March 15, 2011 § Leave a comment
Before we had facebook, twitter, and YouTube. Before we had podcasts, ipods, and mp3s. Even before we had http, web-browsers, and the world-wide-web, we had gopher, news groups, and electronic mailing lists.
The mailing list concept is simple–you send an email to one address , email@example.com, and everyone who is signed up for the list gets the email. Then someone else responds, sending a message to the list. That triggers someone else to reply and all of a sudden you have a discussion breaking out. And, if you’re not careful, you may just learn something along the way.
March 15th, 1991, Chris Conn, the list-guy, created dead runners society, a mailing list for runners. And, for extents and purposes, the internet was created. Fancier things would come along but the first killer-app, for me at least, was alive and kicking.
I wouldn’t stumble upon “the deads” until sometime during the spring of 1992 while I was diving completely into an insane running time for me. I was a college senior who, not knowing what he wanted to do after his pending graduation, was in the process of throwing himself completely into his running with the intent of going back to school for one more semester and make up for the mistake of not running cross county in college.
The great thing about the deads is that they knew and understood the essence of what I had to say, at least about running, without having to try to explain the running part. I could post about a blister or chafing problem and get serious responses, not “stop running” that my non-running local friends would offer up.
It was a world-expanding, addictive application that I fell completely fell for. Web 2.0? It just builds on the interactive communities like dead runners society (drs) from the dark ages.
After graduating, getting a real job, and real-life, dead runners society has faded into the back ground for me. There have been times when I’ve been complete inactive (un-dead) for a couple years at a time. Mostly, after the initial couple years, I’ve been a silent observer (lurker) that silently reads posts but doesn’t actively participates in the conversations. I’m sure the lurkers make up a significant portion.
I have met a few deads–in the early years there were two, Mike Daly and Dave McNaughton, that lived locally and I saw a few times at races. Mike moved away when Cray computers laid off a bunch of engineers. Dave drifted away from running for awhile. I did meet a couple others at larger races–Grandma’s Marathon mostly.
Regardless of my current involvement with drs, it has been part of me since the first, fatal fling. Phrases like “your mileage may vary” (ymmv), obligatory running note (ORN) and planned obligatory running note (PORN), and many other that I realize and don’t realize are embedded in my BIOS from those early days.
I’ve known, that just like Woody and Andy in Toy Story, that drs always offered that You’ve Got a Friend in Me.
Through the years, posters have come and gone–sometimes silently, sometimes with a flurry, “stop sending me this shit. eric”. There have been fights, there have been marriages, there have been babies and there have been deaths.
One thing drs started early on was get-togethers. The first “World Conference” was held in 1993 and they have been held almost every year sense. While, to my non-benefit, I’ve never participated in one, I think this grew drs from a “community’ to a family. (Sidenote: I think this is the same dynamic that Steve Runner, et al are after with their Mojo Loco vision).
I cannot believe its been 20 years already, but dead runners society has been a good part of my life for a long time and I look forward to 20 more years. Maybe I’ll even start participating more.
May 14, 2010 § Leave a comment
I always enjoy getting my run in right away in the morning. Don’t have to worry that it will get bumped by something not as important. With all the juggling I’ve been forced to do the last couple years, my runs have been consistently bumped by things like driving, work, and sleeping because my i haven’t had much scheduling flexibility. Errrrrr!!!!
A fellow dead, PJV, recently shared a definition of a runner that she heard.
A runner is “someone whose day’s activities are controlled by his run rather than whose run is controlled by his day’s activities.”
Might be the best definition I’ve heard.