The Meta Network, TMN, was my very first online community. I joined in 1993 through ArtsWire. I am still a member. The original press release follows, released on March 28, 1983, a decade before even I joined. Amazing!
March 28, 1983
For Immediate Release
“The Meta Network”
A New Electronic Network Opens;
Focused on the Pursuit of Excellence
Metasystems Design Group announced today that it has opened its new computer conferencing and networking system known as The Meta Network. The new network provides state of the art computer-linked communications services to individuals, government agencies, and corporations who are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in their organizations and communities.
Frank Burns, President of Metasystems Design Group, Inc. states that The Meta Network is designed for leaders, educators and consultants who want to work together to narrow the gap between the human condition and the human potential.
Burns says, “In a real sense, we are building an information age version of the think tank. We are building a network of networks that is focused on the discovery of knowledge rather than just the exchange of information.”
Burns is no stranger to “knowledge networking.” He was the Director of the US Army’s Delta force prior to leaving the army last november. Delta Force is an inter-disciplinary, computer-linked network of more than four hundred researchers and futurists who are chartered by the Army to develop concepts and methods for impoving the performance of Army organizations.
The Meta Network will enable corporate and government leaders to start their own excellence networks — focused on improving productivity and unleashing higher levels of human spirit in their own organizations and agencies.
The Meta Network uses the Confer II networking system. This multi-feature computer conferencing package was created by Dr. Robert Parnes at The University of Michigan. Though it is a sophisticated system that provides many features not available in other computer networking packagesd, CONFER II is easy to learn and use effectively. Beginners with no previous experience with electronic mail or computer conferencing systems discover quickly how to engage in focused conversations with their “knowledge colleagues” around the country..and eventually around the world.
Individuals and organizations who join The Meta Network do not need to own their own computers. All they need is access to virtually any computer terminal or communicating word processor in order to connect with The Meta Network via a local phone call.