Social Networking Blog

Guy Clapperton on the evolving new media

How new is this stuff?

Partial map of the Internet based on the Janua...
Image via Wikipedia

Just drafting a chapter of the social networking book (due out in October from all good booksellers) and writing a bit about how this stuff is all new. Or not.

In 1989 I started life as a journalist and a load of tech hacks at the time were part of a ‘conferencing system’ called Cix. You could sign up and join various interest groups online, ask questions and usually get a pretty good answer. This in the days before broadband. Explaining it to people was tricky as the concept was, at the time, pretty new.

By the time I became freelance in 1993 CompuServe was starting to emerge as a serious force – again, offering connections to people with similar interests or in similar industries. AOL came along and later bought CompuServe, both of them doing the same job of linking people. Only a little later did the Internet take off in a big way and allow people on different networks to connect – hence the explosion in ‘social networks’.

It’s a load easier to get involved than it was and the numbers of people taking part would have been inconceivable in 1989. But ‘new’? I think not.

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March 24, 2009 - Posted by | social media trends | , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Agree completely, the interwebs has always linked people that previously wouldn’t have been able to communicate, what’s new is that the entry level to doing so has dropped considerably both in terms of cost and technical knowledge needed. Blogs are really nothing more than a home page, but 10 – 20 years ago you needed to know what were doing with HTML, now you just need an elementary grasp of a language – no need to even type.

    Comment by Kerry Gaffney | March 24, 2009


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