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How the Social Web Came to Be
                                       part 1




Trebor Scholz
Department of Media Study
trebor@thing.net

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0
A history of computer-mediated
       networked sociality

      Part 1: 1945-2001

      Part 2: 2002- today
Is the history of the Social Web, solely a history of mergers
          and acquisitions, sales, and new markets?
                 Whose history do we write?
                     Whom does it serve?
This history is filtered through the lens of the following questions:


  •To whom do we owe most innovation on the Social Web?
  •Where was the Social Web created?
  •What motivated early programmers/users of the Internet?
  •How did the initial move from research to commerce take place
  •What were significant milestones in the scaling up of social life on
  the Internet?
  •What were some preconditions for this development?
  •Which content did people focus on? What were they interested in?
  •What were milestones in the design on the WWW?
Pre-history
The Victorian Internet
                   by Tom Standage (1989)




1746 200 monks Jean-Antoine Nollet linked
to electrical battery
1797 optical telegraphy
1844:
Samuel Morse’ first
telegraph message was:

“What Hath God Wrought”




                  http://tinyurl.com/2vgfqk
                  http://tinyurl.com/2tmou3
The invention of the Internet in context
1945
quot;knowledge on callquot;
hyperlinked pages and the “memex”




                                    http://tinyurl.com/39mf8l
                                    http://tinyurl.com/3b7h9v
Consider a future device for individual use,
which is a sort of mechanized private file and
library. It needs a name, and to coin one at
random, quot;memexquot; will do. A memex is a device
in which an individual stores all his books,
records, and communications, and which is
mechanized so that it may be consulted with
exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged
intimate supplement to his memory.

                - Vannevar Bush; As We May Think;
                Atlantic Monthly; July 1945
In 1949 in his novel Heliopolis, the
German Ernst Junger dreams up
the communication medium
quot;Phonophor,quot; which connects
everybody to everybody else,
enabling a permanent , technically
facilitated forum that also replaces
the passport, watch, newspaper,
library, and encyclopedia.




                                       http://tinyurl.com/2s2zn5
[A]ctivation; authorship;
community -- are the most
frequently cited motivations for
almost all artistic attempts to
encourage participation in art
since the 1960s.quot; according to art
historian Claire Bishop.
1952
John Cage 4’33”
1957
Launch of Sputnik on
4 October 1957 can be
compared to Pearl
Harbor, Hiroshima, or
9/11 in its effect on the
American psyche




               http://tinyurl.com/32n7hq
The Advanced Research Projects Agency
1961
Leonard Kleinrock, MIT
quot;Information Flow in Large
Communication Netsquot;
(May 31 1961)

First paper on packet-switching




                         http://tinyurl.com/23nbat
“On Distributed Communication Networks,” March 1964
                c) a network without central authority or single
                outage point
Paul Baran


                                                        http://tinyurl.com/ywq8nk
1962
Packet Switching, Paul Baran 1962 at RAND, US Airforce
All the nodes in the network would be equal in status to all
other nodes, each node with its own authority to originate,
pass, and receive messages. The messages themselves
would be divided into packets, each packet separately
addressed. Each packet would begin at some specified
source node, and end at some other specified destination
node.




                                                  http://tinyurl.com/2ry3lo
TCP, or quot;Transmission Control Protocol,quot; converts messages into streams of
packets at the source, then reassembles them back into messages at the
destination.
IP, or quot;Internet Protocol,quot; handles the addressing, seeing to it that packets are
routed across multiple nodes and even across multiple networks with multiple
standards

                                                                   http://tinyurl.com/2ry3lo
                                                                   http://tinyurl.com/3dsb7g
1965
Ted Nelson coins the term quot;Hypertextquot; in quot;A File Structure for
the Complex, the Changing, and the Indeterminatequot;. 20th
National Conference, New York, Association for Computing
Machinery
First email 1965




Already in 1965, Fernando Corbato and his colleagues
at MIT developed a program to allow individual users
to swap messages on one single computer.
1968
quot;In a few years, men will be able to communicate more effectively through a
machine than face to face...We believe that we are entering into a technological age,
in which we will be able to interact with the richness of living information -- not
merely in the passive way that we have become accustomed to using books and
libraries, but as active participants in an ongoing process, bringing something to it
through our interaction with it, and not simply receiving something from it by our
connection to it. (53)quot;




                                                                               http://tinyurl.com/2c9uaf
Louis Pouzin designed and directed the development of
the Cyclades network in France, which then stopped in
1974.




                                                 http://tinyurl.com/22ykun
1969
In 1968, ARPA sent out a Request for
Quotation to build a network of
four Interface Message Processors.
BBN made it.
Dave Walden, Bernie Cosell, Severo Ornstein, Will Crowther, Bob Kahn


1969: Advanced Research Projects Agency
commissions ARPANET to conduct research
on networking.


First ARPANET nodes connected UCLA,
Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and
University of Utah


                                                    http://tinyurl.com/yuw6ho
                                                    http://tinyurl.com/2pxazn
                                                    http://tinyurl.com/2ujdes
Norm Abramson wanted to surf - so he moved to Hawaii in
1969. He wanted to network with the other islands and so he
built the ALOHAnet in 1970.

From the University of Hawaii, Abramson connected
computers over a network of radio transmitters using a
protocol telling the computers how to share the airwaves.




                                              http://tinyurl.com/yvvmdc
1970
TCP/IP
 With TCP/IP, the quot;global networkquot; was
becoming a reality. Universities and
government offices were using the
network for communicating with
colleagues and exchanging data.



 1974: Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn publish quot;A Protocol for Packet
 Network Interconnectionquot;, which specified in detail the
 design of a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP).



                                                     http://tinyurl.com/3c64vm
                                                     http://tinyurl.com/yvvmdc
Whose Standards? Proprietary or Open Standards?




Also the fax machine is only useful if many other people have it.
Later: If the Internet would have just connected supercomputers,
               it would have not been as significant.



