Silicon Valley tends to be ahead of the curve when it comes to tech. And in the case of social media, it seems the area was way, way ahead of the curve.
Wired's Daniela Hernandez took a trip to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View (home of Google/tech holy land) and found that social media machines have been in the works in the Bay Area for decades.
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It all feels so new doesn't it? Facebook. FaceTime. Google+ hangouts. Hashtagging your memories on Twitter and Instagram.
But this holiday season, as you and your enormous collection of Apple gadgets spend all your extra time connecting with distant friends and family over the latest and greatest social media services, it's worth remembering that all this social stuff was a long time coming.
In the article, Hernandez detailed several exhibits from the museum, including the Bell Picturephone (think FaceTime in the 1960s), the DynaBook (a 1968 version of the iPad) and the iMode, a 1999 version of the smartphone in Japan.
Not surprisingly, some were less successful than others. (Ever heard of Plato? Yeah, neither had we.)
But some ideas were gold.
For starters, check out the Community Memory Terminal of 1973:
A prelude to Craigslist, the memory terminals were kiosks set up around San Francisco and Berkeley that served as electronic bulletin boards. Kiosks contained want ads, room-for-rent postings, restaurant recommendations and comments.
"This started out as a social experiment to see if people would be willing to share via computer," wrote Wired, paraphrasing a Community Memory Terminal brochure.
Um, yes, Community Memory Terminal. Yes people would be willing to share via computer.
Silicon Valley can't take all of the credit, however. While the Community Memory Terminal was being tested in the Bay Area, two grad students at Duke were developing Usenet, another electronic bulletin board, and now one of the oldest computer network communications systems still in use. The launch date of Usenet: 1980.
"There's nothing new about social media," wrote Beth Hayden and Rafal Tomal of Copyblogger in a post about social media history. "The Internet has always been social, and it always will be."
Check out the Wired article for more early social media platforms from the 1940s and beyond.
10. Snoop Lion's AMA ("Ask Me Anything")
<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/14cb0c/im_snoop_lion_ask_me_anything/" target="_hplink">"I'm Snoop Lion! Ask me anything!!"</a> <b>Total Page Views:</b> 1,467,071 <b><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/14cb0c/im_snoop_lion_ask_me_anything/c7bt4iu" target="_hplink">Top Comment:</a></b> Snoop answers himself: "Who da only person that has evr smoked me out?" "ANSWER: willie nelson, wiz khalifa n b-real!!! my guys!!!"
9. What's Your Worst Secret?
<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/t0ynr/throwaway_time_whats_your_secret_that_could/" target="_hplink">"Throwaway time! What's your secret that could literally ruin your life if it came out?"</a> <b>Total Page Views:</b> 1,482,935 <b><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/t0ynr/throwaway_time_whats_your_secret_that_could/c4imvjn" target="_hplink">Top Comment:</a></b> "I once helped out my a female friend's family by taking care of their cat for a week. Every day for a week, I would go over there and snoop around their house. I found my friend's diary, and proceeded to read the entire thing. I used this information to get her to like me, and she is currently my wife."
8. Psy's AMA
<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/120oqd/i_am_south_korean_singer_rapper_composer_dancer/" target="_hplink">I am South Korean Singer, Rapper, Composer, Dancer and Creator of Gangnam Style PSY. AMA</a> <b>Total Page Views:</b> 1,514,034 <b><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/120oqd/i_am_south_korean_singer_rapper_composer_dancer/c6r6t4p" target="_hplink">Top Comment:</a></b> <a href="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-j7jNEls3Fz0/UBKnVLO1SdI/AAAAAAAALCQ/yMKYZUaXBw4/s640/Untitled_psy.png" target="_hplink">"Why were you so mad at that girl's ass?"</a> Psy's answer: "because her ass was so mad"
7. The 10-Year Civilization 2 Game
<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/uxpil/ive_been_playing_the_same_game_of_civilization_ii/" target="_hplink">"I've been playing the same game of Civilization II for almost 10 years. This is the result." </a><b>Total Page Views:</b> 1,514,034 <b><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/uxpil/ive_been_playing_the_same_game_of_civilization_ii/c4zi6pr" target="_hplink">Top Comment:</a></b> "...Diplomacy's failed in this world, you've got to hit em hard and take over the world for the greater good."
6. Funniest GIF
<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/vuxrt/what_gif_makes_you_laugh_every_single_time/" target="_hplink">"What GIF makes you laugh every single time?" </a><b>Total Page Views:</b> 1,749,185 <b>Top Comment:</b> See picture.
5. The Mysterious $50 Bill
<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/weo8j/today_a_homeless_looking_man_handed_me_50_and/" target="_hplink">Today, a homeless looking man handed me $50 and this note. Do any of you have any idea what it means?</a> <b>Total Page Views:</b> 1,756,748 <b><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/weo8j/today_a_homeless_looking_man_handed_me_50_and/c5cpa3m" target="_hplink">Top Comment:</a></b> A Reddit user deciphered a coded message written on the note: "It comes out to: There's plenty more money to make figure this out and prepare to meet july 19 fifty sixth and sixth hot dog stand outside * cafe ask for mister *" </b> <a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/weo8j/today_a_homeless_looking_man_handed_me_50_and/c5cw4r7" target="_hplink">Another Reddit user compiled the extensive work of Reddit sleuths</a> who investigated the legitimacy of the post.
4. What Do You Look Like Before/After Makeup?
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3. What's Your Favorite Picture On The Internet?
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2. What Picture Can't You See Without Laughing?
<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/yvg8j/whats_your_picture_you_cant_see_without_laughing/" target="_hplink">"What's your 'picture you can't see without laughing'?"</a> <b>Total Page Views:</b> 2,450,140 <b><a href="http://www.oliandalex.com/james-face" target="_hplink">Top Comment:</a></b> "James Face"
1. Barack Obama's AMA
<a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/z1c9z/i_am_barack_obama_president_of_the_united_states/" target="_hplink">"I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA"</a> <b>Total Page Views:</b> 5,598,171 <b><a href="http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/z1c9z/i_am_barack_obama_president_of_the_united_states/c60o0iw" target="_hplink">Top Comment:</a></b> One Reddit user compiled a list of all the questions and answers from the AMA. The President's unannounced "Ask Me Anything" session on August 29th immediately went viral, and the sudden surge of visitors <a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57502863-38/obama-answers-live-questions-on-reddit-crashes-servers/" target="_hplink">caused Reddit's servers to crash</a>. Though Obama <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/obama-reddit-ask-me-anything_n_1843568.html" target="_hplink">dodged some tough questions that were upvoted heavily by Reddit's users</a>, he still managed to answer 20 questions in a little under an hour on the site. Topics included student loan debt, increasing funds for NASA and the White House beer recipe. Obama described his Reddit experience as "NOT BAD", a reference to an <a href="http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/obama-rage-face-not-bad" target="_hplink">Obama meme frequently used on the site</a>. The thread has 24,000 comments.
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