A Look Back at GRAMMY Winner Allee Willis' Creation With CEO
Mark Cuban on Board Proves How Far We've Come
LOS ANGELES, May 22, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As Facebook became the
biggest technology IPO offering in history on Friday, it's hard not to
reflect back to 1992, on what was dubbed the first social network in
cyberspace. Created by Grammy-winner and Internet pioneer Allee Willis,
with Mark Cuban onboard as CEO, Willisville was an extensive,
interactive, story-driven online social world. Even though today's
media outlets and pop culture thrive off of public feedback via social
networks, most teens and 20-somethings have no idea that ideas for
social networking existed eons before Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.
With the first web page being created in 1991, Willisville combined
social networking, traditional pop media, commerce, games,
collaboration and information. As a GRAMMY, Emmy, Tony and Webby Winner
and Nominee, Willis was the first pop artist who evangelized using the
Internet as a social network, a driving force to juxtapose all of her
creative expressions into one medium interface and share it with the
public. Users could share ideas, connect with each other, and become
members of a cohesive community for the first time in cyber history.
In 1993, Willis joined forces with award-winning producer and
multi-media artist Prudence Fenton (Disney's Emperor's New Groove II,
MTV's Liquid Television creator, and Grammy winner for Peter Gabriel's
Steam video) to continue work on Willisville. Cuban, who later became
owner of NBA team Dallas Mavericks and the first to introduce streaming
events and audio to the web, was at the helm as CEO. In a 1994 article,
Cuban praised the concept saying, "The business potential for
Willisville is huge… This might just become the fourth new form
of mass entertainment, in the line of television, film and radio."
The group was constantly approached by, and consulted for technology
big-timers, including AOL, Microsoft, Silicon Graphics, Fox, Warner
Bros., Disney and Intel.
In 1995, Intel went on to fund a Willisville prototype, though much to
their dismay, the move turned Willis and Fenton into art and music
directors for technologies Intel had previously invested in. A year
later, FORTUNE Magazine quoted Intel's then Vice President for
Corporate Business Development, Avram Miller sharing his thoughts on
the venture, "We are witnessing the creation of a new medium, which may
in fact have more impact on the evolution of world culture than
anything short of a book."
Ultimately, the futuristic Willisville was simply ahead of its time.
The overwhelming creativity and ideas that were the essence of
Willisville and are at the core of sites such as Facebook, could not be
supported by the available technology of the early 1990's. Now
fast-forward to last Friday, where Facebook's record-breaking IPO is
clear proof to how far we have come.
For press inquiries please contact:
LaFamos PR & Branding
This information was brought to you by Cision
The following pictures are available for download:
[Image] allee willis lafamos