The Roots of Social Networking

June 25th, 2012 by Benj Edwards

The Roots of Social Networking Slideshow on

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Friendster, and the 15th anniversary of the launch of, the first social networking website.

Up now on is a slideshow (created by yours truly) to celebrate these anniversaries by examining the world of computerized social networking in the pre-Web era. It covers the usual suspects like Usenet, CompuServe, and BBSes, plus some surprising early services of which you may not have heard. I hope you enjoy it.

As a side note, I’d like to add that this will be my last slideshow edited by Ed Albro, my long-time PC World editor whom I have worked with since 2008. It’s been a pleasure working with Ed, and I wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

2 Responses to “The Roots of Social Networking”

  1. jarson Says:

    Another great slideshow. I had completely forgotten about Quantum Link!

  2. Ant Says:

    I had Prodigy on 2400 dial-up modems (still remember my account ID!) before I got addicted to BBSes and then Internet. 🙂

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