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Brad IdeasDec 01, 2022
A Taxonomy of Social Media to help in understanding what Twitter is
Topic: InternetMedia Town square in front of Seoul City Hall on protest day

To understand online media -- which now date back close to 50 years -- it's worth looking at a taxonomy of sorts for all the parameters of a social or publishing platform. These can be viewed as axes though they are not quite independent. With the new controversy over Twitter, it's interesting to examine Twitter's place in the space of online social media, what may have made it a success, and what else might compete with it.

Many of these parameters also apply to traditional media, but some are new, or expanded by things going online. In particular, media that are social and not just publishing are new to the online world.

Online media began on timesharing services -- indeed, Plato, which was the first, dates back to 1960, though it become more sophisticated and social in the 1970s. The first multicomputer network social medium was Arpanet mailing lists, the first created by Dave Farber. The Late 70s saw the arrival of online services, dial-up BBSs, and USENET, which was the seat of community for the internet during the entire 1980s and some of the 1990s, though there were several other popular networks such as IRC, Fido, and more. The mid-1990s saw the arrival of the web browser and website and an explosion of media, as well as a

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