Broward News

Florida Man Wants Credit for Coining the Term "Networking," Claims He Invented It in 1985

Now that the term "networking" has become part of the American lexicon, a Jacksonville entrepreneur wants to take credit for creating it in 1985.

Bill Lewis released a statement this week saying all he wants is for his name to be associated with the phrase, saying he "simply wants to clarify his role in its adaptation to today's business, professional, and social vernacular and take credit where credit is due."

Lewis says that since "networking" is now the "catch-term" on websites like Facebook and Twitter, it's time for the truth -- or at least what he claims to be the truth -- to come out.

His proof, he says, is a 1985 trade publication in which he's quoted using the word "networking" in his description of how to sell telecommunications services to people.

The article in the publication he links to -- which can be found here -- proves he drops "networking" in there, and he claims the phrase has the same meaning it does today, which he says has no relation to the word "network."

"When I was at IBM in the mid 1960's, 'network' was a computer term," Lewis says in his statement. "The difference between a 'computer network' and people 'networking' is very specific."

Today, the term "networking" has taken on a life of its own, used to define a form of socialization within businesses and professional associations that connects people with similar or complimentary goals. It has also become the catch-term for online networking sites, (better known as social networking sites) like Facebook and Twitter, that are used by people throughout the world to stay in contact with friends and family, as well as to report real time events as they happen, to American and international audiences.

So Lewis says he deserves credit unless anyone proves otherwise and offers anyone to give a damn challenge him.

For the sake of the internet, we checked the Google News archives for the mention of "networking" before 1985, which produced 842 results -- including this article written by the New York Times News Service printed on July 28, 1980, which uses the word "networking" in a pretty similar fashion to how Lewis describes it.

Challenge raised.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley