It was a bit of bittersweet sad news today when Graeme Read and Grant Whittingham decided to shut down both ABBAMAIL.com and the ABBAMAIL mailing list which has been a big part of my life for almost 12 years now. The closing was just under three months shy of ABBAMAIL’s 12th birthday.
ABBAMAIL wasn’t so much just a bunch of ABBA fans as it was a living, breathing community. While in the late 1990’s, a lot of online fan communities consisted of lists, fairly impersonal message boards, and fairly simple webpages, I personally was a member of a quite a number of them for various hobbies and interests. And it seemed without fail that as soon as the subjects of the list seemed to disappear off the pop culture radar, so did the people in these communities and many of them fade out and disappeared. ABBAMAIL was different.
Unlike any other forum I had been a part of from the same era, ABBAMAIL was quite a unique beast. A lot of that is due to the community’s founders, Graeme Read and Grant Whittingham, who fostered a true sense of community, simply being an ABBA fan was something all of us on the list had in common, but for Graeme and Grant that simply wasn’t enough. Members of the list were expected to introduce themselves and share that person behind behind the letters that make up our names.