Some ancient media history: Online-News, circa 1994

By Steve Outing

Back in 1994, I started an Internet e-mail discussion list called Online-News. It became, I think it’s fair to say, the primary online meeting place for the pioneers in online news media. The list still exists today, hosted by the Poynter Institute (my former employer), though it’s not as active as it used to be.

Howard Owens was curious about the archives of the Online-News discussion from the “early days,” so he hunted around and found some stuff that even I don’t have. In the list’s earliest days (1994-95), it wasn’t archived properly; I have only a piecemeal smattering of list discussion on some old e-mail back-up disks. Poynter’s archive of Online-News goes back only to 2002.

Owens has written a blog post about his research into the Online-News archives. New-media historians might find some of this interesting.

What I remember most from the first year or two of the list was arguments about the pros and cons of news companies hooking up with proprietary online services like Prodigy, America Online, Delphi, Interchange and Compuserve vs. the World Wide Web. Not everyone in 1994 immediately grasped the significance of the Web.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

7 Responses to "Some ancient media history: Online-News, circa 1994"

  1. Amy Gahran
    Amy Gahran 10 years ago .Reply

    How much was this, Steve — if you don\'t mind me asking. Also, have you used it much for web access, feed subscriptions, and IMing? What OS does it use?

    – Amy Gahran

  2. Anthony Moor
    Anthony Moor 10 years ago .Reply

    And Steve, does it connect with Outlook contacts like a Treo?

  3. Steve
    Steve 10 years ago .Reply

    Amy: Cingular sells it for $200 with a 2-year contract. Factor in $30/month extra for the unlimited data package. So far I\'m using it for e-mail, Google Calendar, occasional web access … I\'m really impressed! Great phone. The keypad is qwerty but each key has 2 letters — it\'s not like the bigger Blackberries with a qwerty keypad and a key for every letter. But it\'s still way faster to use than my old numerical keypad. OS: same as all Blackberries.

    Anthony: I\'m not sure. I use Gmail and easily got it configured for that, so I didn\'t look into Outlook. (I assume so.)

  4. Charlie Meyerson
    Charlie Meyerson 10 years ago .Reply

    Steve, welcome to BlackBerrys Anonymous.

    For a sampling of other neat stuff you can do with these devices…

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/blackberry

  5. L Snow
    L Snow 10 years ago .Reply

    What about folks who use Verizon instead of Cingular?

  6. Matt
    Matt 10 years ago .Reply

    By the way, Steve, I\'ve had my Pearl for a month now, and I\'m only today trying out one of my favorite features — I\'m posting this from my laptop, using my Pearl as a high-speed modem. No more wondering whether the hotel offers internet, no more canvassing for free wifi spots, just plug in the phone and we\'re off. I followed the instructions <a href=\"http://www.blackberryforums.com/blackberry-guides…rel=\"nofollow\">here</a>, and had next-to-no trouble. The Internet seems a little more magical when I\'m surfing it at my (very low-tech, decidedly non-Internet-having) aunt\'s house, which might begin to explain why I\'m still Web-surfing at 2 a.m. on Christmas morning. Or maybe not.

  7. Logan
    Logan 10 years ago .Reply

    L Snow,

    There are rumors that Verizon Wireless with have the Pearl come May, 2007 but this has not been confirmed yet. I am really hoping that Verizon is able to pick up the pearl!

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