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Scientists reveal 16th century Facebook

Posted on Thursday, 17 January, 2013 | Comment icon 11 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 3.0 Tom Murphy VII

Long before the invention of the computer, Italian academics had their own version of Facebook.

Facebook and other social networking sites revolve around providing users with the ability to stay in touch while sharing and commenting on topical subjects and points of interest. In the 16th and 17th centuries, scholars participated in similar activities using yearbooks, letters, volumes and speeches to communicate their points. They even used nicknames, mottoes and logos to represent themselves while forming groups and sharing their music, poetry and writings with one another.

"Just as we create user names for our profiles on Facebook and Twitter and create circles of friends on Google plus, these scholars created nicknames, shared - and commented on - topical ideas, the news of the day, and exchanged poems, plays and music," said Professor Jane Everson.

"The discovery was made during a collaborative research project between Royal Holloway, the British Library and Reading University, in which a team of academics are cataloguing and investigating the works of the Italian Academies, dating from 1525 to 1700."

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by freetoroam on 16 January, 2013, 23:02
This does not surprise me at all, but there is quite a big difference between the two...its called the "internet"
Comment icon #3 Posted by Hilander on 17 January, 2013, 0:50
I guess people have always wanted to connect with each other.
Comment icon #4 Posted by JasonPollock on 17 January, 2013, 1:23
I agree, I'm not surprised such 'networking, nicknaming and motto making' went on WAAAAY before Facebook, but the Internet revolutionised the way we connect with each other, and the idea of a global society. However, such networking occuring to a basic standard does not surprise me, and surely was the basis for such inventions later on.
Comment icon #5 Posted by freetoroam on 17 January, 2013, 13:31
if you are 18, you are a very bright young man.
Comment icon #6 Posted by King Fluffs on 17 January, 2013, 16:23
I've never needed to make a facebook account.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Lava_Lady on 17 January, 2013, 17:32
Sounds like a "slam book" from when I was a kid...Hehe Hehe...
Comment icon #8 Posted by GirlfromOz on 19 January, 2013, 2:06
I exited from Facebook many months ago.I have no need for it.It ****s me.Facebook ****s me to the extent that I would rather not reveal the extent that it ****s me to! LOL Gone but not forgotten!The vehicle that facebook used to get us on to it has lost its shine! So as all of you know,the idea of facebook, has lost its shine.It has lost it! i HAVE NO NEED TO BE ON IT'S BOOKS! i HATE IT! AM A CHRISTIAN & i AM OPEN TO ALL IDEAS & FACEBOOK JUST ****s ME TO THE EXTENT THAT I need it no more!!
Comment icon #9 Posted by GirlfromOz on 19 January, 2013, 2:21
OK Guys! This version of Facebook is random but apart from the regualatory reasons,we have some questions to answer.I have some questions to answer.He he.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Eonwe on 19 January, 2013, 8:03
I just thought of some 16th century woman with a duckface. Brb, dying of laughter.
Comment icon #11 Posted by ealdwita on 19 January, 2013, 16:42
The 'nicknaming' of groups goes back at least to the later Roman Legions, (especially in the time of the Emperor Diocletian) Personal 'usernames' among principle characters were not unknown either.

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