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?)

Gartner’s social network framework roles

Which one are you ?

Connecters, who bridge groups of people, have contacts in different social groups and enjoy introducing people to each other

Salesmen, who have extensive social connections and are defined by their tendency to persuade people to do things, buy certain products and act in certain ways

Seekers, who connect with other people to find out the information, skills and obligations they need to conduct their daily lives. When seekers go shopping, they tend to seek advice from experts who tell them which are the best gadgets to buy, where to get them and at what prices

Mavens, who are knowledge exchangers or information brokers. They are experts in particular areas, and other people go to them for advice. Mavens aren’t out to persuade people, but use and acquire information for their own interests. According to Gartner, firms that reach out to mavens could come unstuck because these individuals are as happy spreading negative commentary about a product or company as a positive message

Self-sufficients, who prefer to find out for themselves what they need to know. Gartner stresses that this group can be tough to target because they are relatively impermeable to viral influences and bandwagon effects

Unclassifieds, who did not definitively fall into any of the social network categories and made up two-thirds of the survey.