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."
View: Full article
Discuss: View comments (11)