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Status Updates: Only 25 Cents
By: Christine Geraci
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As we wrap up 2012, the year of Facebook status updates declaring privacy rights and the need to pay for visibility, here's a little slice of nostalgia I just had to share.

Behold the Community Memory Terminal, a relic from 1973 that, by all accounts, is among the first iterations of social networking. 
 
These terminals were set up around San Francisco and Berkeley to see if people would be willing to share anything from restaurant recommendations to items for sale to...well, random thoughts. 
 
From Cory Doctorow's post at Boing Boing:
"'This was really one of the very first attempts to give access to computers to ordinary people," says Marc Weber, the founding curator of the Internet History Program at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.'"
One item of note that made me think: When you view the photo of the terminal in the link, notice the coin slot. It says, "Read Free, Write $.25." 
 
Very interesting. I wonder just how many people opted to post to these terminals, and if anyone griped about the price in the way people (myself included) have complained about Facebook's paid models for business pages. 
 
Imagine if you had to plunk down a quarter every time you posted a status update or a tweet. Sounds like the perfect way to get rid of the information overload problem. I know that if every status update cost a quarter, I'd be even more careful with my words.
 
But would that stifle true personality? If you had to be more careful about what you said because money was an issue, how much of yourself could you truly reveal? And of course, there's the risk of people with a lot of money dominating the conversation. 
 
Would you have used a "community memory terminal?"


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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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