                                                       http://tinyurl.com/yu7g2m
“The Internet's quot;anarchyquot; may seem strange or even
unnatural, but it makes a certain deep and basic sense. It's
rather like the quot;anarchyquot; of the English language. Nobody
rents English, and nobody owns English. As an English-
speaking person, it's up to you to learn how to speak
English properly and make whatever use you please of it
(though the government provides certain subsidies to help
you learn to read and write a bit).”

Sterling, Bruce. quot;Short History of the Internet by Bruce Sterling.quot; College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the.
1 Feb 1993. 4 Sep 2007 <http://w3.aces.uiuc.edu/AIM/scale/nethistory.html>.
The TCP/IP protocol allowed different networks to connect together into
one big network - the Inter-net.
As the use of TCP/IP became more common, it was difficult to stop people
from barging in and linking up somewhere-or-other. The software TCP/IP was
public-domain and the basic technology was decentralized and rather anarchic
by its very nature.

                                                               http://tinyurl.com/yory85
                                                               http://tinyurl.com/2ry3lo
http://tinyurl.com/29vvar
PowWow

Throughout the 1970s Instant Messaging began to appear
1971
http://tinyurl.com/34gyk2



1971: Ray Tomlinson of BBN creates email program to
send messages across a distributed network.

1972: Tomlinson expands program to ARPANET users,
using the quot;@quot; sign as part of the address.
Michael Hart

                            1971. Project Gutenberg is the first and
                            largest single collection of free electronic
                            books, or eBooks.


                            Project Gutenberg is the
                            quot;oldest digital library built on volunteer
                            efforts to digitize, archive, and distribute
                            cultural works.quot;

http://tinyurl.com/26zq8z
1977
http://tinyurl.com/35drka




http://tinyurl.com/2n5gvy



       1977 Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw created the first
       MUD (Multi-User Dungeon) leading later to MMORPG
1978
January of 1978, Chicago was hit by
CBBS (first BBS)
Ward Christensen            the Great Blizzard of 1978

Many people did not have the Internet. They dialed in to CBSS directly via modem.
Users had to take turns accessing the system, each hanging up when done to let
someone else have access. Nevertheless, the system was seen as very useful, and ran for
many years and inspired the creation of many other bulletin board systems.


                                                                     http://tinyurl.com/38zf8q
                                                                     http://tinyurl.com/3a8wru
ASCii art on BBS




                   http://tinyurl.com/yukqdk
1979
Emoticons


1979 Kevin MacKenzie e-mailed his
fellow subscribers at MsgGroup, an
early Internet bulletin board, with a
suggestion to put some emotion
back into the dry text medium of e-
mail. (The eyes came later.)
USENET established. USENET was a global, decentralized,
distributed Internet discussion system that provided mail
services and file transfers. Precursor of GoogleGroups and
other discussion boards.

                                                    http://tinyurl.com/2mdk3z
Cover of COMPUTER
Magazine from
September 1979
              http://tinyurl.com/yqgc6h
1980s
What else did it take to make this WWW thing work?




           http://tinyurl.com/2km2n9



                                           This was the first IBM PC introduced on Aug 12, 1981




                                        Douglas Engelbart
            http://tinyurl.com/3c7suu
The Well members could start discussion boards:
                            Mid-80s
  the most popular one was dedicated to
       computer manufacturers push proprietary protocols,
  The Grateful Dead.
                          which failed

 US Government pushed for ISO but TCP/IP was free, more viral




In the 1980s the PCs entered homes and offices in the United States.
pre-www
 The Well members could start discussion boards:
 the most popular one was dedicated to
 The Grateful Dead.




1981 BITNET release “Because It’s There” | “Because It’s Time”
Ira Fuchs (CUNY) and Greydon Freeman (Yale)
Main features: email, LISTSERV

BITNET set expectations for free access and openness: it charged
by bandwidth. Once you paid for the line, how much you use it
was up to you. Others tried to establish a pay by byte system.

                                                         http://tinyurl.com/2vxfbj
                                                         http://tinyurl.com/2cl3go
1985
Stewart Brand & Larry Brilliant
one of the first community bulletin board systems
The Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (The Well)

Brand used a networked PC on his houseboat in Sasalito, CA, claiming that he
did so in order to experience commune living without actually moving into one.



                                                                   http://tinyurl.com/374e2g
The Well members started many discussion boards.
The most popular one was dedicated to The Grateful Dead.
In 1993:
The Well as paradigm of ``virtual community''
people meet, collaborate, argue,
support each other emotionally

                                                 http://tinyurl.com/33h4ul
                                                http://tinyurl.com/33jt6z
Late-1980s: Networking took first steps outside academia




Tom Grundner - prof. family medicine
making community health information public
founder of the Cleveland Free-Net
became National Public Telecomputing Network
influential ... community-oriented, free-nets
                                                    http://tinyurl.com/3akjec
                                                    http://tinyurl.com/2739fa
1984
Francois Lyotard and Thierry Chaput’s exhibition quot;Les Immateriaux” at the Centre
Georges Pompidou in Paris. 30 artists collaboratively respond to 50 terms related the
topic of the quot;immaterial.quot; Lyotard and Chaput pointed out that they were mainly
interested in the way, in which this collaborative writing changed the experience of the
act of writing itself.
                                                                         http://tinyurl.com/ynkmby
1987
http://tinyurl.com/29vvar


LucasFilm's Habitat
early and technologically influential online role-playing
game
first attempt to monetize a large-scale virtual community
1989
http://tinyurl.com/324z9a
CERN -- a place where scientist do incomprehensible things
      with tiny bits of matter out of pure curiosity, a lab
specializing in the most esoteric form of research imaginable
                                           http://tinyurl.com/yto62g
The British programmer Tim Berners-Lee,
                       CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire)

                       WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project, 1989/90

HTML (HyperText Markup Language)
URL (Uniform Resource Locator)
HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol)

                                                                http://tinyurl.com/2pxazn
... the WWW as an altruistic, non-proprietary, vendor-neutral
contribution to society!

