PLATO People: A History Book Research Project

· Required Reading, Weblog Concepts

I was checking the look of an earlier day’s page and saw that someone had responded to my link to Rebecca’s essay Weblog History. One thing I realized is that I’ll need to go through old posts and assign categories to them in some cases. (This one needs to get the ‘syllabus’ category for the filtering to work right.) Another is that I’m still somewhat perplexed by Radio’s upstreaming model vs. FTP. At least with FTP I know when I’ve put a file. I realize that this is intended to make things easier by automating them. Actually, I think the real problem is that Radio doesn’t necessarily re-render pages when I change the design, so most of the categories still have an out-of-date design, as do many past pages. How do I force the themes and templates to be reapplied up and down the line?
Anyway, in the comment Brian Dear says, “Alas, Rebecca is not aware that the first blogs appeared around 1973.” I wrote a reply in the comment but then realized that it’s extremely unlikely Brian will ever see it. (Even if these comments triggered notification e-mail, he used a fake antispam address there.)
I know from the Well that Brian is working on a history of PLATO, an educational computer network the prefigured the Internet in many ways. I’m curious now about exactly what he meant: were there logs or journals in the PLATO system? I know very little about it. I’ll see if I can track him down and ask him to elaborate.
From the site for his project:

I’m looking for anything and everything: anecdotal, historical, educational, recreational, personal — the whole range of PLATO experiences.

I’d especially love to hear from people who worked on or used PLATO at other sites, like CDC in Minneapolis, CERL in Illinois, other universities across the U.S., and at sites like South Africa, Belgium, and Sweden. Also, corporate/industrial users at the FAA, United Airlines, and all of the other far-flung places and organizations that were a part of what became the PLATO network in the early 80s.