OK, not really. AOL didn’t start saying “You’ve Got Mail” until 1989.
But this month marks the 40 year anniversary of electronic mail, better known as email.
In October of 1971, Ray Tomlinson sent the world’s first email. That little push of a button would eventually change the world forever.
As reported by thenextweb.com, Tomlinson worked for a research and development company tasked to create a computer program that could send messages to different users on a single computer.
Tomlinson took his job one step further, attempting to send messages between different computers. He did so by incorporating the ‘@’ symbol to distinguish between the different machines or networks to send the messages to.
Email became widely used on ARPANET, which was a military communications system. It would later become public on the World Wide Web.
Similar to the roots of modern email, social networking has a long and rich history.
A few years after the first ever recorded email was sent, two Duke University graduate students began working on a class project that would transform the tech world. They created a computer based communications network known as Usenet and it was released to the general public that following year.
Built over the same ARPANET framework as email, Usenet was similar to email in a lot of ways. One key difference was the social aspect of Usenet, which shared messages publicly. Anybody with access to a News Server could read them.
Unlike early email, Usenet was readily available to the masses. You could connect to others and share your ideas globally, rather than just individually.
For the first time you could have a conversation with all different types of people from all over the world. It was the place to network online.
Usenet is even more social today than it was 30 years ago.
Each day, users upload more than 9 Terabytes of information to Usenet.
With an account from Binverse, you get access to all of that data. And with binary retention of more than 1,000 days, you are sure to find just about anything you are looking for.
Email and Usenet may both be getting on in years, but they remain as useful as ever. When something works, it works.
Don’t be surprised when they are both around for another 40 years!