Keeping the software free is what allowed the WWW to take off.
                                                   http://tinyurl.com/2ntycb
1990
Internet sites in Europe


        1990:
       30,000

       1991:
      100,000

       1992:
      500,000




    Cailliau, Robert, and James Gillies. How the Web was Born: The Story of the World Wide Web. p90
    New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2000.


                                                                                                      http://tinyurl.com/3bqudr
ARPANET retired and transferred to the NSFnet
(National Science Foundation) that had started in 1988,
connecting 250 non-US networks by 1990



                 Vint Cerf: “Requiem for the ARPANET”
                 “And so, at last, we knew its course had run,
                 Our faithful servant, ARPANET, was done.
                 It was the first, and being the first, as best,
                 But now we lay it down to ever rest.”




                      Cailliau, Robert, and James Gillies. How the Web was Born: The Story of the World Wide Web.
                      New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2000.
John Perry Barlow, worked with Grateful Dead, was part of The
Well, and co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation with
Stuart Brand and Mitch Kapor in 1990, focusing on digital civil
liberties.
1991
August 1991: CERN releases WWW
December 1991: 600,000 users connected to Internet




                                                     http://tinyurl.com/kn8fr
The early nineties were marked
                            by the increasing use of the term
                            quot;social softwarequot; in expert circles
                            and



                            Benjamin Anderson's book
                            quot;Imagined Communi t iesquot;(1991)
                            inspired In t erne t en t husias t s
                            who just started to believe in a
                            world wi t hou t borders. In his
                            book Anderson describes t he
                            na t ion s t a t e as an imagined
                            communi t y t ha t is mainly
                            constructed by print media.
http://tinyurl.com/ysj22q
http://tinyurl.com/2yul9f
Official policy for the Internet forbid anyone from using the
network for personal gain or anything that didn't have a job-
related function.

In 1991, the NSF allowed commercial use of the Internet,
however, for the first time, and in 1995, it decommissioned
the backbone, leaving the Internet a self-supporting
industry.




                                                     http://tinyurl.com/34ket8
                                                     http://tinyurl.com/2pxazn
http://tinyurl.com/29m2wb


 Launch of Gopher, the quot;infoserver that can deliver text, graphics, audio, and
 multimedia to clients.quot; Search and retrieval network protocol designed for the
 Internet. Its goal is to function as an improved form of Anonymous FTP, with features
 similar to that of the World Wide Web. The University of Minnesota.
1992
1992 Marc Andreessen (b. 1971, 6’4”)
undergraduate University of Illinois

protocols for the WWW from CERN

created more fun and user-friendly
graphical interface for PC and Mac.

together with other students Andreessen
created the Mosaic browser
1994 Andreessen founded Netscape
to market it as the university did not approve
of commercial spin-off
1.5 years later: 65 million users (see also: Linux)
(the most rapidly assimilated product in history)
                                        http://tinyurl.com/yo24hu
                                        http://tinyurl.com/282qw8
Brewster Kahle            Bruce Gilliat


WAIS Incorporated:
“It wanted to prove that you could make an Internet company.”
After selling WAIS to AOL in May 1995 for $15 million, Kahle and
Gilliat founded the Internet Archive and then Alexa Internet.



                                              p 136 how the web was born
http://tinyurl.com/yqtupv
http://tinyurl.com/2rencw
1993
For a brief period, gopher and the World Wide Web were competing
systems. In 1993, however, CERN projected that the World Wide Web
would be free to anyone (no fees). Two months later, Gopher announced
that it was no longer free to use, which pushed users away from gopher
to the World Wide Web, which experienced a 350% growth rate that
year (mainly in US).




                                       Gopher
                 WWW
      public domain                         for purchase



                                                      p 279 how the web was born
                                                               http://tinyurl.com/2pxazn
early versions of
                                                                  Mosaic: collaboration
                                                                  feature to allow
                                                                  annotations, which
                                                                  could be shared with a
                                                                  well-defined team of
                                                                  collaborators




1993 most significant milestone in the popularization of the WWW
launch of Mosaic web browser (this was possible because WWW was public domain)




                                                   http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=447183492&size=l
http://honolulu.hawaii.edu/dinos/dinos.1.html
1994
You can now, finally, order pizza online.

Web has a 341,634 % expansion rate in 94

In 2007, one billion people are online.




                                    http://tinyurl.com/3xpdne
Woodstock of the Web
 first web conference at CERN in 1994




                                        http://tinyurl.com/2uz4bd
1994
                                                       CERN does not
                                                       sufficiently support
                                                       WWW.
                                                       Europe’s bureaucracy
                                                       makes funding difficult
                                                       and standards harder to
                                                       establish.
                                                       Berners-Lee moves to
                                                       MIT where he heads the
                                                       W3 consortium.
                                                       W3C America
                                                       W3C Europe
                           http://tinyurl.com/yrjmy8
1995 1/5 of all Internet traffic is caused by WWW, taking over ftp’s leading
role
                                                                   p 258 How the web was born
http://tinyurl.com/38qa3s
http://tinyurl.com/29ffra



1993 De Digitale Stad (quot;The Digital Cityquot;) launched (De Balie & XS4ALL)
publicly accessible (free-net) system
goal: bringing politics and citizens together in an online community


“a social experiment in Internet freedom“ (Geert Lovink)
the attempt of staying independent in an increasingly commercial environment
Justin Hall (b. 1974 in Chicago) is an American
freelance journalist who is best known as a
pioneer blogger




                                          http://tinyurl.com/yjr6pq
1995
Dec 26, 1996       The Thing BBS Feb 08, 2004

                   The Thing, NYC




Wolfgang Staehle                     http://tinyurl.com/2y5yt8
                                     http://tinyurl.com/25dhkl
Feb 08, 1999
               Founded 1995, First successfully
               archived: Jan 25, 1999
               Online Dating, 15 million users,
               37 countries
               Security breaches
               Billing scandals

                                    http://tinyurl.com/2fywza
                                    http://tinyurl.com/368x5o
                                    http://tinyurl.com/3bdyvj
                                    http://tinyurl.com/32aweh
Mar 01, 2000
1996
              Wiki Wiki bus at the Honolulu
              International Airport

Ward Cunningham started developing WikiWikiWeb in 1994,
and installed it on the Internet in 1995 allowing for the
emergence of



                                                  http://tinyurl.com/2qqsbh
                                                  http://tinyurl.com/26utwb
                                                  http://tinyurl.com/ypo99
users could write
reviews and consumer
guides, an early form
of web-based self-
publishing
http://tinyurl.com/ynlwje
“Amazon was founded in 1994, spurred by what Jeff Bezos
refers to as his quot;regret minimization framework,quot; i.e. his
effort to fend off late-in-life regret for not staking a claim in
the Internet gold rush.”

