COMM0015: Blog #4 From Gopher to Google

Online marketing and social media are constantly evolving with new platforms and tools launching seemingly every week. As one tool gains prominence and popularity, another falls off the radar and into the trash bin of history.

I am old enough to remember the early days of the internet; dial-up connections, Usenet bulletin boards, Gopher, Netscape Navigator, and having to “get off the internet! I have to use the phone!” I am also old enough to have lived through the Dot-Com Bubble of the 1990’s where excessive speculation of internet companies led to thousands of companies collapsing almost overnight. These original internet companies had received billions of dollars in investment simply because they were internet companies.

For every Facebook, there is a MySpace. For every Twitter there was a NeoPets. For every SnapChat, there is an ICQ. For every Tik Tok, there is a RealPlayer. For every Spotify, there is a Winamp or Napster. The internet is littered with the remains of once great digital brands, the ones that for whatever reason, had fallen out of favour with the public. Whether they failed to keep up with their competitors or if they grew too large too quickly and ultimately destroyed themselves from within, they failed where other succeeded.

That being said, there are many tools and platforms which have recently come to my attention which I would like to explore.


This has become a must for any office during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Allowing staff to communicate in a somewhat face-to-face way helps to maintain a connection between staff members. Being able to see each other gives staff the chance to read visual cues from each other during their meetings.

I remember being able to use MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger to do video chatting quite some time ago but the technology within Zoom is far beyond anything from those days.


Another tool which has become essential for offices during COVID-19 is Slack. The main advantage that I have found with using Slack is the ability to connect with other staff individually, in small groups, or altogether. It works like many instant messaging systems by allowing for instant communications rather than by sending emails. Another nice thing is the ability to integrate other services into the workspace.

I used to use different chat programs years ago such as ICQ and MSN Messenger but they were limited by the technology available at the time.


I have used Hootsuite for several years and have only found it to be more and more useful. The ability to monitor several different accounts on different platforms and to schedule posts helps to make communications easier.

I had previously used TweetDeck to monitor social media but it is limited to Twitter.

2 thoughts on “COMM0015: Blog #4 From Gopher to Google

  1. It’s interesting to see other fields starting to use slack. When I was in a Game development program at Durham college back in 2016, I learned that it was a standard to use in the game development industry. We used it for many group and class wide projects.
    Well Zoom is popular, it’s security is extremely weak to the extent that people have been “call bombing” random zoom meetings by just randomly guessing room codes. But it’s also apparently fairly easy to hack into rooms without trying to guess codes as well. It’s a good choice if you’re dealing with general information like teaching classes but and absolute no go if you are dealing with extremely sensitive information like discussing an active court case or addressing matters related to government that require secret clearance or higher.

    • I started using Slack a couple of years ago with a U of M course. I found it very useful. I decided to bring it into my current workplace when COVID hit and it has gone over very well.
      I think that Zoom is learning as it goes. They have been making improvements to their service on an ongoing basis so call bombing is a lot less common now.

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