On December 8, 1991, David Sewell suggested meeting on-line using the (then new) technology of InterNet Relay Chat. It was later, when Amy Bruckman started MediaMOO, that the Computers and Writing Community ventured into MOO space.

 Date:         Sun, 8 Dec 1991 12:37:51 EST
 Reply-To: "Megabyte University (Computers & Writing)" 
 Sender: "Megabyte University (Computers & Writing)" 
 From: David Sewell 
 Subject:      IRC conferencing program
 To: Multiple recipients of list MBU-L 
     I was wondering if anyone on MBU had used the IRC program, the
 interface to the Internet Relay Chat program, as a conferencing
     IRC (actually "irc" on Unix, but it looks funny non-capped) is a
 powerful multi-user conferencing program along the lines of Daedalus'
 InterChange or CompuServe's CB simulator.  It works over the Internet,
 so you can basically communicate with anyone in the world who can run
 the program.  One enters a message in the bottom portion of a split
 screen, and messages posted by everyone in the group appear in the top
 portion.  It is possible to send private messages and to perform various
 other functions from the useful to the fanciful, including logging
 sessions (though InterChange is much better at this).
     IRC looks like it might be a useful tool for collaborative
 workgroups of people at different sites, as well as for scheduled
 synchronous discussion.  You can create a "private" conference that can
 be joined only by people who know its name.
     One possibility would be something like a regularly-scheduled MBU
 conference; anyone with IRC could log onto it at say 11 p.m. EST each
 Thursday & participate in whatever the discussion of the moment was.
     Big problem is that I doubt it runs on other platforms than Unix +
 Internet.  And as biased as I am toward that combination, I know it's
 probably the minority on MBU.  Still... any interest or experience along
 these lines?
 David Sewell, U of Rochester

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