Christopher Allan's Life with Alacrity blog has an amazing article Tracing the Evolution of Social Software, which manages to be both comprehensive and concise in covering almost fifty years of people using software for organising themselves collaboratively.
Allan covers all the key visionary figures, including Doug Englebart and the Johnson-Lenz's. I saw the latter give a talk ten years ago, and their perspective of group awareness and conflict resolution through software definitely put them at the hippie end of the Californian ideology (which was actually quite refreshing since they were speaking as guests of the DTI).
Allan's article focuses mostly on the evolution of terminology. If I have one criticism, it is that it misses out on the shift from local networking and community bulletin boards to the social entropy of the Internet in the 1990s. From my perspective this growth of the Internet worldwide had a major effect on the kind of social organising that was possible and realistic.Posted by David Jennings in section(s) Human-Computer Interaction, Social Software on 18 October 02004 | TrackBack