Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link
key Virtual Community, esp during pre-WWW days.
The WELL was started by Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant in 1985, and the name is partially a reference to some of Brand's earlier projects, including the Whole EarthCatalog. The WELL began as a dial-up bulletin board system (BBS), became one of the original dial-up ISP-s in the early 1990s when commercial traffic was first allowed... From 1994 to 1999 the WELL was owned by Bruce Katz, founder of Rockport, a manufacturer of walking shoes. Since April 1999 it has been owned by SalonCom, several of whose founders such as Scott Rosenberg had previously been regular participants there. GailAnnWilliams was hired by Cliff Figallo in 1991, and has continued in management roles into the current era... In August 2005 Salon Media Group announced that it was looking for a buyer for the WELL, in order to concentrate on other business lines. In November 2006, a press release of The WELL said, "As Salon has not found a suitable purchaser, it has determined that it is currently in the best interest of the company to retain this business and has therefore suspended all efforts to sell The WELL." <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_WELL >