Original story (www.u2wanderer.org) by Aaron J. Sams (2000-09-17)
Wire is the oldest u2 mailing list on the web. Officially titled u2-list, it was nicknamed “Wire” by it’s subscribers shortly after it’s formation in 1991-92. The list was formed by Rob Balkie, and then moved to a second maintainer, Thomas Jordan. In January, 1994, Wire moved to it’s third maintainer, Joel Abbott, who runs the list to this day.
Wire had over 4000 subscribers during the Popmart tour. Members of the mailing list took the tour as an opportunity for the list to become known to the band. Angie Inboden, one of these “Wirelings”, manufactured the now famous Wire tags, and sent them out to other list members, when the member could not manufacture their own. A simple design, that simply said “U2 Wire” on a yellow background, these tags were seen around the world at Popmart concerts. The tag became a way for Wirelings to meet others in their area, before, during, and after concerts. Angie is again spearheading the tag campaign for the next tour.
Other initiatives born out of the list during this time, were the Wire banner, which travelled concert to concert being signed by Wirelings. T-shirts bearing the “Popmartian” logo were designed by another Wireling. If they weren’t aware prior to the tour, by the time the tour was over, U2 definitely knew who Wire was, Bono going so far as to thank Wire and “the Popmartians” in concert.
Then at the start of August, in a mystery, the list disappeared. Innovative fans found a way for their postings to still show in the Wire Archive, even if the postings weren’t sent to everyone’s email. Other fans moved on other mailing lists, such as ReWired and u2wire. But now, as of September 9, 2000 the original list has returned.
Joel Abbott, maintainer of Wire, in a post to the revived list, had the following to say:
“hi, folks. sorry that i have not sent any email on the reasons why the list disappeared. i am sorry i should have at least let people know what was going on. so many people depended on the list it really was kind of selfish not to communicate what was going on, and i apologize for that. first i lost the disk drive on the server that was hosting the list. backups were messed up so the most recent backup i had was from april, 2000. i was needing to vacate my old server and didn’t have a new home for the lists yet. there were personal issues that kept me from getting things going again at a new location even though doing an egroups.com solution would have been pretty simple (i was leaning towards running them from my home DSL connection). and my job is quite demanding.”
Abbott has since posted to say that the process of resubscribing everyone to the list is ongoing, and he hopes that the process will be complete soon. If you were a subscriber, and haven’t heard anything yet, you can resubscribe using the form below, to speed the process up for yourself.
The list is back and running. Former subscribers are joining quickly while waiting for the previous subscriber information to be sorted out. Welcome back Wire!