I've been involved with electronic based communities for nearly 20 years now. It all started a long time ago while living in Seattle. I discovered BBSes (Bulletin Board Systems). I found myself spending nearly 6 hours everyday dialing into one BBS after another. A couple friends and I got together and evolved a room based system to one that would automatically dial other (matching) BBSes and swap messages. Soon, we had a network of 25 BBSes from San Diego to Vancouver, BC.
I just wanted to take a moment and say that the CSK is now transmorgifying to a new product called the GotCommunityNet Web App (GCN for short). You can find it on the web at http://www.gotcommunitynet.com . Source code (C# based), news and more can be found at http://www.gotdotnet.com/Community/Workspaces/Workspace.aspx?id=39959859-68b5-4f5e-bd85-c1a8555e39a9