My First Online Social Network

Russian cameras

(WORLD) Back in 2001 I purchased a little russian camera called a Lomo LCA and joined the accompanying online Lomography site.

It was platform where you could create your own page, add in your personal details, upload your images taken by the camera (after scanning them in one by one and saving them to the correct specified size), sort them into albums, leave comments on other peoples pics, add them as friends, enter competitions, send each private messages and updates—sounds familiar?

All this in 2001.

Not before long, I had made ‘friends’ with lomographers from all over the globe, met Mark, connected with my first business mentor, met in person people I’ve only known virtually on lomowalks, swapped ideas, swapped stories, swapped films etc

Then in 2003 the Lomohomes got updated which meant you could update more than just your images. The site got a diary function and here’s my first entry:

Tue 26.08.2003 13:24:55 CET

….it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day….

well well well – weblogs now, what will the funky munkys from lomoheaven think of next…..?

not too happy with the ‘snot green’ everywhere although everything else i like.

well happy with my lomohome at the moment – feeling a little smug with my new pics from the eastpak event! thanx to everyone who attended and all those who threw down some massive tricks….you guys are nutters!

well i will try and keep this up-to-date with pics and my scribblings! i guess the biggest piece of news is that in 3 weeks and one days’ time i’ll be in vegas with the two darrens from back home in wales….look out!

till next time……

I was an active member of the community till early 2005 when I turned my attention for other things going on in my life.

Apart from a couple of things like the advancement of technology convergence into our mobile devices and other stuff like geolocation not much else has changed in the world of online networks. Sure, we’ve seen different iterations but at it’s core it’s all about creating spaces for people to connect and communicate with each other. Simple as that.

So what was your first foray into social networking?

Was it the old-boys, safe and stuffy LinkedIn? The terse and funky Twitter? Maybe it was all-conquering Facebook? Or perhaps you’re an arty type and it was DeviantArt? Are they much different?

7 thoughts on “My First Online Social Network”

  1. Around 2003 I remember dismissing Friendster as cliquey crap without even trying it. (I may have been correct though, who knows?)

    So the first social network platform I joined was Myspace. It was magnificent.

    It’s still a massively popular site today. But people outside its demographic can overlook that.

    I think the web itself is a social network platform albeit sprawling, very messy and sometimes unreliable. Yet probably the best. Actually definitely the best because it contains every single other one.

  2. Lomography for me, just like DK states – my shots are still online from there too:

    When they introduced the blogging feature, a lot of people didn’t bother with it, but I loved it and jumped in posting multiple times a day – my job at the time was really dull and I had plenty of content to bitch and moan about. Sadly when the site ‘transformed’ to a new version they didn’t carry the blogs over, so I’ve lost everything :/

    great days though – mark

  3. Popbitch, Knowhere and Napster got me though a lot of boring days at work circa 99. Their demise taught me that social networking is pointless unless the identity and the relationships you create in that network can be taken with you. The only ones that lasted from the early days were those that were further developed offline and became personal. These days I guess you need to make sure your networks are working for you and you have the right people in the right places. Splitting work and personal connections is a must. If you’re online without an assumed identity, you need to be very careful how you present yourself…because you are creating your own digital legacy which might bite you in the ass one day.

  4. >Splitting work and personal connections is a must.

    Jim, I don’t think I’d want to generalise on this point. It’s possible to get a lot from mixing the two or not seeing a distinction. When you open up to serendipity it can pay off (in whatever you’re aiming to do). But like anything it should be an individual decision. I guess it depends on the kind of work you do and the kind of personal exploits you get up to!

  5. @Jim: the mention of Knowhere just gave me flashbacks! I used that a fair bit back in the day. Is it still in existence?? *Googles* Wow, it is This could have been Wikipedia if it had enough investment behind it. That’s also made me think about all the forums that I used to join and hang about it – technically a ‘social network’ I guess… if so, then I’m already back into the late 90s!

    @Carl: Agree and disagree – splitting work and personal connections _is_ important if your mates are complete idiots! But then I’m sure you agree also there. However yes, separating them purely on the basis of work/personal is counter-intuitive these days – unless you’re involved in the military maybe?

    Thanks both for contributing.

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