The Very First Social Network - How a 1979 chain email about science fiction spawned the internet we know today
The crux for me out of this article is:
"Fortunately for all of us who are reading this article online today, this is when Vint Cerf entered the scene. As a young researcher in the nascent field of computer science, Cerf recognized this compatibility problem would keep computerized communication from ever scaling. So he and his friend Robert Kahn designed a single common protocol that could govern the transmission of data across an exponentially expanding “network of networks,” or “internet.” The adaptable framework, TCP/IP, allowed the original ARPANET to bind together all of these mini-networks that had been springing up around the world—and it remains the backbone of the internet this day."
If we'd let Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc create the Internet today we'd have separate Internets and e-mail that would only go to others using the same mail server service that we use. Totally unacceptable and the Internet would never have taken off.
So why do we allow walled gardens for social networks still? Why are we not demanding to be able to post in the network of our choice (think say GMail for e-mail) and then have our post be followed or read at any other social network being used by others (such as Microsoft Exchange mail or Thunderbid Mail)?
Why is it today that private profit-driven companies get to decide they can wall us in and sell our data? It's because of the principles of the original Internet are no longer upheld as the primary driving force, and the few individuals who still hold those principles dear, are not easily heard and have often themselves moved on to using some other open platform.
We should be demanding open standards which allow inter-communication whilst still letting individual social networks flourish with their own offerings, but in this way users can move on to another competitor and social media companies must compete and innovate to keep their users.
When commercial interests overtake those of the Internet's users it is not a good thing in the long run for users (consumers).
The biggest thing are OPEN: USB ports, metric measures, e-mail, TCP/IP, AAA batteries, and many more. If you want something to go really big and last many decades it has to bew open!
|SF-LOVERS: the Little-Known Story of the Internet’s First Social Network
It all started with a chain email the Pentagon tried to shut down.