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COMMUNITIES BASED ON INTEREST, NOT PROXIMITY





phone phreaking

( pre-Internet networked communities )


In 1957, Joe Engressia first realized that he could control the phone system and make long-distance phone calls at no cost by whistling a specific pitch down the phone line. The AT&T phone network used twelve combinations of six audio tones as control signals. Engressia's whistles through the mouthpiece were interpreted as the phone company's own control tones. Engressia was one of a scattered group of technologically curious teenagers across the United States who spent their free time experimenting with controlling the phone system. These kids called themselves "phone phreaks." Many were blind and were to some extent socially isolated among kids their own age. It was the phreaks, however, who first liberated themselves from reliance on their proximate peers. Theirs would be a community drawn together by the attraction of common interest rather than the strictures of geography. < ref >





the well


"The WELL is a cherished destination for conversation and discussion. It is widely known as the primordial ooze where the online community movement was born — where Howard Rheingold first coined the term "virtual community." Since long before the public Internet was unleashed, it has quietly captivated some accomplished and imaginative people. Over the last two and a half decades, it's been described as "the world's most influential online community" in a Wired Magazine cover story" < ref >

"Life and death was shared in intimate detail online. The birth of the first baby of a Well member was celebrated in 1986; the first marriage between two members occurred in 1988; and the first death of a member, Blair Newman, was mourned in 1990. By 1995, the community had become so intimate that Tom Mandel, dying of cancer, bid his peers on The Well farewell with a depth of emotion rarely expressed in public:

I'm sad, terribly sad, I cannot tell you how sad and grief stricken I am that I cannot stay to play and argue with you much longer. It seems almost as if I am the one who will be left behind to grieve for all of you dying ...

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BBS && the ANSI ArtScene

( pre-Web networked communities )


A bulletin board system, or BBS, is a computer system running software that allows users to connect and log into the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, a user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users, either through email, public message boards, and sometimes via direct chatting. Many BBSes also offer on-line games, in which users can compete with each other, and BBSes with multiple phone lines often provide chat rooms, allowing users to interact with each other.
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to check out what a BBS would have looked like, launch your terminal app and type in telnet 1984.ws 23

there where no photos or videos, it was all text-based, YouTube would have looked like this: telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl 23 and here's a simulation of what google would have looked like if it was around in the BBS days.





even though these BBSs could only display text, users realized that they could create “art” by creatively placing ASCII and ANSI characters on a screen. a subculture of early computer “outsider” ( not affiliated with established fine art institutions ) artists flourished in the 80s. These artists would usually go by aliases or “handles” ( because of their involvement with the early computer piracy communities or “warez scene” ) and would work in groups known as “crews.”




Netizens Today


"There are people online who actively contribute towards the development of the Net. These people understand the value of collective work and the communal aspects of public communications. These are the people who discuss and debate topics in a constructive manner, who e-mail answers to people and provide help to new-comers, who maintain FAQ files and other public information repositories, who maintain mailing lists, and so on. These are people who discuss the nature and role of this new communications medium. These are the people who as citizens of the Net, I realized were Netizens." < ref >







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HOMEWORK



watch Everything Is A Remix parts I - IV. Is everything really a remix? do you agree with Kirby? write a response ( as an HTML page styled with CSS ) 300-500 explaining why you do or don’t agree with the argument presented in the videos.






submit your URL here:


if you have any trouble submitting send me an email: nbriz@saic.edu