Mar. 1, 1995
A Hangout For Every Occasion
There are a hundred thousand haunts in cyberspace — each with its own crowd, own interests and own point of view. Here is a sampling:
Singles . . . or doubles, or menages a trois for that matter: the hottest pick-up joints are the chat rooms of America Online’s People Connection.
Gravitas The liberal-intellectual crowd gathers nightly on the Well, the Bay Area- based Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link. The media and radio conferences attract the glitterati, and participants in the philosophy conference know not only the spelling of Kierkegaard’s name but the views he propounded.
Deadheads Devoted followers of The Grateful Dead know the place to worship their heroes is the WELL’s Dead conference.
Twentysomething Gen-Xers hang at Manhattan’s MindVox and contemplate 50 more years of living under the shadow of Yuppies.
A Good Laugh The exchange of jokes is unfiltered and thus occasionally unfunny in the rec.humor newsgroup. A finer repertoire, or so it is said, is in alt.humor.best-of-usenet, which is monitored.
Doubting Thomases True believers in parapsychology and other pseudosciences are in for a tough time with the crowd that frequents the alt.para-net.skeptic, bit.listserv.skeptic and sci.skeptic newsgroups. But keepers of the faith show up to defend their theories, making for heated exchanges.
Cancer Patients Mutual support from fellow sufferers, their doctors and families comes in alt.support.cancer.
Wonks Political junkies duke it out on the Capital Connection, while current-events generalists visit Time Online — both on AOL. CompuServe’s Rush Limbaugh message boards regularly draw a crowd. Specialized areas exist on the Internet for every imaginable viewpoint, from alt.society.anarchy to alt.politics.clinton.
Furry Tales rec.pet.cats is for serious cat lovers. But the occasional mischiefmaker shows up and posts hair-raising descriptions of feline abuse designed to shock the regular denizens.