Nothing’s really new…

A quick post as I am preparing my slides for the knowledge management talk I’m delivering on Thursday.

In the slides, one of the key points is that the internet from the very beginning was designed as a tool for recording and sharing knowledge. I get to cover some of my favourite ground, talking about amazing people like Vannevar Bush, Doug Englebart, Ted Nelson and of course Tim Berners-Lee.

One thing I haven’t been able to squeeze in, but a story I love, is that of the Community Memory project.

I may as well just steal the text from Wikipedia:

Community Memory was the first public computerized bulletin board system. Established in 1973 in Berkeley, California, it used an SDS 940 timesharing system in San Francisco connected via a 110 baud link to a teletype at a record store in Berkeley to let users enter and retrieve messages.

While initially conceived as an information and resource sharing network linking a variety of counter-cultural economic, educational, and social organizations with each other and the public, Community Memory was soon generalized to be an information flea market. Once the system became available, the users demonstrated that it was a general communications medium that could be used for art, literature, journalism, commerce, and social chatter.

It other words, it used a terminal in a record shop, attached to a big mainframe miles away. It brought computing power to people who would never normally go near it. It was leapt upon by people, who used it to share information, buy and sell stuff, talk to other people.

Sounds a bit hyperlocal to me.

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Dave Briggs

I'm an experienced senior manager in digital and ICT, looking for interim engagements to modernise technology teams to help organisations transform.