The first thing I did when my family finally broke down and purchased internet service was disobey my mother. I'm sorry, Mom, but I made a ton of internet friends.
It was the late 90s, and parent groups were convinced the internet super highway was nothing short of a pedophile's gateway to fast and convenient kidnapping—chatrooms, forums and online communities were off limits "for my own good."
I spent those early days lurking around the "Luigi in Super Mario 64" Inside The Web message board; I wasted hours chasing rumors, making jokes and playing one of the best games of my childhood over and over. Eventually I moved on to some Pokemon forums, Something Awful and now, well, mostly just Facebook—but those chaotic online communities were a huge part of my youth.
The internet has changed since I was a child, but there are thousands of vibrant, active, wonderful (and sometimes terrible) communities out there. Tell us about your first, favorite online community—be it a message board, chatroom, listserv or gaming clan. Was it great? Was it embarrassing? Do you still keep in touch with the friends you made? Let's get nostalgic together.
Image credit: XKCD