15 July 2009

CompuServe, Prodigy et al.: What Web 2.0 can learn from Online 1.0

(Industry Standard)
Everyone's abuzz about Web 2.0, and it's no wonder. Facebook, MySpace and Twitter are some of the Internet's most popular destinations, offering users unprecedented freedom to share content, engage in conversations and exchange ideas like never before. How short our memories are. Before everyone connected to one massive Internet, a variety of smaller commercial online services with names like CompuServe, GEnie, Prodigy, Delphi and, of course, America Online (AOL) ruled the roost. Some were launched as long ago as the late 1970s, and many were text-based with nary a graphic to be found. Each charged hourly or monthly fees to a national (and sometimes international) audience in exchange for access to its private network. In addition, there were many smaller Bulletin Board Systems, or BBSs, that were also accessed by use of modems and phone lines. see also Timeline: The evolution of online communities.