Archive for At the Water Cooler

Meet the Team: Naomi Couper

Naomi Couper Giraffe Social Media Social Advertising Manager

Just incase you hadn’t noticed, the Giraffe Social Media team has been growing lately. Over the past couple of months we’ve had the privilege of welcoming Sam, Jess, Harry and Mo to our office of joy, and we’re incredibly excited about the parts they are going to play in helping to evolve our service. But there’s more to a team than it’s newest members…

There are a few key people in the team who have played big roles in catapulting the Giraffe vision to where it is now. Earlier today we were flabbergasted to realise that we’d never properly introduced you to one of those people - our social advertising manager Naomi Couper!

Naomi has played a number of different parts since she started here back in 2013. To give you a better idea of who she is, what she does and what makes her tick, we politely forced her to answer one or two obscure questions....

Hello there! What’s your name and where do you come from?

Hello! My name is Naomi and I’m from Portsmouth!

Naomi - is that short for anything?

Funny you should ask, it’s actually short for Naomiflan. It’s not really. That’s a joke...

Fair enough. Tell us a little about the roles that you’ve taken since you started back in 2013…

Well I started off as a social media manager which was super fun, but I have always had an interest in social advertising. So back in January 2016 I took on the role of social advertising manager.

What does your current role entail?

I look after the paid advertising of every client at Giraffe, ensuring that every advert is achieving the best results possible!

Describe yourself in three words, one adjective, one verb and one abstract noun.

Oh! Okay, err… Alive, pottering and... imagination?

What is your favourite temperature in degrees centigrade?

12 degrees. 100 percent 12 degrees.

What’s your favourite word to pronounce?

Blancmange. I absolutely love blancmange and saying the word blancmange. Blancmange.

What’s the weirdest dream you’ve ever had?

I once had a dream that my mum was in the Spice Girls and her stage name was Old Spice. I recall that was both strange and amusing.

If you could have a pet anything what would it be?

I’d quite like a raccoon to sit on my shoulder! You see the YouTube videos of people with them and I’ve always been quite jealous. I’d name him Artemis.

If you were in a circus how would you ensure your act had the most pzazz?

Fire. Fire everywhere. Pyrotechnics are the one

What's your least favourite colour and why?

Probably magnolia - because it can’t make up it’s mind between yellow and white.

Any dietary requirements we should be aware of?

I hate seafood and sometimes I pretend to be allergic to it at soireés to avoid eating it… that’s when I get invited to soireés.

Duly noted. Where is the coolest place you've ever visited?

The Giraffe Social Media garden! It’s the place of legends.

What first comes to mind when I use the word palpable?

Mulchy paper.

Lastly, what would your superhero name and superpower be?

Okay, my name would be WhitNae, and I would have the power of song!

5 Periscope Users To Avoid Unless You Want Serious Wanderlust

Periscope Travel Users

If you’re the sort of rugged gadabout who would much rather be exploring distant lands than working in an office, you should avoid this article like the plague. Similarly, if your mouth waters at the thought of unfamiliar spices and exotic ingredients rather than the bland, tasteless cuisine of home, you should close this webpage right now. The reason? In a few moments you’ll be either seething with jealousy or totally re-evaluating your life choices….

Of all the social networks out there, Periscope is the one that really smashes it for travel bloggers. It gives users a beautifully unique and instantaneous glimpse into someone else’s life. Travellers want to be totally immersed in the experiences they read about, so a live-streaming app which transports them to distant places deserves oodles of little floating hearts. If you’re not already, it’s time you got on board - hit up Periscope.tv and download it now!

For us, it beats Facebook Live for user experience where the travel industry is concerned. Unlike FB, the platform isn’t littered with other styles of content designed to drag you away, and there aren’t tonnes of different messages battling for your attention, just live streams that take centre stage and speak for themselves. Live-streaming defines the network, and that’s how it should be.

Periscope also happens to play host to some pretty awesome travel accounts. Here are some of our favourites...

