I was never on PLATO, but a college friend of mine was on it in the late 80s at Illinois Math and Science Academy. A chat board from there migrated to the Usenet alt hierarchy in the early 90s, Facebook in the mid 2000s, and Discourse in the 2010s. I’m still on a Matrix chat with someone I met on that board.
Wow that is amazing longevity. Do you mind telling us the name of the group?
I could tell you, but it probably wouldn’t mean anything, and everything post-Usenet was private. It was basically the group chat/bulletin board for an IMSA friend group, and some people they knew from college.
That’s so great. One of my friends was in an online auto enthusiast group that persisted from the 80s to the present. It would be great to know how common it is for a community to last so long.
If you’re interested in PLATO, The Friendly Orange Glow is a great book to read, although I felt like it was a bit more rosy eyed than technical. It’s definitely an incredibly interesting and capable system.
In my opinion this is a must-read for anyone interested in computer history.
Man, I miss PLATO. I was on the scene in Chicago via the community colleges in the 80’s. Good times!