We wanted to take a minute and look back at how far we have come in interpersonal web-communication! We have come up with a very basic timeline that we feel covers the most influential and substantial changes in how we’ve communicated with each other on the internet.
AOL: AOL was really one of the first huge internet service providers allowing users to access the web via dial-up connections through their phone lines. This opened us up to using e-mail communications and AOL chatrooms. The Chatrooms enabled us to connect and speak immediately with other people in specific designated areas of common enjoyment, maybe cooking, guitar or even singles between the ages of 32-55. There has been nothing else like this available up to this point.
Xanga & Live Journal: Blogging and the beginnings of social media. Xanga was one of the first opportunities to have your own personal page that you could edit, blog upon and connect with friends. Live Journal was another way to connect with people who shared common interests with you.
MySpace: The next step in social media development! This was mainly focused on being a music-sharing site that allowed users to send private messages, have a public profile, in addition to posting updates about yourself. This was a huge step towards where we are with social media today.
Facebook: Coming on in 2004 this company is now 9 years old and most of us in the office have been members for 5 years or longer. Being active users for so long means a number of things – we’ve been with Facebook through the thick and thin, developments and changes as well as privacy and data usage changes. Facebook is going to be a huge player in the social media realm for quite a while and we are excited to grow right along with it.
Twitter: Wow, another current powerhouse. This allows us to share a lot of information very quickly. There is almost too much information available and shared, but that is a great way to increase organic visibility. We see this company also playing a part in social trends in the next few years.
Pinterest, Instagram & Google+: Again, Wow! Let’s begin with Pinterest. This is an awesome way to try to connect with a very specific demographic if you are able to visually market your products, services, customer engagement in an aesthetically pleasing manner. We love Pinterest and it’s SEO and link building capabilities are wonderful. Instagram, recently acquired by Facebook, this free photo tool is a lot of fun and easy to use. We are still waiting on final verdicts to decide if we will continue to use the program so the jury is still out. Google+ is Google’s second attempt at social media after Buzz. This one definitely stuck around better and feels like and looks like a mix of a few different current social media avenues available. We feel this is an invaluable service due to its direct link to Google for better SEO and placement.