Disclaimer: Seriously, if you happen to be a natural born travel lover currently working a desk job, you probably don’t want to watch these users’ scopes right now. You might just end up flipping your desk, marching out with your head held high and hitching a ride into the sunset. Don’t say we didn’t warn you...

Lonely Planet Periscope
Lonely Planet 

Lonely Planet just happen to be the world’s largest publisher of travel guidebooks, and any and all intrepid explorers are likely to have heard of them. Their Periscope channel is exactly what you’d expect, providing users with snapshots of unique locations from around the globe and travel information which is tailored to everyday wanderers.

Johnnyjet Periscope

Johnnyjet describes himself as a money-saving travel expert who visits around 20 countries a year. Most travellers find themselves having to battle with a budget whenever they go abroad, and clever planning can help make the process far less stressful and way more rewarding. With Johnnyjet’s streams you can hit two birds with one stone.

Travel Dave Periscope
Travel Dave

Aside from having possibly the coolest travel blogger handle out there, Travel Dave knows adventure. He’s visiting every country in the world and sharing his experiences. So far he’s been to 84 out of a possible 193. Follow him to join his adventure and live those experiences alongside him. He also happens to be a lovely man, which makes his streams all the more delightful.

The Crowded Planet Periscope
The Crowded Planet

The Crowded Planet is the blog from husband and wife team Margherita and Nick, her being the travel writer and he the photographer. They Scope their awesome experiences - from jaw-dropping vistas to unique stays in lighthouses. Any couples out there who love travelling together will pretty soon hold these guys up as ‘relationship goals’.

Todd Dosenberry Periscope
A Travelling Toad

A Travelling Toad is the alias of Todd Dosenberry, a devout member of the wander-clan, who has been using the app as his primary source of live documentation since its launch in March 2015. Followers can expect a mix of his experiences and day-to-day activities as he encourages Q&A sessions.

That’s all from us for now - at least until I pack up and run off into the distance, iPhone in hand. Have any other intrepid explorers you follow on Periscope? We’d love to hear! Tweet us - @GiraffeSM.

Shut Up and Listen; this is Social Media

Shut up and listen this is social media

On social media you’re never really more than two steps away from controversy. The reason for this is simple; it’s run by humans. It’s a community populated by people who say, do, and yes, laugh at, silly things. In order to get anything from it, businesses need to integrate themselves by listening and learning how to inspire those people...

Social media is more than just a bulletin board. In order to create a community of advocates for their brand, a business first needs to realise that social networking was never intended to accommodate organisations. It was developed to satisfy the developing needs and priorities of each generation.

Human beings are stubborn about the things that belong to them, and that includes social media. They aren’t going to suddenly start entertaining blatant messages of self-promotion on their turf just because the frequency of them has increased. So to be successful businesses need to adapt their messages in a way that compliments and vitalises these networks.

Passive businesses constantly shouting about sales and offers verges on self-obsession

If you’ll humour me for a moment, I’d like to use a rather strained analogy. You’re walking home after work incredibly hungry and tired when suddenly a man leaps out of a bush and tells you to buy his chicken sandwich. He gives no inclination why, he just seems pretty darn passionate about his sandwich.

Do you buy it? Regardless of how hungry you are, you don’t. Rather, you wonder who this guy is, what’s wrong with the sandwich and why on earth he was lurking in a bush. You either ignore him entirely, run away, or tell him how much of an inconvenience he is for standing in the way of the perfectly good chicken sandwich you already have waiting for you at home. Why? Because you have no idea who he is.

The same is true of some businesses on social media. They are too infatuated by what they can offer that they forget that to people who don’t know them they are just another nuisance chicken-sandwich wielding bush-lurker. Every now and then they need to put their sandwich down, listen to the people around them and offer them something they actually want - not what the business wants them to want.

Telling people about you isn’t the same as encouraging them to get to know you

Most businesses are more than aware of the importance of introducing themselves. The problem is that some don’t quite know the right way to go about this. Take every day social interaction - when you meet a new person it’s the little things they say, the sort of discussions they engage with and their interests that encourage you to form a relationship with them. You’re not best buds from the moment you introduced yourselves.

