The creator of the world’s largest social media network has died.
A short Facebook post from Vint Cerf shared the sad news.
The largest social media network is not Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp or YouTube.
The world’s largest social media network is Email with;
- 4.6 billion email accounts globally,
- shared between 2.6 billion users,
- that’s 1.7 accounts per user
The person who invented email was Ray Tomlinson. Ray sent the very first email in 1971 and was something like “QWERTYUIOP”.
RMIT University gave me an email address in 1992 – email@example.com – suddenly I had an online identity and could communicate with others worldwide via email and through “newsgroups” on “usenet”. Newsgroups allow threaded discussion between people all around the world on topics of common interest.
For 24 years email has been my primary social network. I bet it’s yours too.
My personal Gmail account – in use for the last 12 years – has 8.85 GB of email messages.
Internet co-inventors such as Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee and Ray Tomlinson provided me with the canvas on which I could begin my professional career that has centred on the commercial use of the Internet. I recognise all of the Internet co-inventors for the roles they played in establishing the Internet – a truly great invention that has had a profound impact on society and the economy.
In 2009, after completing my Masters thesis on Domain Name Usability, I wrote an email to Ray Tomlinson to express my sincere gratitude.
Ray simply replied “Thank you.”
Date: Mon, 09 Nov 2009 09:13:39 -0500
From: Ray Tomlinson
User-Agent: Thunderbird 184.108.40.206 (Windows/20090812)
Subject: Re: Thank you for your role in co-inventing the Internet
Josh Rowe wrote:
> Good Evening Ray,
> We do not know each other. However, I thought it was important to
> thank you for your role in co-inventing a crucial part of the Internet.
> Internet co-inventors such as yourself, Vint Cerf and Tim Berners-Lee
> provided me with the canvas on which I could begin my professional
> career that has centred on the commercial use of the Internet. I
> recognise all of the Internet co-inventors for the roles they played
> in establishing the Internet - a truly great invention that has had a
> profound impact on society and the economy.
> I acknowledged you in my Masters thesis which has just got the final
> tick from RMIT University - the full thesis (35k words) and a summary
> (18 page PowerPoint) are available here: http://domainusability.com
> I do not expect you to read my thesis or respond to this email - I
> understand that you probably receive many requests for your time.
Rest in peace Ray – your contribution to the global economy is recognised.
My thoughts are with your family and friends.