By Matt Lake. July 15, Computerworld In the hyperactive online venues of today, it's easy to forget that online communities got started back when ABBA was cranking out hits. True, these early efforts didn't much resemble Facebook or Ning, but they were communities nonetheless.

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Participate in main stage talks, panel debates, fireside conversations, a track of academy classes, product demos, networking events and much more. January 22nd, Education Allison Lips. How we communicate with each other over the Internet has changed ificantly from the early days in

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We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted , analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. These early chat rooms were incredibly small, taking just 23 people to completely fill.


Last month, Sean Parker of Napster fame launched Airtime.

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All of your interactions online are constrained by the people you already know. MORE: Chatroulette 2.

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But what, exactly, did happen to the chat rooms Parker so fondly remembers? His relationship with the company started inbefore it was America Online.

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When the main chat room filled to capacity, necessitating the creation of Lobby 2, the community celebrated. So the experience of going into a chat room and getting a response a couple of seconds later from someone who was in the same chat room was just really cool.

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Slowly, the service grew, expanding to support DOS and eventually Windows. The chat product, called People Connection, had a variety of rooms for people interested in such topics as genealogy and strategy games.

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Schober moved from beta tester to full-time employee inwhen the service — now officially called America Online — went public. The company was positioned perfectly for the onset of the Internet Age. Windows 3.

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So you started getting to the and 14, baud modems that made the speeds a little more comfortable. Participation in chat rooms started to snowball; as more people used them, the variety of chat rooms increased, attracting even more people.

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Then, inAmerica Online opened the floodgates by introducing a monthly flat rate instead of charging by the hour. Just how powerful was America Online during this time?

Reggie Fairchild, product manager for AOL 4. When we launched AOL 4.

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Think of that. This is the era that many people, myself included, remember most vividly.

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As a gawky kid entering high school, chat rooms were a haven from the awkwardness of real human interaction. Launched inAIM became widespread once it was made available to non-subscribers in Friendster launched inMyspace in and Facebook in There were, in short, a lot more options for people who wanted to interact online.

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Today, chat services such as Facebook Messenger and Google Talk a. Gchat are popular, but chat rooms as they existed in the s are mostly a relic.

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