Compuserve started in 1969. The WELL in the early ’80s. I didn’t really get into social networks and online communities until the late ’80’s. Certainly, not creating content, editing and commenting on content and making friends and so on, until I got hooked on Usenet newsgroups in 1988 – 20 years ago. Here’s a youthful Howard Rheingold guiding us down memory lane of social networks online. Note how in the ’80s they used online networks to a) get jobs b) do dating c) replacement for boring tv d) create real life social networks e) event management online and offline f) rituals of birthday and whatnot … everything really, no?
My thing was Twin Peaks on Usenet Newsgroups, and creating/uploading/sharing/downloading little games on group FTP servers.
What was the game on an Apple Mac applelink network that was a black ball and a white ball and you had to play collaboratively? Like help each other hit switches and not fall off cracked tiles? It was open source and downloadable from a number of Apple online communities?
I’m not sure what is new – ease of use, complexity of media, distributed discussions, tagging and folksonomy to organise the information. But the basics are the same, right?