Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional


    The Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link, better known by its acronym The WELL, was founded in 1985 and is an early example of an online community. It quickly became a popular space where registered community members participated in lively discussions on all sorts of topics. Although The WELL might be seen as unique considering its type of participants and especially its organization, they were neither the first nor the only online community. It was basically a dial-up bulletin board system (BBS) that allowed users with a personal computer and a telephone plus modem to connect with other users and start an asynchronous or real-time written conversation. Around the mid-1980s, BBS-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) through teleconferencing had become quite popular, and The WELL tapped into this but brought this personal computing to a different level, thanks to a clever plan of two idealistic entrepreneurs that combined a serious investment in the project with a vision of building a self-sustaining online community.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe SAGE Encyclopedia of the Internet
    EditorsBarney Warf
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherSAGE Publishing
    Number of pages3
    ISBN (Print)9781473926615
    Publication statusPublished - May-2018

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