Was Radio the First Social Network?

Listening to [music on] the radio the other day (Two for Tuesday!), a thought struck me: the way radio was supposed to work, in the pre-payola days, the most popular tunes as requested by listeners got played the most and received the most airtime. Sort of an early version of user-generated content meets social network.

Today, blogs link to the most popular articles and content on the Web. They create a “Top 40” of whatever type of content (the songs) you are looking for.

Is radio sounding like the world’s first social network to you?

1 comment to Was Radio the First Social Network?

  • John Eckman

    Even more interestingly, in the early days radio was also read/write.

    Now, we accept the notion that the “radios” most of us own are mere receivers and only the powerful view broadcast – but early radio “was a decentralized technology which allowed amateur broadcasters to present content of interest to themselves and their community” (see “The Silencing of a Democratic Medium” for more).

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