Who coined the term Social Media?

Tina Sharkley of babycenter.com claims that she is one of the first to use the term “Social Media”. She bought the domain http://www.socialmedia.com/ in 1999. However as a past employee of AOL, her colleagues there, an AOL execiutive Ted Leonsis and founder Steve Case says there were using the term when talking about AOL instant messenger.

In May 1995 however, Darrell Berry ( twitter ) wrote a paper on Social Media Spaces before the internet had evolved into what it is now.  Back in the days “cybercafes” were popping up all over the place, the mix of internet and video conferencing matched with the social experience of a cafe made for these “social media spaces”.  It was these concepts of “spaces” that can really be seen as the forerunners to our current set of technologies, especially the massive uptake of mobile in recent years.

So he not only talked about social media but also about augmented reality which is something that we now see in the mobile arena in the form of apps like Wikitude World Browser and Acrossair Nearest Tube.

Excerpt below:

Augmented Reality

Strict adherence to the principle of spatial isomorphism implies a one-to-one mapping between real and virtual objects and spaces. However, the desire to create fictional virtual spaces still remains. Where then are we to build invisible cities, when there is no real location to map them against (assuming the desire to preserve the connectedness and continuity of real-space geography)?

One solution, and that adopted (with a variation) in the Ku 24 project, is to build virtual space which overlays unused real space; thus a virtual library (containing texts which have no physical counterparts) may be located in cyberspace in the purely virtual sub-basement or topmost floor of a real library itself represented as a hybrid reality; or an entire virtual community situated over a desert or under the sea, creating an augmented reality.

Such strategies extend the hybrid reality, without compromising the principle of spatial isomorphism of extant social space (whether it is worth preserving the characteristics of non-social space is open to question…is real desert more valuable or interesting mapped to virtual desert, or to a virtual cinema?)

Author: Andrew Penrose

IBM STSM, AI Applications Member, IBM Academy of Technology. IBM Master Inventor.

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