I used to have in my possession a book titled Mormons on the Internet by Laura Meary Gold. It was published in 1997. Unfortunately, I can’t find it. I think it may have been tossed when I consolidated a bunch of my small bookcases into one large one.
I can’t imagine throwing it out, though, since I’m mentioned in it!
The book was written for Mormons who were new to the web. Back when the web was still new. It gave descriptions of various LDS websites and email lists. I was mentioned because I ran a couple email lists at the time—one called Sanctify, for LDS members with inactive/non-member loved ones/part-member families, and one called Peace, for LDS who suffered from depression.
Does anyone remember the early days of the LDS online world? Before blogs? When email lists and newsgroups were the gathering places for LDS internet geeks? (Or am I the only dinosaur?)
Maybe LDS email lists and newsgroups are still very active, I wouldn’t know. If you participate in any good ones, feel free to chime in about them.
Here’s what I remember about the early days of Mormons on the Internet.
There were a lot of scholarly email lists, like Scripture-L, LDS-Hist, and LDS-Phil. There were also a bunch of social/support email lists, like the two I ran, plus one for LDS stay-home moms, and one for other LDS women, I think it was called Sister-Share. I participated in the stay-home moms email list and loved it. But then I went back to work fulltime and couldn’t participate anymore.
I found this website that has a bunch of LDS email lists on it, not sure how many are still active:
The few I clicked on were no longer operating. It gives you a glimpse of what the LDS online community used to be like, though.
I think in general, blogging keeps us more separated and apart than the old email lists used to. On an email list, it’s easy to have one-on-one conversations with people, and really easy to move the conversation to private email, and therefore get to know people better. There are so many blogs now and so many comments being made, it’s hard to even keep up with one or two, let alone many.
So here are some tools that I use to keep up with the blogs I read and participate in:
Bloglines.com: A news reader that lets you subscribe to blogs and read all the new posts to them on one webpage.
Blog aggregators: There’s a lot of these, the most well-known being Mormon Archipelago (which I don’t know how to spell, let alone pronounce) and LDSelect.org. Danithew also has one he created for his own use, but made available on his blog for others as well.
Commentful: A comment tracker. This is the tool I use the most. You can bookmark blog posts you want to follow the comments on and Commentful tells you when there’s new replies on it. It only works with Firefox, and it’s only a beta so it can be buggy at times.
What other tools are there to make keeping up with blogs easy?
And if anyone wants to chime in with their memories of the early days, feel free. I’ve forgotten more than I remember from those days.