History of Social Network Sites

On August 17, 2007 by Christy

Danah Boyd has asked for feedback on an article she is writing with Nicole Ellison on the ‘History of Social Network Sites’. Here is an excerpt:

The first recognizable social network site launched in 1997.   SixDegrees.com allowed users to come to the site, create profiles and list their Friends.   The site promoted the ways that users could connect with and send messages to Friends based on degree (SixDegrees.com, 1999). While SixDegrees attracted millions, it was before its time (Weinreich, 2007).  While people were already flocking to the Internet, most did not have extended networks of friends who were online. Some participants also complained that the site provided very little incentive to return following the articulation of one’s network; meeting strangers was not in vogue.   SixDegrees closed its doors in 2000.

Read the work in progress and give feedback

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Cross-Media + Transmedia Entertainment » Blog Archive » Trebor Scholz's History of the Social Web :

    […] After my post about Danah Boyd’s exploration of the history of social network sites, Trebor Scholz has developed his own. It is pretty comprehensive: This is a cross-cultural, critical history of social life on the Internet. It captures technical, cultural, and political events that influenced the evolution of computer-assisted person-to-person communication via the net. Acknowledging the role of grassroots movements, this history does not solely focus on mainstream culture with all its mergers, acquisitions, sales and markets, and the (mostly male) geeks, engineers, scientists, and garage entrepreneurs who implemented their dreams in hardware and software. It does trace the changing nature of labor and typologies of those who create value online as much as it searches for changing approaches toward control, privacy, and intellectual property. This history shows strategies for direct social change based on the technologies and practices, which already exist. […]

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