Press Release

Social Computing: From Message Boards to Blogs & Beyond

Mountain View, California  |  February 01, 2006

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., as part of its Odysseys In Technology Series, sponsored by Sun Labs, will present four noted Internet gurus in a special Valentine's Day discussion on Social Computing: From Message Boards to Blogs & Beyond moderated by Wall Street Journal columnist Kara Swisher at, 7 p.m., Tuesday, February 14, 2006, at the Computer History Museum's Hahn Auditorium, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd. For reservations, please visit,

One of the web's current hottest topics, social computing describes the array of online systems and services that link like-minded people and institutions. From the 1970's Berkeley Computer Memory project to today's video blogs, social computing has wrought profound changes in the way we connect, collaborate, and communicate. Join Usenet guru Erik Fair, virtual worlds pioneer and Yahoo! Community Strategist Randy Farmer, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and Six Apart co-founder Mena Trott in a panel discussion ranging from online dating to business networking. Hear fascinating personal stories and perspectives about social computing: yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Erik Fair is a UNIX systems programmer who has worked on E-mail, messaging, electronic collaboration, and other internet standards for two decades. He worked at Apple Computer from 1988 to 1997.

F. Randall "Randy" Farmer. Community Strategist, Yahoo! Inc. has been designing, building and managing online social media systems and related platform technologies for more than 30 years.

Reid Hoffman is CEO and co-founder of LinkedIn. Prior to LinkedIn, Reid was Executive Vice President of PayPal in charge of all business relationships, including the company's acquisition by eBay.

Mena Trott is co-founder and president of Six Apart, the company behind The Movable Type publishing platform, TypePad weblogging service, and LiveJournal, an online community organized around personal journals.

Moderator Kara Swisher works in The Wall Street Journal's San Francisco bureau and wrote the column, "Boom Town," on high tech issues for many years. She has written two books on the saga and co-produces the annual tech and media conference, "D: All Things Digital."

About Odysseys in Technology

Odysseys in Technology, The Computer History Museum Speaker Series Sponsored by Sun Microsystems Laboratories, presents people and perspectives behind extraordinary innovations and advancements in the computer technology-related world. Each event in the Series provides stimulating interaction with authentic experts whose achievements have transformed how things are done or viewed, and examines how their personal stories might inform the present and future. These programs occasionally feature technologies or point events, with the objective to apply lessons of history to present day understanding and inspiration.

About the Computer History Museum

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, a public benefit organization, preserves and presents for posterity the artifacts and stories of the information age. Dedicated to exploring the social impact of computing, the museum is home to the world's largest collection of computing-related items, spanning from pre-computing objects, to semiconductors, hardware, software, computer graphics systems, games, networking, robots, the Internet, and beyond. Its growing collection also includes photos, films, videos, manuals, documents, publications, and marketing materials.

Currently in its first phase, the Museum brings computing history to life through its popular speaker series, seminars, oral histories, workshops and Web-based educational resources for students, scholars and the general public. The Museum also offers self-guided and docent-led tours of Visible Storage, where nearly 600 objects from the collection are on display, including such rare objects as the Cray-1 supercomputer, the Apple I, the WWII ENIGMA, the PalmPilot prototype, and the 1969 Honeywell "Kitchen Computer." A new exhibit, "Mastering The Game: A History of Computer Chess," opened in September 2005, providing an exciting, interactive look at 50 years of innovation and work in computing. Please check the Web site for open hours.

Future phases will feature full museum exhibits including a timeline of computing history, theme galleries, extensive Web-based exhibits and collection-related information, expanded education programs, a research center, and much more. For more information, please visit or call 650.810.1010.

Press Contacts:

PR Team
(650) 810-1059


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