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The Online Community Chronicles: Where Did Your Digital Adventure Begin?

What was the first online community you joined? Was it a gaming forum, a coding community, or a niche interest group? And how did it shape your digital journey?

From finding like-minded individuals to exploring new interests, share your stories of how your earliest online community influenced your perspectives, skills, and personal growth. Let's celebrate the power of online connections and the lasting influence they can have!

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Top comments (4)

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Bernd Wechner • Edited

The Usenet, in 1986. rec.humor.funny and were memorable though I was using many newsgroups, and the rn and then nn newsreaders on a HP mini computer in a research centre. That and email, which ask ran for some time on dial up 1200bps and later 2400bps links.

How did that shape my digital journey? Guess it's main influence was to take computing out of the perky number crunching realm (we mostly used FORTRAN to solve renewing, and math problems numerically) into the social realm (networking with like minded folk globally and chatting about stuff that wasn't number crunching). Of course, over time the social side has come to dominate or experience with the internet and connectivity.

Perhaps one of the enduring lessons of the day was the emergence of flaming as an idea and thing and alt.flame as a dedicated newsgroup for it, a venting group. Flaming has been lost from the vocabulary over time I guess but was the bigger Usenet term essential for rage driven obnoxious behaviour that was already emerging in these communities, empowered as it was, by the imagination in lieu of body language, time of voice, and social proximity, and the imperative for moderation as both a behaviour and job, emerged.

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Erin Bensinger

As a child of the late 90s and early aughts, it will always be Neopets

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Rachel Fazio

Relatable. Mine would have definitely been Club Penguin or Webkinz, but (deep cut here for some) the Disney Pixie Hollow online game..... I was absolutely obsessed with this game through and through and clocked so many hours on there.

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Rachel Fazio

WOW after commenting this I did a bit of a deep dive and found a free playable version. I truly did not know how much happiness this would cause for me, but needless to say I am giggling like a child atm.