Video: My Personal History of Social Media & What’s Coming!

It’s 2020 and it feels like the right time to reflect back over the last 15+ years working and the history of social media in my life. My life and career has been shaped by many people in the industry. Enjoy the video and subscribe to my Youtube channel to be the notified when new videos are added.


It’s 2020 and it feels like the right time to reflect back over the last 15+ years working in this space and my history of social media.

I recently had lunch with my friend Jeremiah Owyang. It brought back a lot of memories of when him and I first met. He was an analyst at Forrester and he came to our office at Intel and presented the Social Technographics Ladder of Participation. It was a model that classified users based on their level of participation with social networks.

This was a time when Brian Solis was leading his PR firm, Futureworks, and doing these really cool tech events all around the valley and CES, SXSW. It was before he published “Putting the Public Back in Public Relations:” which is a good book that I highly recommend still.

This was a time when Chris Heuer launched Social Media Club which helped educate social media communities globally about social media and when everyone would get him and Chris Brogan mixed up even through they looked nothing a like. And on the topic of Chris Brogan, at that time, he wrote several New York Times Best Seller books and he really was an early adopter of social media and also email marketing too.

This was a time when Ted Murphy launched Pay-per-post and really one of the early pioneers of sponsored content; and even though he was under a tremendous amount of scrutiny by the media, he still pressed on and built what is now Izea, a technology platform the connects brands to creators.

This was a time when Blogworld was the “premiere” social media event where the “who’s who of social media” were always in attendance.

The history of social media was really about real-world connections and I learned early on as a social media manager.

Then you had organizations like the Blog Council launch which was an organization specifically catering to in-house marketers that were trying to figure out social media.

This was a time when social media listening became a booming conversation and companies like Radian6 and Sysomos were synonymous with brand monitoring. And then there were social publishing platform like Vitrue and Involver which were later acquired by Oracle.

And then fast forward a few years and you have SxSw. Some of the best memories I had there was AllHat, spearheaded by Richard Binhammer and David Armano. It was a place to connect with others, drink beer, eat tacos, share information and exchange ideas.

And then back here in the Bay Area, we launched Silicon Valley Tweet up which was an idea that Gabriel Carrejo, Jennifer Leggio and I had to do the same thing as AllHat. It was a place mainly for tech marketers to gather and exchange ideas and build relationships, usually at Santana Row in San Jose.

Then we saw the evolution of the expert – the internet marketing expert, the social media expert, the SEO Expert, the Facebook Marketing expert, Snapchat Expert and now the TikTok expert and interesting enough, they are usually the same person.

Nonetheless we have changed a lot over the last 15 years and its very interesting to look back to see where we were and how we progressed throughout time.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not just name dropping here. With every person I mentioned in this video, I’m proud to call me personal friend who I have memories with. Each one has made some impact in my life and career to help shape who I am today.

Now I am no futurist. I can’t predict what’s going to happen tomorrow or 10 years from now. What I can tell you is what’s happening today. And today, we still have a long journey ahead. I scroll through my feed on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and still see companies doing very elementary things in social media. Internally I know that social media teams are small, with some having only one person managing communes of over 1M people.

It doesn’t make sense to me that leadership isn’t investing in the places that make an impact. Social media can make an impact if done right. You can drive traffic, leads, have conversations and pull mass amounts data in order to inform all marketing programs.

So, what’s the history of social media in your life?


Michael Brito

Michael Brito is a Digital OG. He’s been building brands online since Al Gore invented the Internet. You can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.