By Jordan Harlow - Crew Founder
Approx. April 17, 1996; We don't know for sure as no one saved
the original post!
EVENTS LEADING TO THE FIRST GROUP POST ONLINE:
Bouncing around an idea between Jordan Harlow, Marianne
Schneider, Jennette Braaten, and Steve Silverman Jordan met
Marianne online through a mutual friend, Joan Emerick, using AOL.
Marianne linked up with Steve in the SayWhatClub (SWC). Meanwhile,
friend Jennette was meeting people with NF2 on Prodigy: A group of
people with NF2 who were linked on Prodigy's online Bulletin Board.
They were planning to meet in Las Vegas in the spring of 1996. To
keep posted on trip plans, Jordan joined Prodigy for a short time.
Dreams of having a cross-service, support and informational group
for people with NF2 cascaded around in Jordan's head. Coincidentally, Marianne, a member of the SayWhatClub (an online
support group for deaf/hard of hearing people) started thinking
about the exciting idea of getting all people online with NF2
together into one large group.
Jordan, Marianne, Jennette, and Steve began visiting by
interweaving email trying to figure out a way to make
the dream happen. Marianne put Jordan in touch with Bob Elkins,
founder of the SayWhatClub, in order to uncover how the SWC began.
Bob was enthusiastic at once and they started to think in earnest of
making the idea fly. As things developed Jennette and Jordan
planned to talk to the group in Las Vegas, while Marianne
chatted up the idea with the SWC from home electronically.
MARIANNE'S NOTE ASKING FOR INPUT ABOUT THE NF2 GROUP:
April 13, 1996..
I have been talking to other NF2ers about trying to start an "email
exchange" among NF2ers... have you heard about the newsletter
"NF2 Review?" There seems to be a whole "family"
of NF2ers on Prodigy and others out there in cyberspace. In fact a
group of them are meeting in Vegas right now... I think it would be
cool if "their family" hooked up with "our
family" to make an NF2 family....
REACTIONS TO THE NF2 GROUP IDEA:
"We'd like to be friends...that's why this group (SWC) was
started." "Count me in. I met a nice guy, from CA. . He
has NF2. his E mail address is ... " " yes, yes to joining
in with other NF2'ers... count me in!" "... I
would be really happy to find my niche in an NF group.... count me
in!" "I think it would be a GREAT idea." "I
think we need to keep in contact with as many others(NF2'ERS)as
FIRST POST SENT TO GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH NF2 ONLINE:
The honor for this achievement goes to Steve Silverman, who
jumped in and started things off by saying "this is the
fledgling post of the as yet to be named NF2 Online group." He
also stated that he was looking forward to sharing the friendship
and support and information of fellow NF2'ers.
FOLLOW-UP NOTE - FROM JORDAN:
Now gang, We're off! Steve did jump the gun on me a bit, but I am
a procrastinator by rule... I have to make sure everything is
checked and double-checked, so Steve's post a few days ago was very
cool with me. Also, for the Prodigy gang... this is what I've been
talking to you guys about for the past few months. I am very excited
about it and really hope this takes off. So, since we are all new at
this, I'd love to hear what you guys want to accomplish with all of
this or what you want to see or just let us know if you are even
getting this stuff. :) Is anyone having trouble replying to this as
a group? We will try to help out in anyway we can. Also, please, let
us know if you don't want to get these postings. No hard feelings,
but we need to know. Well, I truly hope this is going to pan out for
us and we will be a happy group soon!
DEVELOPMENTS THROUGH THE YEAR:
First List Management Protocol
Bob Elkins taught Jordan how the SWC worked, and the NF2 group set
up their mailing list. This consisted of mass mailing to about 15 or
so initial members of what would become a crew... Mass mailing
involves listing all 15 addresses into one TO: box, separated by a
comma, so that one note would go to all 15 people at the same time.
