It's the world of BBS systems, although not the early days of acoustic coupler modems that transferred text slower than you could read it. The BBS systems were already well in place and rumors about the "internet" were being passed around. AOL, Compuserv, GEnie, and other walled garden services were there and were priced in the stratosphere (a dollar an hour was cheap!).
We knew the whole thing was ready to explode, but the pieces weren't quite ready yet, not until Netscape Navigator 1.0 Beta. That was the turning point.