Rheingold, WELL

Credit: Matissa Enser

In the late 1980s, decades before the term "social media" existed, in a now legendary and miraculously still living virtual community called "The WELL," a fellow who used the handle "Philcat" logged in one night in a panic: his son Gabe had been diagnosed with leukemia, and in the middle of the night he had nowhere else to turn but the friends he knew primarily by the text we typed to each other via primitive personal computers and slow modems.

From The Atlantic
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