This list management procedure was followed for 15 months, but
became tedious as the group swelled from 15 to 30 then 40 then 55;
still others would come and go, yet we grew and grew all-the-while
becoming the Nf2 Crew. Any list change required weekly updates--with
all the different internet service providers (ISP's)--- which,
though challenging, was sometimes a nuisance. Guidelines Written and voted on during the first few months of the
group's existence. The original administrators of the group felt
some basic ground rules were needed to ensure success. Some rules
included a list etiquette, which encompassed the rights of privacy
pertaining to member screennames, addresses, personal information and
encouraged respect for each others' opinions and ideas. Guidelines
were also established to help make sure no
one was left out of the group due to "short lists" and
some guidelines were set-up to facilitate smoother running of
the posts. The original guidelines have been amended and some even
dropped as new procedures went into effect. (The
"administrators" no longer exist as they were only in
place to initially get things organized. The group now works
together to initiate and complete projects etc.)
Our Name -- The NF2 Crew was chosen by means of a contest within
the group. Suggestions for names were submitted and the group then
voted on their top two choices. After votes were tallied, members
were asked to vote again from a smaller list for one group name. The
NF2 Crew was chosen and remains today. By May 24, 1996, 14 names
were submitted as possibilities for the name of the NF2 group... 1.
NF2 Net 2. Nice Friends, Too 3. Nice Folks, Too 4. NFamily 5. NF2
Online 6. NF2 4U 7. NF2 CREW 8. i-NF-ormed 9. 'N(U)F's 'N(U)F
(subtitle: NF2 includes "U") 10. (N)ew (F)riends 2 11. (N)ew
(F)amily 2 12. (N)euro (F)amily 2 13. (N)euro (F)riends 2 14.
NF2Life The second round of votes, shortened the list to four
possibilities... 1. Nice Folks Too 2. NF2 Crew 3. NF2 Net 4. NF2
Online Our member Lynn and
her husband, Pat, have the honor of submitting the winning
selection. Members have likened the name to boating crews that work
together for a common cause. Also supporting each other through the
good and the bad.
Bios -- Short biographical sketches are collected on each member
that wishes to submit one. They in turn will receive all the bios
collected from the rest of the group. All new members are encouraged
to submit their bio so that they can learn more about the members of
Webpage -- located at http://www.webcrossings.com/nf2crew The
idea for a NF2 Crew webpage was born after the Las Vegas NF2 Family
Gathering of April, 1997. A large group photo was taken and then was
being passed around via email. This grew really cumbersome so
someone asked if the picture could be placed on a central website
for those interested to check out. Adam Miller, our Webguy, set
things in motion by designing a spot for the picture. The webpage
grew a few weeks later due to a request from Amber Gamble to place
individual pictures of the Crew members on the page with the group
picture from Las Vegas. We further grew and expanded to having our
very own full site which now includes... a FAQ page for potential members or those just interested in learning more
about us, a "suggested" NF2 doctors page, a links page to
many other web pages, as well as a place to "join" the Crew
and the NF2 Review. - mIRC Chats... Sunday is the official
"day of chatting" here in the Crew. There are two chats on
Sunday where Crew members can meet and chat with each other in
addition to the email exchange. They are both intended for all Crew
members, but the afternoon chat was setup to accommodate our growing
circle of international friends. A very loose chat actually started
way back in October of 1996. It was not until May of 1997, that
things became really organized. The second chat, the one in the
afternoon, was not established until July of 1997.
The Crew is operating at about 65 members as of the recording of
this history. We change and grow weekly now and are also operating
under a new list-management protocol. About a month or so ago, we
signed up with Majordomo, which offers a more automated way of
running the list. One note is sent to the "host computer"
address, then that address (computer) distributes all Crew posts to
the existing membership. It has really made things in the Crew much
easier and they run more smoothly. The NF2 Crew remains a place of
friendship, support, and information for people with NF2, their
families and loved ones.
Update January 2001:
Membership of the NF2 Crew now approaches 200 members. Due to the
number of postings, a second "social list" was started to
handle more of the off topic posts. Our email list is managed by one list
and has over 1500 posts a month. We've since lost a few crew
members to NF2 , one of the originating founders and initial creator
of this biography, Jordan Harlow as well as Adam Miller, the
original webmaster of the crew web site. This website has it's
own domain, www.nf2crew.com