Posted by: arieliondotcom | September 29, 2008

A Node in the History of the Social Web

I have really enjoyed the two readings (thus far at least) this week about the history of the Social Network and history of networks in general.  That is, until thinking about it and realizing that I am a historic artifact myself!  Thinking back, I can remember our classroom out in the country when I was only in 6th Greade I believe.  We were literally in farm country, and yet we had a gray metal box on the teacher’s desk that was hooked up somehow to the home of one of our classmates who had severe disabilities and could not join us in class.  There was no video but she could hear us and we could hear her.  The teacher would ask her at appropriate times what she thought and she would participate.  A primitive but social network, I would say.

And when I was going to move from one state to another, having never left my home state, a friend of mine told me about something called Prodigy.  In those days it used a bulletin board (( don’t remember e-mail at that time) and but you could post as much as you want as often as you want on the bulletin board for free, and it was instantaneous.  I remember people who were literally unable to move from their houses who were able to contact people all over the world any time of the day or night.  In fact, I remember one young lady who was literally strapped to a bed and oxygen tank in a nursing home and this was her only communication to the outside world, her whole social network until the day she died. 

Each of us has our own piece of the social network.  What is yours?  When did you first discover e-mail, bulletin boards, the Web, and other people on the other end of the electrons?


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