In 2007, worldwide, Amazon has quot;over 900,000 membersquot; in
its affiliate programs (http://tinyurl.com/q7zfe)
                                                       http://tinyurl.com/33tmd8
http://tinyurl.com/2rgezy
http://tinyurl.com/2ll4ff
http://tinyurl.com/2ll4ff
http://tinyurl.com/38w7n5
http://tinyurl.com/3dq7l8
first archived, Nov 29, 1999
searchable user classifieds, open
                                    http://tinyurl.com/2vd94j
Our policies ... taking it personally and very seriously. We take every kind of abuse very
seriously, and in every case Craig will contact the abusive party and ask them to cease.




                   dated: 29 December 1999


      Craigslist site: first archived, Nov 29, 1999
      searchable user classifieds, open
                                                                               http://tinyurl.com/2vd94j
1995 School, Work, Military Connections
1996
first archived Apr 08, 2000


 1996 Sweden, Denmark, UK teens, tweens open Lunarstorm
 1,200,000 users. 2007: closed

 Social Networking

                                                 http://tinyurl.com/3x8xt6
                                                 http://tinyurl.com/3c69yf
Manuel Castells (1942)                                        http://tinyurl.com/39gtmv
                                                              http://tinyurl.com/2pg78k

The “most decisive historical factor accelerating, channeling and shaping the information
technology paradigm, and inducing its associated social forms, was/is the process of capitalist
restructuring undertaken since the 1980s, so that the new techno-economic system can be
adequately characterized as informational capitalism” (p18)
Castells argued that in contemporary society dominant functions and processes are increasingly
organized around networks.
1997
Rob Malda , aka. CmdrTaco
(1976)
 readers can
 comment




photo:quot;Scott Beale / Laughing Squidquot;
http://tinyurl.com/ngdkj
http://tinyurl.com/dr92g
John Barger
                            (1952, blogger,
                                Ohio)


http://tinyurl.com/2f9axa
Blogging: the art and science of pointing at each other




                                                  http://tinyurl.com/2hstek
                                                 http://tinyurl.com/2erjhv
                                                 http://tinyurl.com/2q7yaw
blogging: the art and science of pointing at each other




                Massification of voice
In 1995, the Asian American community site AsianAvenue.com
kicked off (without social networking features).
First waybackmachine entry for AsianAve.com 1998.
 http://tinyurl.com/2nk74m
Pierre Lévy

“Through the intermediary of virtual worlds, we can not only
exchange information but think together, share our memories
and our plans to produce a cooperative brain.quot;
 -- Pierre Lévy, from Collective Intelligence

                                                                                        http://tinyurl.com/2de683
 In Collective Intelligence, Lévy investigates the affordances of networked sociality   http://tinyurl.com/yvb4al
http://tinyurl.com/2zgpxh
                                           http://tinyurl.com/yuo2ba

Eric S. Raymond presented his essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar
(CatB) at the Linux Kongress in Berlin.
1997. 2nd largest auction site
                                 http://tinyurl.com/34pkl5
1998
Feb 06, 2007
Jan 25, 1999



Indian social networking site Sulekha was set into motion.
                                                      http://tinyurl.com/2gu2j9
                                                       http://tinyurl.com/ysfgoq
Apr 17, 1999                   Sept, 2007



1998. DMOZ, founded as GnuHoo involves geographically
dis t ribu t ed individuals t o evalua t e websi t es, crea t ing a user-
powered search engine.                                     http://tinyurl.com/24aws2
                                                                http://tinyurl.com/35w5ej
1999
http://tinyurl.com/
2dnhmy

May 10, 2000
Relational Aesthetics
Nicolas Bourriaud engages with the possibility of quot;relational artquot;
based on the practices of artists who became visible
during the 1990s.

                                                          http://tinyurl.com/33n692
                                                          http://tinyurl.com/37zrsr
Peter Hoschka introduces the term
Social Web, Peter Merholz coined
the term “blog,” and Rusty Foster (below)
created Kuro5hin.




 a collaborative weblog where users vote
 for what goes to the front page


                                  http://tinyurl.com/ytggb5
                                  http://tinyurl.com/2deegj
                                    http://tinyurl.com/2yu6w7
Shawn quot;Napsterquot; Fanning (b. 1980)
the 18-year-old college student whose school nickname was quot;Napster,quot; along
with his friend Sean Parker first released the original Napster on June 1, 1999.

Napster was the first popular peer-to-peer file sharing platform.



                                                                   http://tinyurl.com/2sgcz2
                                                                   http://tinyurl.com/2lhmmq
Oct 11, 1999
                              http://tinyurl.com/2lqxfe




African-Americans, 16,000,000 users (2007)
http://tinyurl.com/k2jhx
Pyra Labs creates Blogger.com



                                http://tinyurl.com/353pmk
2000
http://tinyurl.com/2madla


Commercially the Internet started to catch on in 1995 with an
estimated 18 million users. This untapped international market
made speculators ecstatic about the “new economy.”
too much
too fast




      http://tinyurl.com/26ppkw

      http://tinyurl.com/yrkjya
      http://tinyurl.com/38zy97
To whom do we owe most innovation on the
Social Web? (Where are the women?)
Yahoo




        Google
Paypal     YouTube




Facebook   Slashdot
                                                photo:quot;Scott Beale / Laughing Squidquot;
                                                http://tinyurl.com/ngdkj
             http://www.slideshare.net/beppe/saul-klein-at-the-next-web-conference
Conclusion Part1
While the Social Web is available worldwide, sites like Piczo, Orkut,
Fotolog, or Faceparty attract a majority of members in particular
geographic regions and of a specific age group.


