Have you ever wondered what was the world’s first website? Apparently this is it. No graphics, only text, or rather hypertext. I think it dates from November, 1992. It’s really pretty incredible to think back on how quickly the internet has essentially taken over the world.
This was not long after I first went online. I didn’t do the BBS thing, but my first online venture was on Compuserve, when you had to use their program and dial into a local number with a modem (I think my first was a mere 300 baud). I quickly found the Compuserve religion forum, where I met several people that I’m still in at least occasional contact with, including Troy Britain and Henry Neufeld. Compuserve was not really part of the internet at the time, it was a separate intra-net, in essence, where you could only access what was on their servers.
Shortly after that, I got on Delphi and discovered the world of Archie and Gopher servers. Then the world wide web came about and the rest, as they say, is history. Not long after that, I started going on IRC, where I met lots and lots of people who are still a part of my life. First on EFnet, then on DALnet, which is where I first met several people who comment regularly on this blog, including Gretchen Koch and Sastra. I got involved with the TalkOrigins archive and met lots of other people I have long worked with on evolution/creationism issues.
Somewhere along the line, I also discovered IRC poker and the rec.gambling.poker newsgroup, where I met lots of people who later became very well known in the poker world. I was a prop player for Party Poker in the very early days and later did some work for Poker Stars as well. I even had someone claim once that I was really Linda Johnson, a very famous poker player and former owner of Card Player magazine, in disguise. Those were weird times.
In only 20 years, we’ve gone from a few people having access to and understanding the internet to it being a constant presence in nearly everyone’s life. It’s really pretty incredible when you think about it. The internet has allowed us to build intentional communities that have nothing to do with one’s physical location. It’s allowed me to meet people I would never have otherwise met and it’s changed my life in so many ways that it’s impossible to document them all. We do live in interesting times.