Social media is thought to have really come to its own around 2006-2007 era. This is when Myspace had taken dominance over the world and when Facebook was secretly cultivating a hostile takeover of the internet with its “members only” club at the time. However, this was not the first incarnation of social media, not even by a long shot. In fact, the very first form of a social media site came about way back in 1995 in the form of a company called The Globe.
The Globe was website that consisted of a network of members that could build out their own personal profile sites and even customize their profiles. When The Globe finally made its Initial Public Offering in 1998, it had the single largest increase at the time in its stock from opening to closing with an impressive 600% increase.
It started off at $9 per a share but quickly rose to right around $97 its first day trading. However, just a few short years later The Globe would become delisted from the NASDAQ due to its inability to stay above $1 per share. Furthermore, in 2001 The Globe would discontinue its web hosting service that made the site the first social media company around, while focusing on its still relatively popular games that it hosted on the site. Despite trying as hard it could to survive, The Globe would die in 2007.
The Globe’s executive team struggled to find some kind of way to inject cash into the flailing business as the social media craze died throughout the 90s, ironically to be revived in massive ways by Myspace and Facebook just a few years later. Initially, the company was hoping that digital advertisers would flock to their platform but for one reason or another they could never capture that market. As the hype of the dot com bubble faded, the advertising companies at the time investing into digital advertising deteriorated greatly as confidence fell out of the web market altogether.
That is when Edward A. Cespedes, the president of The Globe, and CEO Michael S. Egan decided to push The Globe into totally new directions. The company experimented with a few different monetization methods, including a VoIP service (Voice over Internet Protocol).
In a way, this VoIP service was very similar to what Skype is today; though likely less user friendly than Skype is today. The service allowed people to make calls from all over the world by simply using the VoIP service and making sure the other user was also connected to the internet. After the VoIP service, The Globe also purchased 3 gaming companies that worked in and around the computer gaming space specifically.
These companies were HappyPuppy.com, Chips & Bits and Computer Games magazine. Alas still none of these companies would save the Globe from its eventual doom. Even their next investment could not do that – Sentec Inc a marketing services company that specialized in response marketing and technology. Sentec Inc at least sold for a huge profit in 2005.
Despite all of these attempts though, The Globe eventually closed its doors due to its inability to sustain itself in the marketplace.
While The Globe is more or less defunct, it is still a company “in business” as a shell company receiving payments from all the assets it has sold off over the years.
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