April 11, 2011

Harvard Business Review Blog Network

There are lessons to be learned from Usenet, the “Facebook of the ’80s.”

Alexandra Samuel writes:

..if you look at the longer history of the social Web, it’s clear that
some principles have been around for a long time. And nothing brings
those principles into focus like a look at the social Web’s first big
controversy, all the way back in 1987: The Great Renaming.

“The Great Renaming” refers to a major shift in the structure of usenet provider, the massive distributed discussion board system; the Facebook of the ’80s.

She goes on to say that the social Web’s three core principles, that it should be “free, open and participatory,” have been around since the Usenet’s struggle with growth and reorganization in the 1980s. And that the principles of “free, open and participatory” have historically been a driving force on the Internet and the social Web’s equivalent to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

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