Social media is no different. The things that you share should be inspiring enough to encourage users to want to engage with you, to want to remember your brand, to want to become your advocate. A list of possible content ideas would be both immeasurable and redundant, as it’s always originality that really takes the biscuit. As a general rule great social media content focuses on people not products, inspiration not integration, and stories, not sales.

Millennials lurking in the shadows

Regardless of whether you think that the world is going to hell in a handbasket because they’ll soon be in charge of things, there’s a reason more and more brands are harking “millennial”. It’s not some defamatory phrase describing vacuous younger people who might prefer not to be clean shaven, or feel more comfortable in shorts than a suit, or (god forbid) like coffee instead of tea - it’s simply a term for a naturally digitally-inclined generation that happen to be a potentially lucrative target audience.

In general, they don’t prefer hand-written sentiments (blame an institutional emphasis on word processing), they like more instantaneous methods of communication of information. This means that they prefer to share the things they like with their peers immediately. Without them, the terms “trending” and “viral” would still merely refer to clothing and illness.

But creating a content mix that entertains, inspires and provokes a response is just the beginning. After that comes the social part. People want to talk to your brand, discuss your campaigns and your products. And you need to be receptive to these comments, as this interaction is what can spell the difference between a user latching onto your brand or becoming disengaged.

There’s a reason we refer to businesses as brands on social media. They’re not some faceless multinational conglomerate; they are simply an organisation personified.

Ask yourself; do you spend too much time talking about what your business does? If so, cut your audience some slack. The likelihood is they already know, or if they don’t they should be able to figure it out just by reading your ‘about us’ section. And if they can’t then that is a much wider issue coming directly from your brand. Every professional knows they should be able to sum up what their business does in a few simple sentences.

Anything social involves a reciprocal discourse, so start listening to your users.

If you fall into the habit of referring to social media as an advertising channel, it’s time to step back. Similarly, if you get it into your mind that it’s a collection of networks built for marketing, give yourself a good slap on the cheek. Yes, social media is partly those things, but above everything it is a community.

If you don’t know what to share, look inward at your organisation. What do your people like? What takes their interest? What inspires them on social networking? Take those things, no matter how foreign they seem to your brand as a whole, and construct an original online voice. Then do the same with your current social media target audience. Listen to them and create content that responds to them.

After that, you can shut shutting up and start to seriously make some noise - the right noise.

Giraffe Welcome Jess to the Team

Giraffe Welcome Jess Newman

There’s something a little different about all of us, and that’s just great. We delight in individualities here at Giraffe Social Media; we know that those different perspectives come together to help make our service stand out from the crowd. This week we are welcoming a brand new Giraffe to the family - Jess Newman!

We are incredibly excited to welcome Jessica Newman as the newest member of the Giraffe family! Jess has a degree in media studies from Portsmouth University and is looking forward to getting stuck into marketing for some of our social media clients.

We stole her for a few moments to find out a little more about her and what makes her tick...

Hey Jess!


What most drew you to applying to become part of the team?

Well, I saw the ad online and just felt really drawn to it! It seemed like a really exciting and energetic place to work, and I could totally see myself working there.

What are you most looking forward to about working here?

I’m most looking forward to getting stuck in with my social media clients. Some of them are very similar to my own personal interests, so I can’t wait to help them achieve their goals online.

Which celebrity do you like to think people mistake you for?

I’d like to think Reese Witherspoon, she’s just amazing. I think she’s great. Oh, actually Kate Winslet - she’s similarly amazing and just as great.

Which celebrity do people actually mistake you for?

I don’t think I’ve ever been mistaken for a celebrity. Because I am one. I’m kidding! Nobody as far as I’m aware...

What is the theme song to your life?

It’s got to be the Pirates of the Caribbean Theme tune. It just makes you want to go for it and seize the day. I used to listen to it on the train on the way to my old job and it would really help wake me up and get me pumped! Also I like Pirates, so it’s a given really.

If you could have a mythical creature as a pet, what would it be?

Ooh, probably a Mermaid because I’m still a Disney Princess at heart and I admire Ariel. Especially her hair. She has amazing hair. I could brush it all day.

