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Social Media: Past, Present, & Future

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Social Media: Past, Present, & Future

Contessa R. Dishong

Computer Literacy 103

Mrs. Tracey Johnson

July 12, 2012

Social media has come a long way since the first internet company provided service to the United States in 1969. Social media has changed people's lives, the way they do things, see things, and even connect with others around the world. In this paper I will provide you with history on how it all began, the six different types of social media, how it helps the community, and the possibilities for the future.

Throughout the years since the creation of social media, many influences and technology advancements have made social media to be what it is today, and I plan on pointing out what I feel was the most significant. "When was the last time you actually set pen to paper and mailed off a personal letter to someone? It's probably been awhile -- and the man to blame is Ray Tomlinson (NPR 2009)." In 1971 Ray Tomlinson, of Boston started working with computers to build the communication between coworkers, thus email was born. Now forty-one years later there are a plethora of email companies to name a few some are Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, and even email style messaging on social network sites. In my opinion, Ray Tomlinson set the way for those to stay in contact in great distances especially when a quicker yet smart version of email came to be called instant messaging.

In the 1990's American Online, better known, as AOL was one of the leading instant messaging companies since it was renamed from Quantum Computer Services, which started the phrase You Got Mail. "AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) is a brand company which opened in 1985, committed to continuously innovating, growing, and investing in brands and experiences that inform, entertain, and connect the world (AOL Inc. 2012)." Instant messaging like email was another way for the community to stay in touch. It came to be that businesses started using it instead of getting up and going to the coworker's office. When I was an Executive Assistant the VP would message me saying he needed a certain flight booked or a memo typed. Instant messaging just made communication easier, I like to call it text messaging for computers.

Besides the creation of emails and instant messaging social networking, broke ground in 2002 when a social site called Friendster was opened to the United States followed by MySpace in 2003. "Facebook, another social networking website, was started for students at Harvard College. It was referred to at the time as a college version of Friendster (Dr. Curtis, Anthony 2011). Social networking was and is a new way to stay in contact especially with old classmates; it has changed how we communicate. It is a way to stay in each other's lives through statuses, pictures, games, and messaging. This internet phenomenon is like its own online community, but like any community, there are risks. Just like in the real world safety is an issue, social networking on social sites can be harmful because of viruses from games, theft if you put too much of your identity information out there, and privacy. In the present day, privacy is an issue and probably always will be. For instance, when you post something it becomes public domain and the copyright has little to no bearing on your item. Six years later "Facebook's rapid growth moved it above 400 million users, while MySpace users declined to 57 million users, down from a peak of about 75 million (Dr. Curtis, Anthony 2011)." The growth was fast and social networking within social media continues to climb.

First and foremost according to Kaplan and Haenlein there are six types of social media; collaborative projects, blogs & micro blogs, contents communities, social networking sites, virtual gameworlds, and virtual social worlds. In this next section, I will be opening the door to the six types of social media and the sites or companies that represent what each is. Collaborative projects such as Wikipedia, is a free encyclopedia, which was created at the turn of the millennium when the fear of Y2K died a year later. Next is blogs & micro blogs, some popular ones being Twitter, Weebly, Xanga, Posterous, and Tumblr. Blogging was created when "Not surprisingly, customers were outraged and vented their anger in a wave of negative comments on blogs, micro-blogs (e.g., Twitter), and social networking sites (e.g., Facebook) (Kaplan & Haenlein 2011)." "Twitter undoubtedly the most popular member of a large group of Internet-based applications called micro blogs, which allows users to exchange small elements of content such as short sentences, individual images, or video links (Kaplan & Haenlein 2010 p.61)." Micro blogging was a technologic version of a journal or a diary just if hacked all your secrets are out in the open.

The third of Kaplan and Haenleins social media types was contents communities; content communities for instance Youtube. Youtube

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