Bolt.com was one of the first social networking sites to appear on the web. It was started in 1996 and was geared toward teens.
I'm not going to repeat the basic history of Bolt here, when you can read about it on Wikipedia. This is about the lesser known bits of history and that which relates to Lurking Glass.
Future Lurking Glass Members Join Bolt.com
Many Lurking Glass members originally met on Bolt.com. A good number having seen ads that Bolt had running on Yahoo! Chat and Hotmail.
The majority were regular users of Bolt's message board system.
Lurking Glass Founder Meets Bolt.com
Shortly after it was launched eviltechie stumbled across Bolt. Though he was known by another screen name at the time.
He spent a lot of his time trolling, chatting, and poking around the site. One of the things he found was a way to steal any user account by saving the site HTML locally, modifying the page, and submitting the form from the local page. The fact that this was possible pointed to multiple blatant security flaws in Bolt's code. The flaw and details on how to exploit it were sent to Bolt. They did the logical thing, and threatened to sue eviltechie. But after a lot of explaining and assurances that the flaw hadn't been exploited and was merely found and reported, they backed off.
An interesting aspect of Bolt was that they awarded badges for participating on the site in various ways. Many members focused a lot of attention on trying to collect all of the available badges.
DistortedSmile created her own selection of unofficial Bolt badges. These badges were loaded onto a member's profile with a bit of code eviltechie assisted with. More about this, and the other DistortedSmile/eviltechie collaborations, later.
The staff of Bolt.com were unusually well-known to the members, often interacting and talking with them. Some approached celebrity status among the members. This unique feature of Bolt slowly died off as Bolt neared death and the more iconic staffers took jobs elsewhere.
The Great Divide
In 2006, Bolt's upper management decided to try to become a bit of a chimera of a media sharing site. Offering a place to share video, photos, music, and blogs.
They originally called this new site Boltfolio, and most people either liked it or didn't care. It was when it was announced that Boltfolio was to become the new Bolt.com and the existing site was to be scrapped that the shit hit the fan. Realizing that a significant portion of the community preferred the existing site, they decided to keep it online under the name Bolt2.