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SDF - The Ethical Social Network

What 'Social Network' means to us (a history lesson)

Electronic Social Networking has been around since the days of the ARPAnet. In the late 1960s and through the 1970s the ARPAnet allowed researchers to communicate and collaborate via Electronic Mail and FTP File Sharing. Protocols such as SEND allowed for Instant Messaging among users of systems and systems of other networks. Electronic Mailing Lists were Discussion Groups that later spawned the largest Distributed Social Network of the 1980s: USENET and its transport system UUCP. Paralleling this were many privately owned Social Networks called Electronic Bulletin Boards. These were usually stand alone, but some used Interconnected Conferencing and were linked together as Nodes, while some were also part of the UUCP network. USENET eventually made its way back to the ARPA/Internet where it continued to reign through the 1990s as the largest Distributed Social Network and it is still widely used to this day.

To the users of the SDF Public Access UNIX System, 'SDF Social' is based on the concepts and principles of the early Social Networks that we have always been a part of and not the highly commercialized, for-profit and ethically questionable Social Networks of the late 1990s and 2000s.

Simply put, SDF has always been about Collaboration, Non-Commercialism, Choice and Privacy.

Shell Based Systems (only Accessible via an SDF shell account)

Most of these systems have been in daily use since our start as a BBS in 1987

  • notes - send an 'at login time' displayed notification to a user
  • msg - send an instant message to a user across SDF systems (Based on TOPS-20 SEND)
  • bboard - a threaded multi discussion bulletin board
  • com - a multi room interactive chat (Based on TOPS-20 COMMODE)
  • oneliner - a oneline message (anonymous)
  • happening - an anonymous journal

Web Based Systems (some are enabled via the 'maint' command at the shell)

Most of these systems are included in the menu of SDF offerings.

What Makes SDF Social Different

  • SDF predates 'the web' (gopher / http) by several years
  • SDF has never used advertising 'banners', links or embeds
  • SDF does not monetize its access logs
  • SDF does not use any user data for market research
  • SDF does not share any data with 3rd parties
  • SDF has outlived many commercial / for-profit internet endeavors
  • SDF encourages individual creativity and collaboration

$Id: social_network.html,v 1.21 2017/05/17 23:39:27 smj Exp $ SDF - The Ethical Social Network - traditional link (using RCS)

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wiki reference from, 2023/08/03 introduction.
social_network.txt · Last modified: 2023/08/09 23:59 by hc9