The Daily Ping

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January 7th, 2000

RIP – GEnie

Thanks to Elly for pointing this out — apparently, the end of the 1900’s also brought an end to the online service that just wouldn’t die. GEnie, the first online service I ever joined, was a text-based community that was right up there with AOL and Prodigy (and Delphi and Compuserve) in the early 90’s. In fact, if it weren’t for GEnie, my fellow Daily Pinger Paul and I wouldn’t have met. I was a regular on GEnie up through 1994 when I let my mom use it for e-mail (Internet e-mail on an Apple II isn’t easy). In some ways I miss the days of the smaller community we had on GEnie — it was much more intimate and civilized (usually) then most so-called communities on the Internet. One guy has even saved the final messages from one of these communities, the SFRT (Sci-Fi RoundTable).

Of course, I did make an acquaintance with a 16-year-old guy that turned out to be 50… but that’s another story for another day. -ram

Posted in Technology

Ryan January 7, 2008, 7:54 pm

Hey, both of the links on this Ping still work, eight years later. Neato.

Jeff January 2, 2010, 1:04 am

Oh, man! I loved GEnie – and then Genie after it was sold. When the rumors started to fly about Genie’s demise, I was very forlorn. The community was small and much more familial in nature than the larger services. I remember when it was as high as 6 bucks an hour! But as the price came down, and then various price packages were available, it was affordable for me to stay in the Chat rooms nightly for several hours. I was Night Cat. I loved playing the Trivia games. In fact, I met at leat one lifelong friend there.

I used a MAC SE for my nightly GEnie and Genie forays. I think that the Forums in GEnie were an as yet unparalleled communications link among people interested in the same subject. I was a regular in several forums, but I particularly liked and visited the GEnie Forum. I popped my head into several others through the years.

I was astounded that it lasted after Jan 1, 2000. But, even though I don’t remember the exact date, one evening shortly thereafter I logged on and Genie was no longer there.

I cried.

I think that we of the GEnie community were pioneers in the truest sense of the word. We were the first to communicate on topics of mutual interest electronically with people who we had not known, and, using such technology and social format, expanded our network and knowledge base. We pioneered crude email systems, online chat, and other forerunners of what has become very common in the following century.

But we GEnieites were the first. GEnie forever!

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