Letters to ...

Stringer mentors applaud first ten years

... "still inspired," Mirror is constant example in Europe

letters from Marko and Ingeborg

Dr. Marko Turpeinen of Helsinki was a graduate student at MIT's Media Lab in 1996 at the formation of what was to become the SilverStringer project, the Melrose Mirror, and eventually a community communications software program oddly named after Disney cartoon characters.

It was he who introduced some 25 seniors of Melrose to the new World Wide Web, who provided the secrets to this new world of personal computers and community publishing, and inspired us to study for a new way of life.

On completing his master's at MIT, Marko became a key officer within Almy Corporation, one of the leaders in world communications. He is now doing further research in that field at the Helsinki Institute of Information Technologies.

And then, after Marko, came this beautiful Media Lab student who was about to become a grandmother. Her name is/was Ingeborg Endter of Pennsylvania, who stayed with us long enough -- two years or so -- to earn her masters degree. After that you may have run into her at our Museum of Science in Boston.

... from Marko:

Dear Stringers,

I wish I could be there today for the 10th anniversary of the Melrose Mirror. I would like to congratulate you all for the wonderful work that has been going on. I truly think that you have been forerunners of what the Web is all about.

I am going to talk tomorrow morning in an event in Helsinki, hosted by Cisco, on something that people are calling Web 2.0. One of the main features of this  Web 2.0 revolution” is that people are taking more active roles as media producers. Big scale Web phenomena, like Wikipedia and blogging, are often used as examples. However, I think you are the true  Web 2.0 revolutionaries” who started this already 10 years ago.

For me, the Silver Stringers project was a great eye-opener and the biggest professional learning experience of my life (so far). I am still inspired by the project in my everyday work. For example, I use the Silver Stringers constantly as an example as I teach at the university and give lectures.

I have been working at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology (HIIT) for the past year. I am in charge there of a research programme called Network Society. I also lead a research group of 12 people called Digital Content Communities. It is fair to say that the idea to start this research group at HIIT came directly from the Silver Stringers project at MIT.

If you are planning to upgrade your Web publishing tools, I offer our help at HIIT in making a switch. There are some pretty nice web publishing toolkits out there that would give you more flexibility than the old tools. I would be also interested in studying the 10 years of the Melrose Mirror as a longitudinal case in community publishing, as a sort of continuum to my master's thesis (or maybe I should give this as a thesis topic to one of my students...).

All in all, I would like to send my best wishes to the Melrose Mirror on its 10th birthday and I look forward to the next 10 (20, 30, …) years of publication.

Warm regards, Marko

... and from Inge --

Hearty Congratulations on your 10th Anniversary (lasts all year, right?)!!!

I am so very, very sorry to have missed the celebration. I was away on vacation - out of range of email, so didn't see Don's invitation until today. I wish I could be as eloquent as Marko - but I do agree with all he said. *You* are the pioneers of Web 2.0 and we are all so proud of your work and your persistence and the sheer pleasure you all take in
the endeavor.

I'd love to come and visit soon when you're having another meeting - just to congratulate you in person and catch up with everyone. Please let me know when would be a good time to drop by.

Best warm wishes to all Stringers!


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