The Big Picture’s Barry Ritholtz links to a fascinating Skloog infographic about the history of social media.
Although the chart includes the 550 BC postal service, the history of social media “technology” begins in 1792 with the telegraph. It describes the late 1990s as the start of social media’s modern era.
I was especially glad to see the timeline include Compuserve, Usenet and BBS systems as early technological pioneers. Although they didn’t call it “social media” at the time, these types of services created the foundation for the online social networks we use today.