Chapter 23. Social Networks

Social networking is as old as humans have been around. Just as in nearly every other species, humans have an instinctual need to be with, communicate with, and share thoughts, ideas, and feelings about their daily lives. Only the tools in which we communicate have changed over the millennium.

The earliest recorded human conversation goes back to before history itself (prehistoric), even before the spoken and the written word. We see evidence of this early communication in cave paintings on the walls and ceilings that shared the most important stories of their times; the hunt with their tribe or clan. These earliest European cave paintings date back some 32,000 years. The oldest of these paleolithic cave paintings were found in Lascaux, France.

As time passed, technology improved. Over the last 6,000 years, we used drums to communicate with other like-minded people, then it was bells in towers, and the written word in books, newspapers, and letters. Over our grandparents' lifetimes we have seen the invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio, television, mobile phones, Internet, and now social media. The basic need to connect hasn't changed in thousands of years, only the technology we use to make that connection.

The following companies are carrying on this 40 millennium tradition with new and innovative ways for us to connect, gather, share, and document those conversations. As you read each profile, keep in mind that its features and functions may or ...

Get The Social Media Bible: Tactics, Tools, and Strategies for Business Success, Second Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.