Social Media: From Gas and Dust to Planets
It all started with the introduction of the web to the world, not so long ago. Although the Internet was developed in the 60s, the world wide web (the world-wide network) was launched in 1989. It was developed by Tim Berners-Lee on a computer that was designed by a team including Steve Jobs.
The first pages were based on a black-and-white and text-based structure and were primarily intended to provide information. This period, called Web 1.0, was a time when there was no interaction, users had no say contrary to today, and the information transfer was unilateral. During this period people were just as passive as television viewers.
Web 2.0 Era
By 2004, this situation had changed completely, but this period didn’t have a new name yet. A conference organized by MediaLive International and attended by major companies such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, Amazon and Ebay, introduced the concept of Web 2.0 while discussing the developments and the future of the web.
Tim O’Reilly's Web2.0 concept included a number of new applications and services that enabled the creation of an interactive environment and structure, and included tools to implement many applications. Because Web2.0 was such a great idea, it was not possible to create it with a single tool. At the moment, these tools are also called social tools. Now we know that this is a revolution and we live in it. The Internet is no longer an environment in which the content or product is prepared and delivered and consumed. It has become a platform where it is produced, shared and transferred with the participants.
Social Media Platforms
The first social site of the world was founded seven years before that conference. sixdegrees.com was founded in 1997 and was able to give users the ability to create profiles and send messages for the first time, firing a change that even they were not aware of. (The Six Degrees theory is a mathematical theory that all people in the world connect to each other with just 6 degrees of people. For example, they claim that you can connect with the former US President Barack Obama through 6 degrees of people.)
Later, friendship sites such as Asianavenue, Blackplanet, Migente and Cyworld followed sixdegrees.
After 2004, websites such as Myspace, Facebook, Youtube, Friendfeed, Twitter, Instagram entered our lives and today we spend almost all of our time online in these social tools. The television is replaced by our mobile phones where we can directly interact with.
It’s almost like this new technology that has entered our lives has started with a gas and dust cloud.
Social Media is a Big Part of Our Lives
If we compare older generation, non-interactive websites to distant galaxies that we know but we have no information about them, we can think of websites like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and Instagram as the planet we are living on right now. And whether we like it or not, we have to position ourselves according to this new world. It doesn't seem very difficult to choose the side that makes sense in the thin line between being a part of change and being changed.
In the years to come, the Internet will become invisible and actually become a part of us, like one of our organs. It is very easy to follow this change over time step by step, starting from the past, because all of this information is now available on the Internet.
Access to information has never been easier. Now we can trace everything back to our present day by following the fresh footsteps of social media in the past and we can plan our future accordingly.