History of Social Media - Media Kitchen


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History of Social Media by Andre Woolery at The Media Kitchen

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History of Social Media - Media Kitchen

  1. 1. TMK UNIVERSITY 2010<br />HISTORY OF SOCIAL MEDIA | CLIFFS NOTES<br />Andre Woolery | 7.20.10<br />What is Social Media?<br />“Conversations surrounding content through digital tools.”<br />(conversations and content have existed since we could communicate. the social tools (ie. comment, like, share, tweet, etc) are new and evolving)<br />Pre-Social Web Infrastructure<br />The following dated to mid 20th century but laid the groundwork necessary for a globally connected network that could be socialized:<br />ARPA<br />Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) was established in 1957 to respond to the USSR’s launching of the Sputnik satellite. ARPA had the task of gaining technical superiority, which could only be achieved by connecting the isolated and distance pockets of knowledge that existed at universities and intuitions across the country. Computing technology was the solution to drive collective wisdom and collaboration.<br />Paul Baran<br />Paul Baran aimed to make the telecommunication infrastructure invulnerable to attacks against the system. His solution was to switch from a centralized network to a distributed one. A distributed network would allow information to the rerouted should a node be damaged or removed to ultimately get to the appropriate destination. Implementing this required a technique of packet switching that allowed all components to operate independently and eliminating any single point failure.<br /> Centralized Distributed<br />Internet Protocol Suite<br />Packet switching led to a protocol invented by Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn to transmit data across this network:<br />Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) - Converts messages into stream of packets at the source then reassembles them back into messages at the destination<br />Internet Protocol (IP) - Handles the addressing to ensure the packets are routed across multiple nodes and across multiples networks with all the appropriate standards.<br />Social Web “Firsts”<br />Social elements that we may take for granted had their start early on the century and sometimes many decades before it gained mainstream adoption<br />First Email – Ray Tomlinson (SENDMSG + CPYNET = EMAIL)<br />SENDMSG was a program that would deliver messages to another person on the same computer. As one person logged on, it would append the message to a file owned by the user. In 1971 Tomlinson developed a file transfer program, CPYNET, that could write and read files on a remote computer. He then merged functionality of both programs to send messages to a remote computer. The first email was born with the @ symbol to signify the person and their location.<br />First Social Network – The WELL (The Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link)<br />Launched 1985 as the initial predecessor to future social networks. Within this network there was no anonymity, so everyone was accountable for their words. It was a small tight knit community that expanded as it became a hub for Grateful Dead fans to discuss the bands tour dates and news. Its primary tool was conferencing (discussion boards) but also allowed users to email, instant message, and was the first appearance of pseudonyms/screenames.<br />First Blog – Justin Hall<br />In 1994 Justin launched his homepage that would become Links from the Underground. The site would include links and reviews of other websites. Over time he began to write daily entries that served as journal for his life. His initial blog require knowledge of html and serving. Soon after blog platforms like blogger, opendiary, and livejournal emerged to make the process of blogging easier for mainstream consumers. Pre-made templates, no html, no fees, and no server requirements were the value they propositioned to consumers. <br />Evolution of Social Networks<br />We will follow the trajectory of the social networks that are the main engines for our social existence to see where we driving the future:<br />CompuServe<br />CompuServe began in the 1970s as a business communication solution, but expanded into the public in the 80’s. The service allowed users to share files and access news and events. It also connected people with email services better than anything previously and also was home for thousands of discussion forums that allowed a collective wisdom and platform for the public. <br /> <br />America Online<br />America Online quickly became synonymous with the Internet. The innovation that America Online brought was member created communities, categorical portal to the web, and most importantly user screen names with profiles. As you signed in, you could search profiles of other members, chat with friends, and engage in chat room conversations based on your specific interests.<br />Niche Networks<br />In the late 90’s, a new breed of social networks began to emerge that were focused specifically on the demographic, niche area of interest, or tied closer to your true connections. Consumers could find their old schoolmates on Classmates.com. Ethnic groups could join various networks like BlackPlanet, Asian Ave, or MiGente. To see how you were connected to other people in the country you could sign up to SixDegrees.<br />Friendster<br />2002 marked the launch of Friendster. It had a similar degree of separation concept that was displayed in their “Circle of Friends”. It was positioned to also serve as a way to find people to date through your existing connections. Friendster was quickly trumped by the likes of Myspace and CONTACT _Con-3C681F2A2A7 Facebook.<br /> <br />Myspace<br />Myspace emerged at an opportune time that allowed for easier upload capabilities for content formats. Thus providing a rich experience for their users to experience, share, consume video, music, and pictures. Social popularity emerged as individuals began to create their own personal brand/identity to gain micro-celebrity status. Myspace was a major hub for new emerging musicians to gain a loyal fan base without the help of labels, funding, and distribution.<br />Facebook<br />Facebook launched exclusively at Harvard and then to a select group of Ivy League Universities, which grounded the network on real-world connections. Your profile was connected to your school and location, which made its users actual people. As young adults went off to college and made hundreds of new connections, Facebook was a perfect platform to manage this high volume of ‘friends’. It also provided a news feed to keep users coming back to stay on top of everything happening in all their connected lives. Photo tagging made it easy to collectively build a visual narrative around physical engagements. When Facebook opened its walls to all users, it now created a fully connected universe that easily told the stories of ALL connections that exist in real life.<br />Potential Future of Social Media<br />Over the past two decades, social networks started with projected and anonymous identities but have slowly evolved to be a more realistic representation of our physical identities. We are essentially sharing our lives through ‘social surrogates’ that are reflections/projections of our true existence. Physicality is no longer a barrier for us to be social creatures as we are feeding our needs virtually. Emerging social tools are slowly filling the gaps of sharing every detail of our lives with our friends. We tell people where we are with Foursquare, we share our thoughts through Twitter, we let friends know where we spend our money on Blippy…the list goes on.<br />Eventually our social existence will simply be a reality show starring each other. As Wi-Fi becomes ubiquitous, all our devices are automated and synced to our social identity, and content becomes easier to produce, we will simply be pushing a stream of our every physical activity that can be consumed by our friends. <br />Think of a world where you no longer go to a social network. You simply watch TV but the channels are just streams of your friends socially fed reality shows. You watch the stream of your idols and celebrities to do everything they do. No one cares about privacy. Brands spend their dollars to get product placement instead of commercials/banners/etc. <br />We may not be that far away from this reality but these are just my thoughts…<br />Trends in Social<br />Media Consumption Active (subcription) >>>>>> Passive (recommended/filtered)<br />Networks Limited (proximity based) >>>>>> Connected (global)<br />Influence Local (WOM) >>>>>> Global (Digital WOM)<br />Brands IdentitiesFlat (static) >>>>>> Dynamic (flexible/evolving)<br />PrivacyClosed >>>>>> Open<br />