The WELL is launched

February 1985

The WELL (Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link) was a project of the Whole Earth Catalog, Stewart Brand’s consumer listings magazine focused on sustainability, repair, DIY, and product reviews. Readers already communicated via the catalog’s pages, and when the WELL was launched as a BBS by collaborator Larry Brilliant, it was this existing community that initially populated it.
As the service matured, it gained popularity with individual sub-communities, such as journalists and Grateful Dead fans.

Subscription fees were set at $8 to join and $2/hour to connect, much cheaper than other services of the era like CompuServe (Turner 2006).

Turner, F. (2010). From counterculture to cyberculture. University of Chicago Press.