'Dot-com' was coined in mid-’90s San Francisco, when venture capitalists and tattooed cyberpunks plotted website launches in South Park cafes. But speculation is nothing new to South Park, planned by an 1850s real-estate speculator as a bucolic gated community. The development foundered, but South Park became a breeding ground for wild ideas: a plaque at 601 3rd St marks the birthplace of Jack London, author of The Call of the Wild, White Fang and other Wild West adventure stories.
The Filipino American war veterans who settled here after WWII witnessed the dot-com boom come and – just as suddenly – go. But South Park offices weren't vacant long before more scrappy start-ups moved in and began building platforms for online haiku and foggy memories. A decade later, South Park's crazy ideas seem to be sticking, with more than a quarter of all people online using Twitter and 1.2 billion files uploaded daily to Dropbox.