ZiaLink has a long and varied online presence dating back to 1992. ZenWoman’s online history is even longer.
ZenWoman was the handle I chose for posting in CompuServe’s “CB Simulator” back in 1980. Yep, I was among that early group of CIS CB users mentioned in the previous Wired link. I enjoyed the online experience so much that by 1982 I was running my own BBS (computer bulletin board system.) Back then we used modems (with pre-cellular land lines) and CIS charged by the HOUR. My free dial-up BBS became popular, so lots of guys knew ZenWoman as one of the few “geek gals” online.
The BBS had several identities (Fido Node 15:0, BUGS, and StarSeed where I hosted the first online international “new age” forum.) We morphed to ZiaLink in 1992 when I learned that the previously government-restricted internet would soon allow commercial access, thanks to online champion Al Gore. Yes, Gore did play a HUGE part in your ability to do what everyone now takes for granted — 24/7 access to the web.
By 1993 I was part of a huge revolution of early online settlers who were staking out claims in the new virtual reality known as the world wide web. Addresses would soon begin with WWW, they were FREE and plentiful. ZiaLink was one of the first Internet providers in New Mexico! We also received the first “tech transfer” grant from Sandia National Labs (part of a U.S. government effort to help minority and women-owned technology businesses.) The “WE” was actually three (as ZiaLink, Inc.): myself, my brother Jeff, and my friend Jonathan, who is still my biz partner, formed the corporation.
As I like to say, “that was Zen and this is now!” ZenWoman is still online and active in various social media. ZiaLink has gone from Inc. to INK, publishing eBooks, blogs and even those dust-collecting paperbacks 😉