Interesting reflection from Steve Carlson about the 10 years of the NowEurope.com site-from-mailing list.
Steve started the list as a way of maintaining a ‘conversation’ with people he’d met at a conference Esther Dyson had organised. The list grew to some 4000 people, interested in “doing business online in Europe”.
It may seem unlikely, but in 1995 it was still fairly controversial to talk about using the Internet for business. Few people were willing to use their credit cards online. We spent a lot of time sharing our experiences about what business models were working, and what directions looked promising.
In those early days, one role I played with nowEurope was introducing people to one another. In late 1999 I invited my readers to meet me on a business trip to London (I live in Budapest, Hungary). Fifty people expressed interest. Ivan Pope stepped up to organize the venue. I did the same thing in several other cities.
The focus is now upon Central/Eastern Europe since the feeling of ‘newness’ and the rush to growth there is greater (and having spoken last year in Prague I experienced the dynamism and bear-like embrace of the new economy by businesses there.
While the site is now more of a group blog/publishing exercise than a mailing list, it’s an interesting example of how the format of communication and expertise can change over time while remaining true to the founding purpose.
Wonder how it’ll be 10 years from now?