Chris Allen: Tracing the Evolution of Social Software

My friend Chris Allen posts a cool history of the term "social software" and its predecessors.

Cool post, Chris, and I’m glad you got Drexler in there — it’s something Chris Peterson had mentioned to me when I was first investigating the term.

The 1970s and 1980s seem kind of bare without more discussion of newsgroups, bulletin board systems, computer "conferencing" and whatever else we called it back then. Terminology may not have advanced much in those day, but a lot of the development of online sociology happened then.

Here’s Dave Woolley saying he invented conferencing, for what it’s worth.

The history of Lotus Notes is interesting, and includes the introduction of the word "Group" in 1976.

It would be interesting to contrast the word "Personal" — as in "IBM PC" — with "Group," and what effect that had on people’s perception of computers.

After hearing Steve Wozniak describe his invention of the Apple, I would surely describe him as one of the people who invented the concept of a personal computer, telling his dad he’d have a computer that could run Fortran in his house (or apartment, since computers cost more than houses!), and then following through to create one.

Comment (1)

  1. BookBlog wrote::

    Social Software Encyclopedia

    Chris Allen has done a fine service with a history of social software, tracing the origins of today’s networked communication…

    Saturday, October 16, 2004 at 17:16 #