The Epic Sage of the Well

The World’s Most Influential Online Community (And It’s Not AOL).

  1. It was a very public way to die. Public, that is, to the few thousand people on The Well. On March 25, 1995, Tom Mandel sat down at his computer and wrote:

    It's bad luck to say goodbye before it's time to do so and there's no point in embracing death before one's time, but I thought maybe I'd sneak in a topic, not too maudlin I hope, in which I could slowly say goodbye to my friends here, curse my enemies one more time &LTwell, not really worth the trouble, actually,> and otherwise wave a bit at the rest of you until it's just not time to do so any more.

    I could start off by thanking you all, individually and collectively, for a remarkable experience, this past decade here on the WELL. For better and for worse-there were a lot of both-it has been the time of my life and especially a great comfort during these difficult past six months. I'm sad, terribly sad, I cannot tell you how sad and griefstriken I am that I cannot stay to play and argue with you much longer. It seems almost as i...

The complete text of “The Epic Sage of the Well” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on

Originally published in Wired, May 1997

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