Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wild West Days of Social Networking on-line

My friend Danna Crawford (aka PowerSellingMom) just wrote a great post on Practical eCommerce titled eBay Pioneered Social Networking that is well worth the time to read.  I missed the wild west days of eBay but sure enjoy the social aspects that remain today. They were certainly leaders of social networking in the eCommerce arena. 

I remember being active on Compuserve forums in the very early 1990s and learned the value of "tribes" there. I was most active in cancer survivor support forums on Compuserve and am still in touch with some of those members today.  We banded together to give support to a very young brain cancer survivor and his family as he traveled to Canada for last hope treatment.

A thread was started on the forum, titled "Any Angels in Canada?" and several members who lived near where he was to be treated, met him and his mother at the airport and visited them during their stay giving support where they could. Many others wrote cards and posted to the forum where he could read their messages. A few years later this boy's mother sent me a memento from his memorial service and a handwritten note thanking me for being a friend at this very difficult time. She was convinced that forum support was a big factor in giving him hope and strength to endure for a few more precious years.

One of the friends I met on that Compuserve forum lives in Australia and we will meet for the first time this summer when she comes to visit in my home at long last.


Susan Adcox said...

Memories! I was on Compuserve in the early days of computers, too. I remember visiting several forums. I didn't keep up with anyone that I met, though. If anyone had told us then how important social networking would become, we wouldn't have believed it.

Danna Crawford said...

We are living in the Wild Virtual Online Learning Days too ((smiles)) Thanks for the post!

Waiting for my husband to get home from doing a driveway that a customer could not wait .. ugh, I want to go fishing RIGHT NOW .. lol