I started looking at quality management resources online in 1995 (maybe 1994). At the time I was on the board of the Public Sector Network – what would become the American Society of Quality (ASQ) government division. When we started working with ASQ it took something like 2 months from the time I wrote an article until people received it. Now in 1995, the internet (outside of universities) was in its infancy. I was writing a column on the resources online for quality management – these consisted of bulletin boards (that you used your modem to call directly) and “gopher” and “ftp” sites and email lists a very few web sites. Ftp and gopher are internet protocols (as is the hypertext transfer protocol – http – we all use for the web now). Well things changed frequently back then and by the time my article would be published phone numbers wouldn’t work, addresses would be out of date, etc..
So I figured I should post my article online so people could just go there and see the updated phone numbers, addresses, etc.. That wasn’t so easy to do back then. But several of us at a W. Edwards Deming Institute conference decided to create a Deming Electronic Network (DEN). And one of those people was Del Kimbler who worked at Clemson and had access to a web site where he agreed to host the DEN. So I asked about posting the Online Quality Resource Guide there and he agreed.
Del is retiring from Clemson and so we are moving some of the material off Clemson to curiouscat.com. As part of that I ran across this November 1995 edition of the Online Quality Resource Guide. There really was a small number of good online resources for managers back then. We forget how lucky we are today. The first article I can find (right now anyway) is from the Spring of 1995. It listed a total of 2 web sites in addition to a BBS and several email lists. Clemson was listed as a gopher site and web site.