Internet Historical Society


First of all, with millions of places available to visit on the World Wide Web these days, thank you very much for choosing to stop in and share with us.

The Web site you are viewing now was created in response to suggestions by Netizens that a place be created where long-time Netizens could post short essays about how things were here on the Net in the 'old days' -- long before the World Wide Web; long before the massive commercialization of the Internet which has now become so commonplace. We call this effort the Internet Historical Society, and members of the society are called Internet Pioneers. We like the Net the way it used to be, long before SPAM, long before the massive and frequently offensive commercialization of the Net began; when invasion of user privacy was unheard of.

While all visitors are welcome to read what has been posted here, copy things to their own computer and hopefully benefit from the short commentaries and other items, posting at this site is generally restricted to members of the Society, the people we call Internet Pioneers.

Who or what is an Internet Pioneer? We are glad you asked! The membership of the Internet Historical Society is a loosely-knit group of Netizens -- called 'Pioneers' -- who have participated on the Internet and/or Usenet or an affiliated network for at least fifteen years, or since this date in 1984. Some Pioneers have even twenty years or more of a relationship with the Net. Over the next two or three years, our membership requirement will change to be a minimum of twenty years as part of the Net community. It is set at fifteen years now so as to exclude none of the Netizens who made outstanding contributions to our community during the early to middle 1980's, if they wish to participate here. Read memories which some Pioneers have posted. Many have already shared experiences from the past. Please add yours to our collection.

Membership is simple and informal: to become a member, you need only to provide some 'proof' of your past participation, including the date when you first hooked in and began using email and/or the 'Net' prior to today's date in 1984. An old email address, in the style in which addresses were written in 'the old days' would be considered a form of proof. Perhaps a mention of the name of the network on which you were -- or perhaps still are! -- affiliated. A few sentences about a protocol or procedure used at your site in those days would be very good. We ask that you be willing to have your above comments posted for review by visitors. We ask also that you have a willingness to help 'newbies' -- the newcomers to the community arriving quite rapidly now as the world, and the USA in particular, gets wired. If you meet the above requirements, then you may refer to yourself as an Internet Pioneer if you wish to do so. There are no membership fees or formal obligations of any kind.

Also welcome as an associate 'Pioneer' are those webmasters, mailing list managers and publishers, and others who wish to provide links to this Web site from their own, if their site/e-zine, etc relates to goals such as ours: the preservation of knowledge about our early history, and a place where newcomers to the Net community can turn for advice and assistance. We will gladly reciprocate with a link to those who link with us. We also request information about links to online publications such as books and articles about our history, so that they can be available to our visitors.

The Internet Pioneers/Internet Historical Society needs an icon for members to display on their own website. Will you consider making one for us? It should be a simple and tasteful icon which members can display with the phrase "I am an Internet Pioneer". If members who wish to display the icon also wish to use it as a way to link to this page from their own site, that would be appreciated. Please submit original efforts on this to the webmaster's attention.

Over time you will see, additional pages appear here as the men and women of the Net whose early presence sparked the technological revolution we are now witnessing known variously as the "World Wide Web", the "Web", "Internet" and other names begin to express themselves and join in both our celebration of where we are at and our memorialization of where we came from. Our intent here is to create a people's history of our community; a place that Netizens will visit from time to time and leave inspired, to try and produce their very best for those who follow.

Write to us if you would like to be part of this effort. We will try to respond promptly.

Read about your privacy here.

Thanks for visiting us today! Hope to see you again soon.

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