Ego Media Timeline
The following timeline combines developments in new media and associated technologies, key events relevant to our Ego Media work, and the chronology of the project. It does not attempt a comprehensive history of new media. It can be read alongside our Diaries Timeline on the Ego Media research website, which it criss-crosses.
There are of course many ways to select and depict: compare https://histography.io/ as a version of history, http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/timelines/timelines.cfm as an interactive history through timelines, and https://www.google.com/maps/timeline?pb as a way of mapping personal travel in digital time.
The survival of digital materials is fragile, even with the Wayback Machine (2001 on) https://archive.org/web/ and other archives, including museums and libraries, which are also digitising their material contents. Museums are emerging, devoted to objects of the digital age and the history of computing - for instance
Books survive for hundreds of years: how long will the future be for the Ego-Media Project's digital output? Designers described it as likely to be one of graceful degradation – that is, it should retain basic functionality even when users move on to new systems (the opposite is progressive enhancement, or adding functionality.)
The Ego-Media Project officially had a lifetime of five years, the maximum time for big grants. Is that a long time? Will its influence last longer?
a) Time before the Internet
c. 1400 BCE
First status update: Babylonian clay tablet (see the start of the Diaries Timeline)
c. 100 BCE
Construction of the first known analogue computer, the Antikythera mechanism
Charles Babbage (1791-1871) starts working on his first difference engine
Babbage describes his analytical engine -- the first design for a general purpose computer
Ada Lovelace (1815-52), friend and collaborator of Babbage's, publishes an algorithm thought to be the first computer programme
The To-Day and To-Morrow book series published.
Colossus Mark 1, the first programmable, electronic, digital computer demonstrated successfully.
The first stored programme computers introduced.
The Altair 8800 introduced; often said to be the first personal computer.
b) The Time of the Internet
Academic and military precursor networks to the internet developed.
BITNET Relay Chat (IRC precursor) launched
Public commercial use of the internet begins.
Tim Berners-Lee invents the World Wide Web
Gulf War & Soviet coup, both covered on IRC
World Wide Web made available to the general public as Berners-Lee's first browser is released.
'Bot Wars' on IRC
14 February 2005
Jaiku ('link' between IRC and Twitter) launched
'Formative years' of Twitter in which many major features were introduced
YouTube partner programme launched
Death of Neda Agha Soltan – filmed on a camera phone and shared on the web via YouTube – goes viral under #neda
Launch of original Fitbit
18 December 2010
Arab Spring starts with protests in Tunisia, and continues to mid-2012
22 September 2011
Facebook announces "Timeline": “all your stories, all your apps and a new way to express who you are.”
Apple launches new iPhone 4S with beta version of Siri
Ego Media application submitted to the ERC
#BlackLives Matter launched after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of the unarmed African American teenager Trayvon Martin
Novelist Andrea Seigel recounts her discovery of ASMR culture on This American Life
Ego Media project awarded ERC Advanced Grant
GamerGate & associated harassment campaigns, in which both IRC and Twitter played a role
Ego-Media project launched
Adam Baldwin tweets about #GamerGate
Amazon Alexa launched
September / October 2015
Rebecca Roach teaching a Literature & Media class on Kittler’s Discourse Networks after ‘pig-gate’ erupted on Twitter and the conversation that generated
2015: James Bond, Spectre and the perceived threat of joined up data
24 April 2015
Launch of Apple Watch
Ego-Media launches ‘Life-Online Today and Tomorrow’ series of public discussions, which runs through to June 2017
Ego Media's Mass Observation Directive
Ego-Media hosts international network meeting and public roundtable events
23 June 2016
2 August 2016
Instagram launches Stories
8 November 2016
USA Elections, in which Twitter played a similar role
Sleeping Giants launched
Women’s March (worldwide); Trump tweets policy (Muslim ban)
26 May - 7 July 2017
Dear Diary Exhibition
International Auto/Biography Association - Europe – focusing on ‘Life Writing, Europe and New Media’, and hosted by Ego-Media and the Centre for Life Writing Research at KCL - running the week of the London Bridge bombing
Facebook announces it has more than 2 billion monthly users.
#MeToo launched to demonstrate scale of sexual violence and harassment world-wide
Publication of NYT Magazine interactive story (Azmat Khan & Anand Gopel, ‘The Uncounted’, 16 Nov 2017) and linked news / editorials / podcasts, etc. about coalition’s approach to targeted airstrikes and civilian casualties in the Iraq War, using qualitative and digital methodologies to track victims
Recode publishes ‘The 100’ and editor Kara Swisher pulls out ‘The Terrible 10’, identifying not only of bad digital behaviour in 2017 but offering a broader critique of tech and its influence on civil society
Facebook changes its News Feed algorithm to prioritize content from “friends, family and groups.”
February / March 2018
Parkland shooting and subsequent social media campaign to raise awareness / register voters by victims and advocates; David Hogg and supporters organise advertisers’ boycott of ‘The Ingraham Hour’
News reports of Cambridge Analytica having acquired personal data from Facebook
EC threatens legislation unless major social media platforms progress with respect to countering ‘extremist threat’
Zuckerberg senate hearings / Russian election hacking etc
Ego-Media project due to conclude, but granted extension to produce this digital publication
31 October 2019
Ego-Media Project concludes
Facebook changes its algorithm to the News Feed ranking algorithm to incorporate data from surveys about who you say are your closest friends and which links you find most worthwhile.
14 August 2019
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson holds 'People's PMQs' live on Facebook