Aaron Greenspan, a Harvard classmate of Mark Zuckerberg claims that he created the original college social networking system, before either Facebook or ConnectU were founded.
Mr. Greenspan is said to have established a web service that he called houseSYSTEM in 2003, 6 months prior to Facebook launching. houseSYSTEM was used by several thousand Harvard students and provided similar features to what is found today in Facebook; Zuckerberg was a user of houseSYSTEM. Greenspan is also claiming credit for Facebook’s name: he showed the Times an email dated Sept. 19, 2003 describing the newest feature of houseSYSTEM as “the Face Book.” Facebook initially launched under the name and URL of “TheFacebook” in 2004.
Unlike the founders of ConnectU who are suing Zuckerberg for control of Facebook, Greenspan’s claim so far only extends to wanting recognition by others as being the founder of Facebook.
Update: In related news, Facebook has once again asked a judge to throw out ConnectU’s law suit. More here.