                                   People want to be where many other people are.

                Expectations were shaped by early free and openly accessible software.

         The rich get richer


   Young innovators (often still in college or barely graduated and mostly white and male)
   create commercial software and then join up with large capital to facilitate large-scale
   sociality.

  The WWW started up mainly on European ideas, but was exploited best in the US.

                                                            Silos everywhere
Interoperability through openID and                         (prod/users want
content export features                                     free-range data)
as competitive edge
                                                  Prod/users want control over their content
                                                                           their contacts
               Permanently beta

 Research out of pure curiosity led to Internet
- end part1 -

please direct comments, additions, etc
          to trebor@thing.net
How the Social Web Came to Be (part1)

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How the Social Web Came to Be (part1)

  • 1. How the Social Web Came to Be part 1 Trebor Scholz Department of Media Study trebor@thing.net Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0
  • 2. A history of computer-mediated networked sociality Part 1: 1945-2001 Part 2: 2002- today
  • 3. Is the history of the Social Web, solely a history of mergers and acquisitions, sales, and new markets? Whose history do we write? Whom does it serve?
  • 4. This history is filtered through the lens of the following questions: •To whom do we owe most innovation on the Social Web? •Where was the Social Web created? •What motivated early programmers/users of the Internet? •How did the initial move from research to commerce take place •What were significant milestones in the scaling up of social life on the Internet? •What were some preconditions for this development? •Which content did people focus on? What were they interested in? •What were milestones in the design on the WWW?
  • 6. The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage (1989) 1746 200 monks Jean-Antoine Nollet linked to electrical battery 1797 optical telegraphy
  • 7. 1844: Samuel Morse’ first telegraph message was: “What Hath God Wrought” http://tinyurl.com/2vgfqk http://tinyurl.com/2tmou3
  • 8. The invention of the Internet in context
  • 10. quot;knowledge on callquot; hyperlinked pages and the “memex” http://tinyurl.com/39mf8l http://tinyurl.com/3b7h9v
  • 11. Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and to coin one at random, quot;memexquot; will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory. - Vannevar Bush; As We May Think; Atlantic Monthly; July 1945
  • 12. In 1949 in his novel Heliopolis, the German Ernst Junger dreams up the communication medium quot;Phonophor,quot; which connects everybody to everybody else, enabling a permanent , technically facilitated forum that also replaces the passport, watch, newspaper, library, and encyclopedia. http://tinyurl.com/2s2zn5
  • 13. [A]ctivation; authorship; community -- are the most frequently cited motivations for almost all artistic attempts to encourage participation in art since the 1960s.quot; according to art historian Claire Bishop.
  • 14. 1952
  • 16. 1957
  • 17. Launch of Sputnik on 4 October 1957 can be compared to Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, or 9/11 in its effect on the American psyche http://tinyurl.com/32n7hq
  • 18. The Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • 19. 1961
  • 20. Leonard Kleinrock, MIT quot;Information Flow in Large Communication Netsquot; (May 31 1961) First paper on packet-switching http://tinyurl.com/23nbat
  • 21. “On Distributed Communication Networks,” March 1964 c) a network without central authority or single outage point Paul Baran http://tinyurl.com/ywq8nk
  • 22. 1962
  • 23. Packet Switching, Paul Baran 1962 at RAND, US Airforce All the nodes in the network would be equal in status to all other nodes, each node with its own authority to originate, pass, and receive messages. The messages themselves would be divided into packets, each packet separately addressed. Each packet would begin at some specified source node, and end at some other specified destination node. http://tinyurl.com/2ry3lo
  • 24. TCP, or quot;Transmission Control Protocol,quot; converts messages into streams of packets at the source, then reassembles them back into messages at the destination. IP, or quot;Internet Protocol,quot; handles the addressing, seeing to it that packets are routed across multiple nodes and even across multiple networks with multiple standards http://tinyurl.com/2ry3lo http://tinyurl.com/3dsb7g
  • 25. 1965
  • 26. Ted Nelson coins the term quot;Hypertextquot; in quot;A File Structure for the Complex, the Changing, and the Indeterminatequot;. 20th National Conference, New York, Association for Computing Machinery
  • 27. First email 1965 Already in 1965, Fernando Corbato and his colleagues at MIT developed a program to allow individual users to swap messages on one single computer.
  • 28. 1968
  • 29. quot;In a few years, men will be able to communicate more effectively through a machine than face to face...We believe that we are entering into a technological age, in which we will be able to interact with the richness of living information -- not merely in the passive way that we have become accustomed to using books and libraries, but as active participants in an ongoing process, bringing something to it through our interaction with it, and not simply receiving something from it by our connection to it. (53)quot; http://tinyurl.com/2c9uaf
  • 30. Louis Pouzin designed and directed the development of the Cyclades network in France, which then stopped in 1974. http://tinyurl.com/22ykun
  • 31. 1969
  • 32. In 1968, ARPA sent out a Request for Quotation to build a network of four Interface Message Processors. BBN made it. Dave Walden, Bernie Cosell, Severo Ornstein, Will Crowther, Bob Kahn 1969: Advanced Research Projects Agency commissions ARPANET to conduct research on networking. First ARPANET nodes connected UCLA, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and University of Utah http://tinyurl.com/yuw6ho http://tinyurl.com/2pxazn http://tinyurl.com/2ujdes
