by Jason Snell
Remembering the Spoiler-Free Opinion Summary
Josh Renaud notes the 30th anniversary of a fixture in the pre-Web Internet:
Each newsgroup was like a messageboard dedicated to a topic: fans of Atari’s 16-bit ST computers would post messages in comp.sys.atari.st. If you were a Star Trek fan, you might hang out in rec.arts.startrek.current. It likely will not surprise you to learn I frequented both those newsgroups.
Like me, Joe Reiss was a Trek fan, and in the fall of 1992, he decided to solve a problem at the intersection of syndicated television and Usenet.
As a dedicated participant in
rec.arts.startrek.current in college and grad school1, I was honored to be quoted in Josh’s piece along with the dean of Star Trek episode reviewers, Tim Lynch.
Almost every feature of the Web was prefigured in the pre-Web Internet. We didn’t have the right tools quite yet, but the desire and enthusiasm was there. (And, of course, most of the people who built the early Web were also participants in Usenet and other pre-Web communities.)
- Nerds! I know. But Star Trek TNG was very much the Show of the Moment when I was in college. Everyone, and I mean everyone, watched it and talked about it. ↩