CompuServe Mensa Forum

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The CompuServe Mensa Forum was the result of a contract between American Mensa and the CompuServe online service. It was launched in 1990, and contained both publicly accessible message and file areas, and ones that were limited to Mensans such as the "Inside Mensa" section, where Mensa politics were discussed.

In the time before Internet access was widespread among the general public, this proved to be a useful resource for information and discussion about Mensa among those with computers and modems, with the main alternative being dialup bulletin board systems. However, as the Internet began to catch on in the mid-1990s, there was some political debate among Mensans about whether it was appropriate to continue an exclusive deal with a proprietary online service rather than work to expand and improve Mensa's presence on the nonproprietary Internet. The fact that the details of the deal with CompuServe were confidential meant that Mensans outside the inner circle of officers had nothing but rumor and hearsay to go by in making any claims to the effect that the exclusivity of the CompuServe deal caused Mensa to refrain from or suppress any variety of Internet activity, but such allegations were sometimes made.

Ultimately, a variety of online sites and forums, both official and unofficial, sprung up related to Mensa, and the CompuServe forum no longer had the central place it once had in Mensa-related online activity. It kept on for years, anyway, still having a loyal community. Ultimately, the contract between CompuServe and American Mensa was not renewed, and after a time of the forum continuing without a contract, American Mensa finally told CompuServe to stop using the name, out of concerns about trademark protection. The forum was renamed "The Intelligence Forum", and it continues now without any explicit Mensa connection.

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