  • 33. Norm Abramson wanted to surf - so he moved to Hawaii in 1969. He wanted to network with the other islands and so he built the ALOHAnet in 1970. From the University of Hawaii, Abramson connected computers over a network of radio transmitters using a protocol telling the computers how to share the airwaves. http://tinyurl.com/yvvmdc
  • 34.
  • 35. 1970
  • 36. TCP/IP With TCP/IP, the quot;global networkquot; was becoming a reality. Universities and government offices were using the network for communicating with colleagues and exchanging data. 1974: Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn publish quot;A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnectionquot;, which specified in detail the design of a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). http://tinyurl.com/3c64vm http://tinyurl.com/yvvmdc
  • 37. Whose Standards? Proprietary or Open Standards? Also the fax machine is only useful if many other people have it. Later: If the Internet would have just connected supercomputers, it would have not been as significant. http://tinyurl.com/yu7g2m
  • 38. “The Internet's quot;anarchyquot; may seem strange or even unnatural, but it makes a certain deep and basic sense. It's rather like the quot;anarchyquot; of the English language. Nobody rents English, and nobody owns English. As an English- speaking person, it's up to you to learn how to speak English properly and make whatever use you please of it (though the government provides certain subsidies to help you learn to read and write a bit).” Sterling, Bruce. quot;Short History of the Internet by Bruce Sterling.quot; College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the. 1 Feb 1993. 4 Sep 2007 <http://w3.aces.uiuc.edu/AIM/scale/nethistory.html>.
  • 39. The TCP/IP protocol allowed different networks to connect together into one big network - the Inter-net. As the use of TCP/IP became more common, it was difficult to stop people from barging in and linking up somewhere-or-other. The software TCP/IP was public-domain and the basic technology was decentralized and rather anarchic by its very nature. http://tinyurl.com/yory85 http://tinyurl.com/2ry3lo
  • 40. http://tinyurl.com/29vvar PowWow Throughout the 1970s Instant Messaging began to appear
  • 41. 1971
  • 42. http://tinyurl.com/34gyk2 1971: Ray Tomlinson of BBN creates email program to send messages across a distributed network. 1972: Tomlinson expands program to ARPANET users, using the quot;@quot; sign as part of the address.
  • 43. Michael Hart 1971. Project Gutenberg is the first and largest single collection of free electronic books, or eBooks. Project Gutenberg is the quot;oldest digital library built on volunteer efforts to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works.quot; http://tinyurl.com/26zq8z
  • 44. 1977
  • 45. http://tinyurl.com/35drka http://tinyurl.com/2n5gvy 1977 Richard Bartle and Roy Trubshaw created the first MUD (Multi-User Dungeon) leading later to MMORPG
  • 46. 1978
  • 47. January of 1978, Chicago was hit by CBBS (first BBS) Ward Christensen the Great Blizzard of 1978 Many people did not have the Internet. They dialed in to CBSS directly via modem. Users had to take turns accessing the system, each hanging up when done to let someone else have access. Nevertheless, the system was seen as very useful, and ran for many years and inspired the creation of many other bulletin board systems. http://tinyurl.com/38zf8q http://tinyurl.com/3a8wru
  • 48. ASCii art on BBS http://tinyurl.com/yukqdk
  • 49. 1979
  • 50. Emoticons 1979 Kevin MacKenzie e-mailed his fellow subscribers at MsgGroup, an early Internet bulletin board, with a suggestion to put some emotion back into the dry text medium of e- mail. (The eyes came later.)
  • 51. USENET established. USENET was a global, decentralized, distributed Internet discussion system that provided mail services and file transfers. Precursor of GoogleGroups and other discussion boards. http://tinyurl.com/2mdk3z
  • 52. Cover of COMPUTER Magazine from September 1979 http://tinyurl.com/yqgc6h
  • 53. 1980s
  • 54. What else did it take to make this WWW thing work? http://tinyurl.com/2km2n9 This was the first IBM PC introduced on Aug 12, 1981 Douglas Engelbart http://tinyurl.com/3c7suu
  • 55. The Well members could start discussion boards: Mid-80s the most popular one was dedicated to computer manufacturers push proprietary protocols, The Grateful Dead. which failed US Government pushed for ISO but TCP/IP was free, more viral In the 1980s the PCs entered homes and offices in the United States.
  • 56. pre-www The Well members could start discussion boards: the most popular one was dedicated to The Grateful Dead. 1981 BITNET release “Because It’s There” | “Because It’s Time” Ira Fuchs (CUNY) and Greydon Freeman (Yale) Main features: email, LISTSERV BITNET set expectations for free access and openness: it charged by bandwidth. Once you paid for the line, how much you use it was up to you. Others tried to establish a pay by byte system. http://tinyurl.com/2vxfbj http://tinyurl.com/2cl3go
  • 57. 1985 Stewart Brand & Larry Brilliant one of the first community bulletin board systems The Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link (The Well) Brand used a networked PC on his houseboat in Sasalito, CA, claiming that he did so in order to experience commune living without actually moving into one. http://tinyurl.com/374e2g
  • 58. The Well members started many discussion boards. The most popular one was dedicated to The Grateful Dead.
  • 59. In 1993: The Well as paradigm of ``virtual community'' people meet, collaborate, argue, support each other emotionally http://tinyurl.com/33h4ul http://tinyurl.com/33jt6z
  • 60. Late-1980s: Networking took first steps outside academia Tom Grundner - prof. family medicine making community health information public founder of the Cleveland Free-Net became National Public Telecomputing Network influential ... community-oriented, free-nets http://tinyurl.com/3akjec http://tinyurl.com/2739fa
  • 61. 1984
  • 62. Francois Lyotard and Thierry Chaput’s exhibition quot;Les Immateriaux” at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. 30 artists collaboratively respond to 50 terms related the topic of the quot;immaterial.quot; Lyotard and Chaput pointed out that they were mainly interested in the way, in which this collaborative writing changed the experience of the act of writing itself. http://tinyurl.com/ynkmby