What’s your favourite hour of the day and why?

These are strange questions! Erm, probably 2100 hours because that’s when the best programmes are on the television.

Any dietary requirements we should be aware of?

Not really. I like all the food. So maybe the only requirement is extra food - just leave it around the place. However, the texture of couscous grosses me out a bit and I’m not too sure about cinnamon.

Duly noted. If you were a superhero, what would your name and power be?

My power would be to be able to eat any food and never put on weight. Not really a super power as such, more of a higher metabolic rate. And my name - The Munch Machine! Or Lady Nom Nom.

Books or films?

I’d have to go with films as I am a bit of an IMDB addict. I love crime thrillers but also fantasy, especially the Harry Potter films.

Lastly, if you could know the answer to any question what would it be?

Why would anyone wear Crocs?

Google Thanks the Internet’s Most Polite Grandmother

Polite Grandmother on Google

Google has used social media to personally reply to an exceptionally polite search conducted by an 86-year­-old grandmother. May Ashworth, who appreciates that manners cost nothing, believed she was communicating with a person at Google HQ when she used the search engine and has gone viral after her grandson tweeted a picture of one of her search queries.

25­-year-­old Ben John from Wigan had been visiting his nan May to do some washing when he stumbled upon a dreadfully polite search query on her laptop. Appreciating how delightful a sentiment it was, the Twitter user couldn’t help but to snap a quick photo and share it ­- which has since been retweeted over 15.5k times and received over 23k likes!

When asked why she had included ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in her search, May explained to her Grandson that she believed it to be standard online etiquette

“I asked my nan why she used “please” and “thank you” and it seemed she thinks that there is someone -­ a physical person -­ at Google’s headquarters who looks after searches… She thought that by being polite and using her manners, the search would be quicker.”

Google respond in kind

While the world’s biggest search engine doesn’t care if you ask for information politely (on the contrary, it’s likely to affect the effectiveness of your search) May’s words nevertheless touched the hearts of the people behind the scenes. When the tweet took off, both Google’s official UK and Global accounts decided to respond in kind, explaining that in a world of millions of searches, it was hers that had brightened up their day.

It just goes to show that in a digital world where we are becoming increasingly focused on speed and efficiency, it still pays to take time to appreciate the amount of work that goes into making the awesome platforms which have quite literally changed our lives. May Ashworth ­- we tip our hats to you!

Facebook Unintentionally Declares War in the Philippines

Facebook War in the Philippines

This year on June the 12th was Independence Day in the Philippines. As is customary on public holidays, Facebook celebrated the occasion by sending their best wishes to users ­- but this time they departed from their normal light-­hearted voice by accidentally claiming that the country was at war.

Facebook like to ensure their users feel cared for. It’s the cuddly part of their branding that helps to entice users back to the network over and over again. That’s why they often share featured content and encourage users to engage in a social media dialogue. Independence Day in the Philippines was no exception. But as a result of sharing an image with the flag flying upside down they also unintentionally became the subject of much contempt by Filipino users.

Poor fact-checking resulting in a botched campaign

As stated in section 10 of the Philippines’ Republic Act 8491, “The flag, if flown from a flagpole, shall have its blue field on top in time of peace and the red field on top in time of war…” The image that Facebook posted included the latter of these, thus stating that the country was in a state of war.

When the resulting social media backlash came, the social network hastily deleted the post and issued a statement of apology to The Philippine Star.

What can businesses take from Facebook’s boo­boo?

If there’s one thing businesses can learn from the mistake it’s to always ensure that your desire to share far-reaching and engaging content doesn’t overshadow sufficient research. While you should certainly be reaching out to different subsets of your user base, always bear in mind that if you are engaging over something that you don’t have much knowledge of you should check your facts are correct right down to the finest detail.

The last thing you want is something seemingly innocent to end up landing you embroiled in some kind of controversy. Thankfully for Facebook in this case it was short lived ­- but you might not be so lucky.

