Delphi (online service)
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (September 2008)|
The company that became Delphi was founded by Wes Kussmaul as Kussmaul Encyclopedia in 1981, featured ASCII-based encyclopedia, E-mail, and a primitive chat. Newswires, bulletin boards and better chat were added in early 1982.
In November 1982 Wes hired Glenn McIntyre as a software engineer primarily doing internal systems. Glenn brought in colleagues Kip Bryan and Dan Bruns. Kip wrote the software that became Delphi Conference and Delphi Forums. Dan, (another very strong software person) upon finishing his MBA at Harvard, become President and subsequently CEO when Wes moved on to form Global Villages.
Delphi was extended to Argentina in 1985, through a partnership with the Argentine IT company Siscotel S.A. .
In 1993 Delphi was sold to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. News Corporation recognized that there would be growth in consumer use of the internet and attempted to use Delphi as its vehicle. It had 125,000 text-based customers in 1995, but by 1996 was down to less than 5,000 by some accounts, 50,000 by others.
In 1996, NewsCorp sold Delphi Internet to a group of investors that included some of its original principals. It launched a free, ad-supported managed-content website with associated message boards and chat rooms, under the management of a team led by Dan Bruns and which included Bill Louden, who had headed GEnie during its heyday. For a period of time, both text-based and web-based community services were available. After a year as a managed content site, Delphi reinvented itself as a community-driven service that allowed anyone to create an online community.
Prospero Technologies was formed in January 2000 as the merger of Delphi Forums and Wellengaged. Webpages for forums were discontinued.
In 2001, Rob Brazell purchased Delphi Forums, merged it with eHow and Idea Exchange, and formed Blue Frogg Enterprises. The Delphi.com domain was sold to Delphi Corporation, the auto parts manufacturer. Prospero partnered with Inforonics.
In 2002, Prospero reacquired Delphi Forums, joining it with Talk City to form Delphi Forums LLC.
In 2008, online community developer Mzinga Inc. acquired Littleton-based Prospero Technologies LLC.
On September 1, 2011, Mzinga sold Delphiforums back to early owner Dan Bruns.
On February 15, 2013, Delphi Forums added a mobile phone interface, http://m.delphiforums.com .
Delphi Wednesday Science Fiction Group 
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Delphi had a regular Wednesday night chat group (long before IRC and other chat programs became mainstream). Frequent attendees in this group included several professional science fiction writers, including Susan Casper, Pat Cadigan, Mike Resnick, Michael A. Banks, Jack L. Chalker, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Gardner Dozois, Lawrence Person, Martha Soukup, and Barbara Delaplace, among others.
- Delphi Forums History Project
- Boston Globe: Zitner, Aaron May 04, 1995 Delphi will move to N.Y., Lowell
- NewsCorp moves Delphi staff to Crosspoint Building in Lowell