RIP Steve Cisler, the man who turned the Dummy's Guide to the Internet into a hypercard stack
May 29, 2008 4:26 PM   Subscribe

Steve Cisler - first Internet librarian died on May 15th. "Steve was a unique intellectual populist. I believe his driving force was to put the power of computing resources, and the ability to communicate with same, into the hands of all who could benefit" Librarians, techies, activists and the unconnected alike will miss him terribly. This tribute from Ted Byfield went out to the nettime mailing list. A more official obit from the Mercury News "Steve Knew A Lot About A Lot". If you knew Steve you can post memories of him here or here. [cite for thread title]
posted by jessamyn (5 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:34 PM on May 29, 2008 [2 favorites]

I was really sad when I heard about Steve's death. I didn't know him well, but when I first got involved in online communities in 92-93 he was already very influential, and he, Rheingold, and Doug Schuler were all people who became kind of mentors to a whole generation of online community leaders and participants.

His loss is particularly poignant in that it seems that very few leaders of the newer/web2 style communities (save for people like Heather Champ and of course the crew here in the MeFi sites) have any sense of the history and accumulated knowledge and insight of past generations of online community leaders and activists like Steve.
posted by mikel at 5:28 PM on May 29, 2008

I hadn't known about him, but he sounds like an amazing guy. Thanks for the post. (I don't know whether it's just me, but I can't access the Mercury News story—I get "Firefox can't find the server at")
posted by languagehat at 5:34 PM on May 29, 2008

I changed the M-N link. Steve was already internet-famous by the time I was screwing around on it in 1993 and I remember him as being a kind and gracious commenter on bit.listserv-lis-l. I followed him around somewhat and then didn't really catch up with him again until I did a talk about the digital divide at San Jose State to a crowd of students and a few other people. He came up afterwards and said hello to me and told me about his offline project [linked under "unconnected"] and really projected a "we're all in this together to help people" attitude which is, of course, what I also think. I was completely speechless that he was there, in the flesh, talking to me and we emailed back and forth about digital divide stuff afterwards.
posted by jessamyn at 6:23 PM on May 29, 2008

Seems he left quite a legacy, for which I am grateful, even in my ignorance. Thanks for the posthumous introduction.
posted by owhydididoit at 8:47 PM on May 29, 2008

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