Hashtags Say The Funniest Things – 2016 Edition

Funniest hashtags of 2016

Since their inception back in 2007, hashtags have become a staple of our social media existence. They allow users to discover and contribute to a rapidly emerging global dialogue simply and instantaneously. And guess what - they can also help make life darn hilarious…

While there may be less Twitter users than Facebook users there is one advantage they have over their social networking rivals - trending hashtags. Yes, we know that you can use hashtags on Facebook - but how many of us would admit to kind of wishing we still couldn’t? A few years ago when Facebook users included hashtags in their status updates they did so only for the irony. How are we to distinguish between the rabidly ironic and the infuriatingly self-consumed now!? But that’s a subject of another debate and not one I wish to impinge on you right now.

The glorious Twitter hashtag

The origins of the humble hashtag can be traced all the way down to one user named Chris Messina who, on 23rd August 2007, made the suggestion “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups? As in #barcamp [msg]?”. Through his seemingly small and insignificant suggestion evolved a fundamental feature of social networking and digital communication. The creator of the Hashtag - now that’s an accolade that anybody in the 21st century can wear with pride.

Trending hashtags allow users a little snapshot into the sort of conversations that people are having at that time; and those aren’t always at the calibre of political debates. Often, either by transmedia encouragement or viral fluke, something downright silly will crop up among the global disasters, community campaigning and promoted campaigns from big media companies.

Oh yeah, and they’re not necessarily always started by Jimmy Falon… Although a great deal of them certainly are.

As we look back over the year so far, we thought we would list a few of our favourites, how they came to fruition and some of the best tweets that they were featured in…


It’s not actually clear why but back in April Twitter users started to get a little carried away supplying us with suggestions for Dwarves that had been rejected for use in Disney’s Snow White. Among our favourites were Creepy, Occulty and, of course, Dappy; the latter obviously accompanied by a picture of everybody’s favourite rapper with a penchant for silly hats. As is usually the case with Twitter trends this swiftly descended into yet another bout of politician bashing, with David Cameron referred to as “Dodgy” and Jeremy Corbyn as “Lefty”.


This hashtag turned out to be exactly what it said on the tin. This hashtag had women turning the tables on men who had mistreated them by tweeting things that men may (or may not) have done to them in the past and positioning them as if they are something they would/have done to maliciously frustrate a guy and waste his time. One that particularly stood out to us  was this tweet by @DopeEthiopian…


Get him pregnant, tell him you gotta run to the store for some milk real quick & never come back #WasteHisTime2016


This little barrage of fun was all down to one American teenager who decided to list all of the things she disliked about British culture and British people - not realising that sarcasm is the natural response of a British person when provoked. In response, alongside helpfully pointing out the flawed elements of her logic, Twitter users started highlighting weird things that Americans do. These included naming a game predominantly played with hands “football”, banning Kinder Eggs but not banning guns, and genuinely considering Donald Trump as a presidential candidate.


Ferrari F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen is a man of few words, and back in March Twitter users took note of that fact. He was asked to comment on how the visibility of a new cockpit protection unit known as Halo was before the F1 start and he responded with a solitary “OK.” This helped to spawn the hashtag #ThingsKimiFindsOK, with users suggesting things that he was OK with. These included the aurora borealis, choc ices and his car being on fire.


Back in the beginning of January controversial conspiracy theorist-come-well known social media lunatic Tila Tequila went a little crazy, claiming that while it was 2016 still nobody had been able to prove to her that the Earth is round. What followed was a barrage of anti-arguments accompanied with the hashtag #FlatEarth. Plenty of these were certainly worth reading but perhaps the best is this one…

Tila Tequila

Why are all the buildings in NYC standing straight up? If earth was round then some of the buildings would have a slight tilt.#FlatEarth

So far 2016 has proved marvellous on the ridiculous hashtag front - here’s hoping the rest of the year doesn’t disappoint! Have a suggestion that you think should be included? Tweet us - @GiraffeSM.

Why DC Comics need to learn how to Google

Superman and Wonder Woman Figures with Blog Title

DC Comics have recently been called out on Social Media for their sheer inability to perform a basic Google search. The US comic book publisher has (rightfully) come under a barrage of tweets due to an Editor’s note describing speech as ‘translated from Pakistanian’.