  • 63. 1987
  • 64. http://tinyurl.com/29vvar LucasFilm's Habitat early and technologically influential online role-playing game first attempt to monetize a large-scale virtual community
  • 65. 1989
  • 67. CERN -- a place where scientist do incomprehensible things with tiny bits of matter out of pure curiosity, a lab specializing in the most esoteric form of research imaginable http://tinyurl.com/yto62g
  • 68. The British programmer Tim Berners-Lee, CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project, 1989/90 HTML (HyperText Markup Language) URL (Uniform Resource Locator) HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol) http://tinyurl.com/2pxazn
  • 69. ... the WWW as an altruistic, non-proprietary, vendor-neutral contribution to society! Keeping the software free is what allowed the WWW to take off. http://tinyurl.com/2ntycb
  • 70.
  • 71. 1990
  • 72. Internet sites in Europe 1990: 30,000 1991: 100,000 1992: 500,000 Cailliau, Robert, and James Gillies. How the Web was Born: The Story of the World Wide Web. p90 New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2000. http://tinyurl.com/3bqudr
  • 73. ARPANET retired and transferred to the NSFnet (National Science Foundation) that had started in 1988, connecting 250 non-US networks by 1990 Vint Cerf: “Requiem for the ARPANET” “And so, at last, we knew its course had run, Our faithful servant, ARPANET, was done. It was the first, and being the first, as best, But now we lay it down to ever rest.” Cailliau, Robert, and James Gillies. How the Web was Born: The Story of the World Wide Web. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2000.
  • 74. John Perry Barlow, worked with Grateful Dead, was part of The Well, and co-founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation with Stuart Brand and Mitch Kapor in 1990, focusing on digital civil liberties.
  • 75. 1991
  • 76. August 1991: CERN releases WWW December 1991: 600,000 users connected to Internet http://tinyurl.com/kn8fr
  • 77. The early nineties were marked by the increasing use of the term quot;social softwarequot; in expert circles and Benjamin Anderson's book quot;Imagined Communi t iesquot;(1991) inspired In t erne t en t husias t s who just started to believe in a world wi t hou t borders. In his book Anderson describes t he na t ion s t a t e as an imagined communi t y t ha t is mainly constructed by print media. http://tinyurl.com/ysj22q http://tinyurl.com/2yul9f
  • 78. Official policy for the Internet forbid anyone from using the network for personal gain or anything that didn't have a job- related function. In 1991, the NSF allowed commercial use of the Internet, however, for the first time, and in 1995, it decommissioned the backbone, leaving the Internet a self-supporting industry. http://tinyurl.com/34ket8 http://tinyurl.com/2pxazn
  • 79. http://tinyurl.com/29m2wb Launch of Gopher, the quot;infoserver that can deliver text, graphics, audio, and multimedia to clients.quot; Search and retrieval network protocol designed for the Internet. Its goal is to function as an improved form of Anonymous FTP, with features similar to that of the World Wide Web. The University of Minnesota.
  • 80. 1992
  • 81. 1992 Marc Andreessen (b. 1971, 6’4”) undergraduate University of Illinois protocols for the WWW from CERN created more fun and user-friendly graphical interface for PC and Mac. together with other students Andreessen created the Mosaic browser 1994 Andreessen founded Netscape to market it as the university did not approve of commercial spin-off 1.5 years later: 65 million users (see also: Linux) (the most rapidly assimilated product in history) http://tinyurl.com/yo24hu http://tinyurl.com/282qw8
  • 82. Brewster Kahle Bruce Gilliat WAIS Incorporated: “It wanted to prove that you could make an Internet company.” After selling WAIS to AOL in May 1995 for $15 million, Kahle and Gilliat founded the Internet Archive and then Alexa Internet. p 136 how the web was born
  • 84. 1993
  • 85. For a brief period, gopher and the World Wide Web were competing systems. In 1993, however, CERN projected that the World Wide Web would be free to anyone (no fees). Two months later, Gopher announced that it was no longer free to use, which pushed users away from gopher to the World Wide Web, which experienced a 350% growth rate that year (mainly in US). Gopher WWW public domain for purchase p 279 how the web was born http://tinyurl.com/2pxazn
  • 86. early versions of Mosaic: collaboration feature to allow annotations, which could be shared with a well-defined team of collaborators 1993 most significant milestone in the popularization of the WWW launch of Mosaic web browser (this was possible because WWW was public domain) http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=447183492&size=l
  • 88.
  • 89. 1994
  • 90. You can now, finally, order pizza online. Web has a 341,634 % expansion rate in 94 In 2007, one billion people are online. http://tinyurl.com/3xpdne
  • 91. Woodstock of the Web first web conference at CERN in 1994 http://tinyurl.com/2uz4bd
  • 92. 1994 CERN does not sufficiently support WWW. Europe’s bureaucracy makes funding difficult and standards harder to establish. Berners-Lee moves to MIT where he heads the W3 consortium. W3C America W3C Europe http://tinyurl.com/yrjmy8 1995 1/5 of all Internet traffic is caused by WWW, taking over ftp’s leading role p 258 How the web was born
  • 94. http://tinyurl.com/29ffra 1993 De Digitale Stad (quot;The Digital Cityquot;) launched (De Balie & XS4ALL) publicly accessible (free-net) system goal: bringing politics and citizens together in an online community “a social experiment in Internet freedom“ (Geert Lovink) the attempt of staying independent in an increasingly commercial environment
  • 95. Justin Hall (b. 1974 in Chicago) is an American freelance journalist who is best known as a pioneer blogger http://tinyurl.com/yjr6pq
  • 96. 1995
  • 97.
  • 98. Dec 26, 1996 The Thing BBS Feb 08, 2004 The Thing, NYC Wolfgang Staehle http://tinyurl.com/2y5yt8 http://tinyurl.com/25dhkl
  • 99. Feb 08, 1999 Founded 1995, First successfully archived: Jan 25, 1999 Online Dating, 15 million users, 37 countries Security breaches Billing scandals http://tinyurl.com/2fywza http://tinyurl.com/368x5o http://tinyurl.com/3bdyvj http://tinyurl.com/32aweh Mar 01, 2000
