Social Media Archeology and Poetics


Just published: Social Media Archeology and Poetics, edited by Judy Malloy.

I’m one of the 35 contributors to this book, with a chapter titled “PLATO: The Emergence of Online Community” (which you can read here.)

From the book jacket:

Focusing on early social media in the arts and humanities and on the core role of creative computer scientists, artists, and scholars in shaping the pre-Web social media landscape, Social Media Archeology and Poetics documents social media lineage, beginning in the 1970s with collaborative ARPANET research, Community Memory, PLATO, Minitel, and ARTEX and continuing into the 1980s and beyond with the Electronic Cafe, ARt Com Electronic Network, Arts Wire, The THING, and many more.

With first-person accounts from pioneers in the field, as well as papers by artists, scholars, and curators, Social Media Archeology and Poetics documents how these platforms were vital components of early social networking and important in the development of new media and electronic literature. It describes platforms that allowed artists and musicians to share and publish their work, community networking diversity, and the creation of footholds for the arts and humanities online. And it invites comparisons of social media in the past and present, asking: What can we learn from early social media that will inspire us to envision a greater cultural presence on contemporary social media?


  1. The Origins of Social Media, by Judy Malloy
  2. The Personal Computer and Social Media, by Paul E. Ceruzzi
  3. Daily Life in Cyberspace: How the Computerized Counterculture Built a New Kind of Place, by Howard Rheingold
  4. Community Memory: The First Public-Access Social Media System, by Lee Felsenstein
  5. PLATO: The Emergence of Online Community, by David R. Woolley
  6. alt.hypertext: An Early Social Medium, by James Blustein and Ann-Barbara Graff
  7. DictatiOn: A Canadian Perspective on the History of Telematic ARt, by Hank Bull
  8. Art and Minitel in France in the 1980s, by Annick Bureaud
  9. Rescension and Precedential Media, by Steve Dietz
  10. Defining the Image as Place: A Conversation with Kit Galloway, Sherrie Rabinowitz, and Gene Youngblood, by Steven Durland
  11. IN.S.Omnia, 1983-1993, by Rob Wittig
  12. Art Com Electronic Network: A Conversation with Fred Truck and Anna Couey, by Judy Malloy
  13. System X: Interview with Founding Sysop Scot McPhee, by Amanda McDonald Crowley
  14. In search of Identities in the Digital Humanities: The Early History of Humanist, by Julianne Nyhan
  15. Echo, by Stacy Horn
  16. MOOs and Participatory Media, by Dene Grigar
  17. Hacking the Voice of the Shuttle: The Growth and Death of a Boundary Object, by Alan Liu
  18. Community Netowrking: The Native American Telecommunications Continuum, by Randy Ross (Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and Otoe Missouria)
  19. The Art of Tele-Community Development: The Telluride Infozone, by Richard Lowenberg
  20. Community Netowrking, an Evolution, by Madeline Gonzalez Allen
  21. Cultures in Cyberspace: Communications System Design as Social Sculpture, by Anna Couey
  22. Crossing-Over of Art History and Media History in the Times of the Early Internet – with Special Regard to THE THING NYC, by Suzanne Gerber
  23. Arts Wire: The Nonprofit Arts Online, by Judy Malloy
  24. Electronic Literature Organization Chats on LinguaMoo, by Deena Larsen
  25. trAce Online Writing Centre, Nottingham Trent University, UK, by J.R. Carpenter
  26. Pseudo Space: Experiments with Avatarism and Telematic Performance in Social Media, by Antoinette LaFarge
  27. A Conversation and Two Epilogues, by Judy Malloy
  28. Expanding on “What is the Social in Social Media?”: A Conversation with Geert Lovink, by Judy Malloy
  29. Epilogue: Slow Machines and Utopian Dreams, by Judith Donath
  30. From Archaeology to Architecture: Building a Place for Noncommercial Culture Online, by Gary O. Larson