We asked people who built their careers on the Internet to tell us the stories of the first friends they made online.Now we want to hear from you: Who was the first friend you made online?We eventually met in real life, because she came to my town to go to a concert with me and some other online friends — thus proving to my parents that I had friends. Ted Leonsis, chairman of Monumental Sports & Entertainment and former AOL executive (who sent the company’s first instant message): For more than 15 years, I have had an online friendship with Big Ken Holden, whom I met through Best Buddies, an organization that helps people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.Ken and I met via email and quickly developed a friendship online that would not have been possible without technology.Since the board was local, there were frequently meet-ups at bowling alleys or at some random hacker’s house. It was there that I connected with Jamie in Canada, whose chat handle indicated she was also a huge fan of the 1990s Brit electronica group Prodigy.
And even if that control was limited to pixels and profile themes made from crude HTML, I was drunk on the power.
It was in 1995, and we arranged to do a business deal in a parking lot at King’s supermarket in Summit, New Jersey. Alex Laughlin, social media journalist at The Washington Post: In 2006, I was addicted to My Space.
I gave him 0 and ripped him off, getting ,000 worth of rare LJN wrestling figures from the 1980’s; then I flipped them. I would rush home from school and spend the evening listening to Dashboard Confessional in my basement bedroom while I tapped around this new ecosystem I’d discovered.
She will always remain one of my most cherished friendships.
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vayner Media: This is so nerdy.