The Birth of the Internet Meme
By 1998, the Speakeasy Cafe was a regular hotspot for live music and theater, while the network’s services had grown to include considerably more dialup, web hosting & design and server co-location services. Internet access at home was becoming more common, but the RAIN and in-cafe account programs continued to thrive as a cost-effective method for many to be part of the early days of the digital revolution.
The cafe’s connection to the Belltown community was intimate: The folks that lived and worked around the Speakeasy stopped in for coffee, used the conference table for business meetings, or advertised events in the entry way’s formidable community information area -- replete with posters, flyers and local newspapers. The crew had grown so close with other business owners, they even waged war against each other -- all in good fun, of course.
1998 also marked the birth of one of the Internet’s first memes: The Hamster Dance. If you lived through it, just its mere mention will bring the frenetic song to mind; and if you didn’t …. well, treat yourself!