Throughout history there has always been something of a feud between two of the best comic book creators, Marvel and DC Comics. Now, up from the depths of the post-apocalyptic murk a victor has arisen. It’s Marvel. And it’s not just because they are way more awesome - it’s because their counterpart don’t quite seem to get the point of editing…

A bit of background...

Just in case you haven’t quite heard what happened yet, here’s a little bit of background. Unsaid is the title of the second story inside Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #2, released December 30th 2015. In it an evil demigod named Dichara has stolen some mentally powerful Amazonian weaponry and is terrorising the poor people of Shimshal, Pakistan. As you would probably imagine, these people aren’t speaking English. So, as is customary in comic books, their speech is written in English and placed between chevrons and an Editor's note added, like so...

Superman/Wonder Woman Annual #2 Pakistanian mishap

As you can see an Editor’s note has indeed been added to the bottom left of the image to stop any confusion, clearly stating that the speech is “all translated from Pakistanian -- ED”. But hang on, something about that doesn’t sound quite right does it? No matter how little you have had to do with the country, you too probably share the same concern that Pakistanian may very well not be a language at all. And you’d be correct in thinking that..

The most common languages in the country include English, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashtu, Balochi and the national language Urdu. In fact, Pakistan has over 300 different dialects spoken within its borders. Pakistanian is not one of them.

Let’s be fair to DC Comics… Wouldn't that rate of factual accuracy require a considerable amount of research?

The same thought crossed our mind for a fleeting moment. However, it turns out that a single Google search would have sufficed - see below...

Google search results to official language of Pakistan

What’s so difficult to believe is that this note managed to make it to print without a single alarm bell ringing inside anybody’s head. Not even that of the Editor who, amongst other things, is usually expected to edit… But maybe we are being too harsh on them. After all, perhaps they did do their research but had an issue while trying to translate the word ‘Urdu’ into American.

Social Media didn't like it very much...

The editorial faux-pas has been openly mocked across social networks by both genuinely offended people and the inevitable trolls, some of which make fantastic reading if you have a few moments to spare - check out the Guardian’s more in depth article here. The issue shot to Social significance after Pakistani writer Khaver Siddiqi tweeted a picture of it accompanied by these words...

“Here’s why @Marvel is winning over @DCComics - the latter thinks we speak Pakistanian. h/t

Siddiqi later commented on the issue saying “it makes it all the more funny that they decided to set the scene in a place even I, as a Pakistani, had to look up on Google. But they couldn’t perform a simple Google search for the language.

A final editorial note…

On their website the relationship between the two superheroes in the annual is described as an ‘...epic tale that recounts the most dangerous love story of all.’ One can only imagine that the danger they speak of is ignorance erring on the side of casual racism.

8 of Google’s Best Worst-kept Secrets

Egg basket with blog title

Google has a great history of constantly making mundane searches more interesting. Chances are you already know about quite a few of their “hidden” Easter Eggs. The web-life can start to feel a little bit boring if you spend hours online for work - and it’s these little gems that we long for to help make life more fun…

When you avert your eyes from the mountains of data and the state-of-the-art crawling and indexing, you might notice that one of the reasons why Google has become a verb is because it has personality. While those pretty little Google Doodles are most definitely an example of this, the search engine giant also show off their playful side over and over again with little easter eggs. Here are a few of our favourites...

Google in 1998

Google was founded back on 4th September 1998. If you are wondering what the search engine looked like back when it started, just type “google in 1998” into the bar and hit enter. It will redirect you to an authentic, retro version of the website. Fun for the old geeks among us.

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away

If you haven’t heard about this one yet, it is certainly worth a go. It was added to coincide with their “Choose your side” promotional campaign which allows you to theme your apps with Star Wars themed visuals. They instructed users to “Search the beginning” in this tweet. All you have to do is type that iconic beginning (a long time ago in a galaxy far far away) into the search bar, hit enter, and Google returns the results in rolling credits just like the opening of the Star Wars movies. So much love for this one.


