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Evolution of Social Networking

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“I’m a student in the History of Computing class at San Jose State University ( http://www.cs.sjsu.edu/~mak/CS185C/ ). This is a work in progress that will turn into a final article by the end of the semester. I welcome your comments and advice!”


Object: Computer Application History

What to Discover: The history of social networking, and what the next generation's of social networks might be.

Research Plan: Source includes Comupter History Museum artifacts, IEEE paper and Internet Forum etc. My timeline is to read 5 - 10 paper before mid of October and write rough draft as I read them

'History of Social Networking

1. First E-Mail (1971) The first email was sent between the two machines sat right next to each other. The only connection between them was the ARPANET (“Advanced Research Projects Agency Network”). APRANET was sponsored and created by the U.S. Depaartment of Defense and later lead to the development of Internet.

"SNDMSG" was a program which can deliver messages by appending to a file on the same computer. It allowed a user to compose, address, and send a message to other users' mailboxes. A mailbox was simply a file with a particular name. At that time, the sender could only append the file, they could not read or overwrite what was already in the mailbox.

"CPYNET" was a file transfer program which writes and reads files on remote compute. Ray Tomlinson decided to incorporate "SNDMSG" with "CPYNET", so the messgae could direct through network connection to remote mailboxes in addition to appending messages to local mailbox files.

Ray Tomlinson is credited with being the one to decide on the "@" sign for use in e-mail. Tomlinson said the content of the first e-mail was “something like "QWERTYUIOP"”.

2. BBS (1978)

A bulletin board system (BBS) is a computer application dedicated to the sharing or exchange simple messages on a network. The BBS became the primary kind of online community through the 1980s and early 1990s, before the World Wide Web arrived.

A BBS may be accessible from a dial-up modem, Telnet, or the Internet. Because it originated before the graphical user interface (GUI) became prevalent, the BBS interface was text-based.

3. USENET (1980)

Usenet is a worldwide distributed Internet discussion system. Users read and post messages (collectively termed news) to one or more categories, known as newsgroups. Usenet is very similar to bulletin board system (BBS) in many respects, and is the precursor to the various Internet forums today.

The difference between a BBS or Internet forum and Usenet is the absence of a central server and dedicated administrator. Usenet is distributed among a large conglomeration of servers that store and forward messages to one another called news feeds. Individual users may read messages from and post messages to a local server if a user is subscribed to a certain group.

4. GeoCities (1994)

site users selected a "city" in which to place their web pages. The "cities" were named after real cities or regions according to their content. For example, computer-related sites were placed in "SiliconvValley". The business-related sites were assigned to "WallStreet".

Yahoo Inc. bought GeoCities in 1999. They shut down the service at United States, and today GeoCities is only available at Japan.

5.theGlobe.com (1995)

It gave users the freedom to personalize their online experience by publishing their own content and interacting with others with similar interests. theGlobe.com made headlines by going public on November 13, 1998 and posting the largest first day gain of any IPO in history up to that date.(606% increase of initial share price)

The company's stock price collapsed from 850 million to barely 4 million in less than 3 years. The company closed its operations in 2008.

6. SixDegrees.com (1997)

SixDegrees.com was a social network service website and it was based on the Web of Contacts model of social networking. It was named after the six degrees of separation concept (everyone is on average six steps away from any other person on Earth) and allowed users to list friends. Users could send messages and post bulletin board items to people in their first, second, and third degrees. It was one of the first social networking websites in the format now seen today.

SixDegrees.com is only open to people who were previously members. New members are only permitted if they are invited.

7. Friendster (2002)

It has become a social gaming site in June, 2011. The service became popular in Southeast Asia and is a major site in that region of the world.

8. Myspace (2003)

Myspace is a social networking service owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake. In August 2011, Myspace had 33.1 million users. From 2005 to 2008, Myspace was the most visited social networking site in the world, and in June 2006 surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. In April 2008, Myspace was overtaken by Facebook in the number of users.

9. Facebook (2004)

Facebook first launched at Harvard University and originally created as a way to connect college students.As of July 2011, Facebook has more than 800 million active users.

Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg with his college friends.The Web site's membership was initially limited to Harvard students, but was expanded to other colleges in the Boston area, the Ivy League, and Stanford University. It gradually added support for students at various other universities before opening to high school students, and eventually to anyone aged 13 and over.

10. Twitter (2006)

Twitter is an online social networking sites that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters known as "tweets". Twitter quicly gained worldwide popularity, with 200 million users as of 2011 generating over 200 million tweets per day.

Example.jpg Future of Social Networking

a. The Social graph will become portable

b. We will form around the real social networks

   => creating topical social networks

c. Social Networking will become pervasive

   => everything has social networks features

d. The social network should monitor my networks and people I contact with