“IF EVERYBODY’S DOING IT, THERE’S A LOT OF GUYS DOING IT” (Tom Cruise in The Color of Money) or A Little History of the Internet
By Gayle O’Connor – As a recovering law librarian, I remember being an early adopter of the Internet over 25 years ago. I recall sitting in my office using DOS commands on a black screen with blinking letters pushing me onto my next command. Thanks to Al Gore for inventing the Internet, right? LOL.
I was one of the first users of the Lexis Ubiq Terminal with the chiclet keyboard. I actually had to tear the perforations off both sides of the printed pages, (Ye, gads) and I vividly remember the sounds of the clunky printer chugging along inside the printing case. Oh yes, with no internal pagination. Oh my, how times have changed.
The next big thing I remember were the first pictures appearing on the web. It was of a spaceflight and I was amazed seeing actual shots from outer space right there on my computer screen. How could it get better than this? Well, it did when along came the first meme, the dancing baby A.K.A. “Baby Cha-Cha,” which was an unsettlingly pixelated animated video of a dancing baby that, in the late ’90s, became so popular it boogied its way onto Ally McBeal! Who remembers that? You KNOW you do!
Well, let’s jump into today and ask that question again…how much further can we take this? I can’t see the future but who would have ever thought that Facebook, thirteen years after launching, would have 2 billion users. The population of China and India combined is 2.7 billion or 36.41% of the total world population. I could have never imagined 30 years ago that if Facebook were a country, it would be the most populous nation on earth.
Two billion users also makes Facebook the largest social media application in terms of logged-in users, above YouTube’s 1.5 billion, WeChat’s 889 million, Twitter’s 328 million and Snapchat’s estimated 255 million (extrapolated from its December 2015 ratio when it had 110 million daily and 170 million monthly users). Beyond YouTube, only Facebook’s other apps have more than 1 billion, including WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, with 1.2 billion each. Instagram might soon join that club as it recently rocketed past 700 million. Blah, blah, blah, right? No, wrong.
The fact is, the world of social media and the Internet is a business. Because of the massive amount of information posted daily, it is critical and necessary for everyone to treat it as such. Look at the above graphic…really look at what happens in just ONE MINUTE on the Internet: 452,000 Tweets sent, 120 new LinkedIn accounts created, 156 million emails sent, 16 million text messages, 900 thousand logins on Facebook…it is overwhelming to think this is all happening in just one minute.
So, for those of you naysayers that think social media is “just a fad”, you are sorely mistaken. It is a source of business contacts, information, eDiscovery, lies, instructions, helpful tips, incredible mind-blowing statistics, and it’s here to stay. I am grateful that I have been around to watch the growth and be an actual part of the numbers. History in the making.
What are some of your early memories??? Post and share!!!
Gayle O’Connor is a legal technology consultant with 30 years’ experience specializing in legal marketing, particularly social media, content marketing, speaking, and websites. She is currently working as the Marketing Manager at Social Evidence, a cloud-based application designed to discover, organize, analyze, and authenticate specific social media evidence. She was recently named as an Honoree in the 5,000 strong membership of Women in eDiscovery. Gayle was previously the Marketing Manager at Degan, Blanchard and Nash, a large law firm located in New Orleans. Gayle is also a former trial technician for the federal public defenders, a marketing director for numerous legal software providers and has taught legal research at law schools. Additionally, she has been a featured speaker at American Lawyer Media LegalTech Events, ABA TECHSHOW, Online World, Special Libraries Association, Washington State Paralegal Association, National Business Institute, ABA Litigation Section Meetings, local Bar Associations throughout the U.S., and international organizations such as the Law Society of British Columbia and the New Zealand Law Society. She can be reached at email@example.com, www.social-evidence.com or @gaylemoconnor.
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