A Brief History of Social Media (Strictly From My Perspective)

I had originally had this in my article “Most People Don’t Get Social Media“, but I felt like it detracted from the point of, so…I decided to make this into a separate article.

Here goes:

In the beginning, there was IRC Chat. Great service.

IRC Chat Room

Then came along chat rooms. I am a big fan of chat rooms, and really miss the days of AOL and MSN Chat.

Sure, I’ll toss in ICQ, but that was more of a messenger service than anything. Nevertheless, people more or less “moved” from IRC to the chat rooms, and chat rooms drew in hordes of new people with the idea of being able to meet/chat with other people (that they had never met) in real time.

It was pretty great…until MSN shut it down for good. Something about pedophiles constantly trolling for new victims. Sadness all the way around.

All was not lost however, as I know that my old crew (Chat Dallas) had moved on in 2003 to something called “MySpace”…more specifically, my old friend Becky (a grandmother at 32, which was weird and totally awesome at the same time) had told me about it. Once I checked it out, I was hooked.

Myspace Login Page

There was just one small problem.

You see, MySpace wanted to be different, more so than everyone else. In fact, they wanted to be so different, that they used an entirely different software platform to base their social networking site on. What Tom was thinking, I’ll never know. Now, while having the option of changing your page with different themes (or “skins”) was certainly appealing, it caused major problems for others to actually be able to view one’s page…which was the whole purpose of MySpace to begin with.

I remembered that I tried in vain to get this one particular Lamborghini skin to format correctly with my page…little did I know that that was the precursor to me being a webmaster one day. Who knew.

Be that as it may, as great as MySpace was (for picking up chicks), I was pretty fed up with it. Between the formatting issues and the auto-player that played some annoying song every single time I went to check out someone else’s page, I was done.

Luckily, my former colleague and friend Krisonda had invited me to this thing called the Facebook in 2005. Of course, wanting to move on to the “next big thing”, I went in and set up a profile. For the most part, I thought that it was pretty cool, although I thought that not being able to change the way it looked was pretty lame. Still, if it meant that it would work right, then I was on board with it.

The Facebook

I didn’t use it for two years…in fact, I think that FB purposely deleted my account for that reason. Or that I wasn’t in college. Or both.

Not one to be thwarted by the Facebook, I fired up another account in 2007, and even though I only had a few friends (oddly enough, I’m still friends with the original five to this day on the FB), I was trying to use it as much as possible.

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 1.19.47 AM

I decided the best way to use it more was to start inviting more people to use it. Of course, this met with some resistance, but eventually…everyone migrated over. I want to say around the spring of 2009 is when I started using FB on a daily basis, mostly with my cousins Paul, John (identical twins), and their brother Dave, along with my brother Joe.

Did I mention that my brother Joe found my cousin Paul on FB? Pretty cool stuff. I still keep in touch with all of them, especially John. In fact, I’m due for another 30-plus minute call to him soon…

Anyways, so for all intents and purposes, Facebook is where it’s at. Even though other social networks like Pinterest, Instagram, tumblr, about.me, etc. are gaining ground fast, “the FB” (as I like to call it) is still the top dog of them all.

Oh, I left out Google+…no wait, not really. They’re the Rocky Maivia of the social networking world, in that we’re being forced to use it. Against our will.

Screen Shot 2014-02-09 at 2.23.47 AM

“Die, Rocky, Die” chants would work here, except Google+ is pretty much on life support now…with almost no chance of resuscitation. I know that the Googles have lured businesses and internet marketers into using it by promising them the moon (the moon equals a higher ranking in the SERPs), but eventually, they will put an end to that as well.

Where is social media going to go from here? Who knows, but whoever is able to knockoff the Facebook from its throne will be the new face of it all…

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