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Community Memory, the world's first public electronic bulletin board

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The Community Memory Project brought the world's first public electronic BBS to a Berkeley, California record shop.

Community Memory Terminal
Community Memory Terminal

In 1973, a few computer-savvy friends parked a computer terminal next to a bulletin board in Berkeley, California record shop. Their goal was to create a simple way for a community to share information, but Neatorama suggets that their efforts grew into something a bit more significant. Dubbed the Community Memory Project, it connected by modem to a remote timesharing computer and ultimately became the world's first public electronic bulletin board. The project began as a way for the public to share resources — people trying to sell things or look for work — but ultimately it grew into a forum for a (mostly anonymous) community to share ideas. More importantly, the public terminal gave many who weren't studying a scientific subject their first opportunity to use a computer. While ultimately not as long-lived as the 27-year old WELL online community, Community Memory marks an important first step for the web as we know it. Head over to Neatorama for a look at its humble beginnings.