This one is only really fun for fans of all things lexical. Type “anagram” and it asks you if you meant “Nag a ram”. Get it? That is an anagram. Of anagram. Rather a niche Easter egg we’ll grant you that.

The Answer to Life, the Universe and everything

As an ode to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, If you ask Google what the answer to life the universe and everything is it will present you with a Google calculator and the number 42. Wondering what that means? Well, then you should go read the book - it’s a classic.

Zerg Rush

This one will resonate with über geeks but is fun for all. It’s basically a hidden mini-game. Zergs are a collection of little, low-level people who do the commander’s bidding in certain games. Type “Zerg rush” into Google and loads of little Os will come and destroy your search engine results. You can then ward them off by clicking on them and see how your score stacks up.

Just don’t try without a conventional mouse. It still works with a trackpad but it could potentially be the most stressful experience of your life.

Atari Breakout

This one works on Google images. Type in the term and the results will be transformed to a version of that fantastically retro Atari game.


This one is fairly pointless but totally worth it if you want to confuse somebody in your office. Just type “askew” and hit enter, and then and it will tilt your search results slightly of kilter.

Dinosaur Game

If you have ever lost your Internet connection, you’ll almost certainly have seen the little dinosaur that pops up on chrome. Well, you can play a game with him. Just hit the spacebar. Now you have something to do until the Internet comes back.

What came first, Social Media or The Internet?

what came first social media or the internet

Social Media has become a phrase that we use all too often nowadays; and it’s no surprise when you consider how it has become intrinsically linked with our day-to-day lives. Like any lasting technological innovation, the concept of Social Media came from humble beginnings - way before the Internet boom of the 1990s.

According to information provided by the Global Web Index at the beginning of 2015, the average user now spends around 1.72 hours on social media every day - accounting for almost 30% of our daily Internet activity. That number has almost certainly grown over the year.

Facebook is now the biggest social networking site, but social media definitely didn’t start there. It all began way back in the early ‘70s and early ‘80s when computers weren’t the readily available commodities that they are now. In many ways we owe our global-communication addiction to the earliest computer geeks. Nerds of the past - we salute you.

To understand where Social Media started we have to look back to before the World Wide Web was a thing...

BBS - Bulletin Board Systems

In some ways Bulletin Board Systems can be seen as one of the earliest precursors to Social Media. They were computer servers that ran software allowing users to connect using terminals. Users were then able to perform a number of tasks such as viewing news bulletins, message other users via email or use message boards, and upload/download data. BBS were essentially online meeting places which used coding to allow users to interact, share information, play games and generally be social over telephone lines, via a modem. Sound familiar?

The first BBS was created in 1978 by Ward Christensen and Randy Suess. Known as CBBS (Computerised Bulletin Board System), it was the first “non-military computer-based community, other than timesharing systems.” (whatis.techtarget.com) From it sparked tens of thousands of localised equivalents across the world, all with their own theming.


Although BBS were certainly an important early precursor to what we now deem to be Social Media, other services such as CompuServe were undoubtedly as important. CompuServe gave users the ability to interact and communicate with other users using email, access news and events updates, contribute to discussions on forums and share files. CompuServe paved the way for today’s most-loved forum sites.


It is undeniable how much social networks of today owe to AOL, or America Online as it was then known. The most notable features, and ones that you will no doubt be able to find modern day equivalents too, was the searchable ‘Member Profiles’ and communities.

Modern Social Media

Countless innovations came after, but they all relied on the Internet boom of the 1990s. Those are the subject of later articles as each had their own intricacies, features and brought with them new and exciting possibilities. No doubt what we are experiencing today is a mere footnote in the social networks of the future. Millennials are in the fascinating position of being able to watch the early growth of what is a defining technological advancement in communication.

It makes you wonder how the geeks of the past feel about the development of social media. Would they be disheartened by how mainstream it has all become? We can only hope not. We owe our online-lives to them and we should take it upon ourselves to do them proud.

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Phone: 02392 819051
Address: Unit 3, 373/375 Old Commercial Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 4QG