  • 100. 1996 Wiki Wiki bus at the Honolulu International Airport Ward Cunningham started developing WikiWikiWeb in 1994, and installed it on the Internet in 1995 allowing for the emergence of http://tinyurl.com/2qqsbh http://tinyurl.com/26utwb http://tinyurl.com/ypo99
  • 101. users could write reviews and consumer guides, an early form of web-based self- publishing http://tinyurl.com/ynlwje
  • 102. “Amazon was founded in 1994, spurred by what Jeff Bezos refers to as his quot;regret minimization framework,quot; i.e. his effort to fend off late-in-life regret for not staking a claim in the Internet gold rush.” In 2007, worldwide, Amazon has quot;over 900,000 membersquot; in its affiliate programs (http://tinyurl.com/q7zfe) http://tinyurl.com/33tmd8
  • 104.
  • 105. first archived, Nov 29, 1999 searchable user classifieds, open http://tinyurl.com/2vd94j
  • 106. Our policies ... taking it personally and very seriously. We take every kind of abuse very seriously, and in every case Craig will contact the abusive party and ask them to cease. dated: 29 December 1999 Craigslist site: first archived, Nov 29, 1999 searchable user classifieds, open http://tinyurl.com/2vd94j
  • 107. 1995 School, Work, Military Connections
  • 108. 1996
  • 109. first archived Apr 08, 2000 1996 Sweden, Denmark, UK teens, tweens open Lunarstorm 1,200,000 users. 2007: closed Social Networking http://tinyurl.com/3x8xt6 http://tinyurl.com/3c69yf
  • 110. Manuel Castells (1942) http://tinyurl.com/39gtmv http://tinyurl.com/2pg78k The “most decisive historical factor accelerating, channeling and shaping the information technology paradigm, and inducing its associated social forms, was/is the process of capitalist restructuring undertaken since the 1980s, so that the new techno-economic system can be adequately characterized as informational capitalism” (p18) Castells argued that in contemporary society dominant functions and processes are increasingly organized around networks.
  • 111. 1997
  • 112. Rob Malda , aka. CmdrTaco (1976) readers can comment photo:quot;Scott Beale / Laughing Squidquot; http://tinyurl.com/ngdkj http://tinyurl.com/dr92g
  • 113. John Barger (1952, blogger, Ohio) http://tinyurl.com/2f9axa
  • 114. Blogging: the art and science of pointing at each other http://tinyurl.com/2hstek http://tinyurl.com/2erjhv http://tinyurl.com/2q7yaw
  • 115. blogging: the art and science of pointing at each other Massification of voice
  • 116. In 1995, the Asian American community site AsianAvenue.com kicked off (without social networking features). First waybackmachine entry for AsianAve.com 1998. http://tinyurl.com/2nk74m
  • 117. Pierre Lévy “Through the intermediary of virtual worlds, we can not only exchange information but think together, share our memories and our plans to produce a cooperative brain.quot; -- Pierre Lévy, from Collective Intelligence http://tinyurl.com/2de683 In Collective Intelligence, Lévy investigates the affordances of networked sociality http://tinyurl.com/yvb4al
  • 118. http://tinyurl.com/2zgpxh http://tinyurl.com/yuo2ba Eric S. Raymond presented his essay The Cathedral and the Bazaar (CatB) at the Linux Kongress in Berlin.
  • 119.
  • 120. 1997. 2nd largest auction site http://tinyurl.com/34pkl5
  • 121. 1998
  • 122. Feb 06, 2007 Jan 25, 1999 Indian social networking site Sulekha was set into motion. http://tinyurl.com/2gu2j9 http://tinyurl.com/ysfgoq
  • 123. Apr 17, 1999 Sept, 2007 1998. DMOZ, founded as GnuHoo involves geographically dis t ribu t ed individuals t o evalua t e websi t es, crea t ing a user- powered search engine. http://tinyurl.com/24aws2 http://tinyurl.com/35w5ej
  • 124. 1999
  • 126. Relational Aesthetics Nicolas Bourriaud engages with the possibility of quot;relational artquot; based on the practices of artists who became visible during the 1990s. http://tinyurl.com/33n692 http://tinyurl.com/37zrsr
  • 127. Peter Hoschka introduces the term Social Web, Peter Merholz coined the term “blog,” and Rusty Foster (below) created Kuro5hin. a collaborative weblog where users vote for what goes to the front page http://tinyurl.com/ytggb5 http://tinyurl.com/2deegj http://tinyurl.com/2yu6w7
  • 128. Shawn quot;Napsterquot; Fanning (b. 1980) the 18-year-old college student whose school nickname was quot;Napster,quot; along with his friend Sean Parker first released the original Napster on June 1, 1999. Napster was the first popular peer-to-peer file sharing platform. http://tinyurl.com/2sgcz2 http://tinyurl.com/2lhmmq
  • 129. Oct 11, 1999 http://tinyurl.com/2lqxfe African-Americans, 16,000,000 users (2007) http://tinyurl.com/k2jhx
  • 130. Pyra Labs creates Blogger.com http://tinyurl.com/353pmk
  • 131.
  • 132. 2000
  • 133. http://tinyurl.com/2madla Commercially the Internet started to catch on in 1995 with an estimated 18 million users. This untapped international market made speculators ecstatic about the “new economy.”
  • 134. too much too fast http://tinyurl.com/26ppkw http://tinyurl.com/yrkjya http://tinyurl.com/38zy97
  • 135.
  • 136. To whom do we owe most innovation on the Social Web? (Where are the women?)
  • 137. Yahoo Google
  • 138. Paypal YouTube Facebook Slashdot photo:quot;Scott Beale / Laughing Squidquot; http://tinyurl.com/ngdkj http://www.slideshare.net/beppe/saul-klein-at-the-next-web-conference
  • 140. While the Social Web is available worldwide, sites like Piczo, Orkut, Fotolog, or Faceparty attract a majority of members in particular geographic regions and of a specific age group. People want to be where many other people are. Expectations were shaped by early free and openly accessible software. The rich get richer Young innovators (often still in college or barely graduated and mostly white and male) create commercial software and then join up with large capital to facilitate large-scale sociality. The WWW started up mainly on European ideas, but was exploited best in the US. Silos everywhere Interoperability through openID and (prod/users want content export features free-range data) as competitive edge Prod/users want control over their content their contacts Permanently beta Research out of pure curiosity led to Internet
  • 141. - end part1 - please direct comments, additions, etc to trebor@thing.net