Founder of Charlotte’s Web dies

Steve Snow, the founder of Charlotte’s free web service, Charlotte’s Web died last month at the age of 60.

Snow was earlier a journalist, and he and I had common backgrounds and shared the hobby of woodworking.

In the mid-1990s, there was concern over a digital divide between those who could afford computers and internet access and those who could not. Several cities started free webs and offered dial-up email and tex-based web browsing, using Lynx. Charlotte’s Web was one of those free web services and was started in 1994.

He wrote of his early experiences about the web in 1993.

Charlotte’s Web lasted for five years and its operations were eventually absorbed and then disbanded by the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. By then, most libraries had installed computers and internet access and free e-mail was available from Yahoo, Hot Mail and others. According to the Charlotte Observer, Charlotte’s Web had 10,000 accounts when the library system took it over.

Steve was also active in One Special Christmas, a group that makes and auctions handcrafted wood products to raise money for children’s charities. After he left Charlotte he eventually worked as a counsultant in Asheville.

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