A Reminder: Internet Communities Are Bigger Than P2P

I shared a hallway with Steve for many years, moving back to E40 two summers ago — and although I see him frequently at the local Au Bon Pain, I had no idea: Diary of a death [pdf]

Of all the things Steve Weissburg had to think about on the day his wife died of cancer — funeral arrangements, his children’s well-being, his immense sorrow — sending an e-mail to a group of relative strangers might have seemed insignificant.

But when Weissburg got home to Cambridge that night, he turned on his Apple laptop, just like he’d done after so many exhausting days alongside his wife in hospital rooms and doctors’ offices, and poured out his feelings to people he knew only as Meena and Vartul from Italy, Gail and Dave from San Diego, and Martine from Marshfield.

The group, all members of a “multiple myeloma” computer “listserv” to which Weissburg belonged, had followed every twist of Daria Donnelly’s illness through her husband’s numerous postings over two years.