RIP Bolt.com: Social networking before we knew what it was

This week marked the end of an era. After 10 yrs Bolt.com was forced to shut its doors. There were many things that contributed to this but the largest was the Viacom lawsuit which was settled for $10 million as part of the $30m acquisition of Bolt.com by GoFish. Recently GoFish backed out of the acquisition and Bolt.com was forced to cease operations.I’m sad to see the Bolt.com story end this way but as Mike DiBianco wisely pointed out, Bolt.com had died years ago. Bolt.com was social networking before that category existed. Like Howard Morgan I find myself working with companies at two stages, “too early and way too early”, Bolt.com was the latter.I joined a handful of people at Concrete Media over 10yrs ago. Our mission was to create “Community Media Properties on the Web”. We started out by acquiring Girls on Film from Lise Carrigg, my wife now for 8 yrs, a project she had started with 3 friends while a grad student at NYU (ITP).GirlsonFilm.com circa December 1996Our second “property” was Bolt.com which was an internally developed idea.Bolt.com circa January 1997I worked with some of the most talented people I’ve ever met at Bolt, GirlsonFilm and Concrete Media, I even met my wife there. 🙂 This screenshot is how I will always remember Bolt.com.Did you work at Bolt.com? Please join the Bolt.com Alumni mailing list and share your story.”Bolt was a teen-oriented social networking site in the days when Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was probably getting beat up on a playground somewhere. You could create a profile, talk with other members in chat rooms and message boards (this was the pre-webcam era), and engage in other forms of 1998-vintage “interactivity,” like online quizzes and polls.”Title, Photo and Quote via WebWare.com