There are not many things new in life, or in IT. I was reminded recently that there have been predecessors to Twitter, as in Before There Was Twitter, There Was Dave Winer’s Instant Outliner.
I can add another one: CompuServe. In the late 1980s, I got onto CompuServe because I reckoned that I had to build some experience on communicating electronically; South Africa in those days didn’t yet have the Internet. I became a member of an interest group for data warehousing, the IT field I was in.
It took a while before I became part of what we would now call a social network, but once my connections had got to a certain level I got invited on international conference calls, and made contact with a data warehouse consultant who I eventually worked with at data warehouse DBMS vendor Redbrick.
So while we look at technologies like Twitter as revolutionary, it’s worthwhile remembering that other technologies paved the way; and in twenty years time we may be remembering Twitter like I did CompuServe