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Cliff Figallo is the author of Hosting Web Communities, the only comprehensive manual currently available for conceiving, defining, designing and managing virtual community environments and populations in a fast-changing technical world. Best known for having been Director of the WELL through six of its formative years, he left his recent position as Director of Communities at to return to consulting practice where he specializes in adapting community-enabling technologies and training to the unique needs of organizations and groups. He is also a co-founder of SociAlchemy.

Since 1984, Cliff has filled a wide array of positions, gaining experience and insight into the technical, social, managerial and business aspects of online group interaction. He has been a director with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, content manager for AOL's Gopher Directory (its first Internet feature), beta community manager for AOL's first Web-based chat interface and project manager of IBM's "Kasparov vs Deep Blue" chess match discussion community. During his 18-month stay at Salon, traffic on the Table Talk discussion system increased 4-fold while maintaining its reputation as a high-quality online conversation site closely tied to Salon's acclaimed editorial content.

A father who has helped raise eight children and step children to adulthood, Cliff also draws on his social relations background as a 12-year veteran of the Farm, one of the great collective living experiments to have come out of the Sixties.

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