Posted on 07/02/2019 at 02:20 PM
A brief history and evolution of our digital world...
We tend to take for granted the Digital world we live in. It’s become so ingrained in all that we do in our day-to-day activities that it’s safe to say that we officially live in the “Internet of Things”.
Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant (among others) have become a daily part of our lives, answering all questions that we used to ask our parents or required an investment of hours researching and reading. We rely on the internet for updates on the traffic, weather, local and national news and sports, help with homework, and even our scheduling.
The web has become a collection of almost all the knowledge in human history and we can access it from the palm of our hand. Easily taken for granted, it’s nearly inconceivable that the things from the internet that we use every day didn’t exist fifteen years ago.
We turn to the internet for companionship and vindication with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and we look to YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix for our entertainment needs. It’s hard for younger generations to remember a time before the internet. Alas, such a time did exist.
So, Who Created the World’s First Website?
The world’s first web page was launched on the 6th of August, 1991, and is still active today! The page was created by the same man who is credited with creating the world’s first web browser, Tim Berners-Lee, and existed to inform the world of how the World Wide Web was intended to be used. In his attempts to create a way to utilize hypertext on the internet, Lee created HTML, URL, and HTTP, all of which we still use to this day. Knowing the world was full of data, the project even asked for help filling the web with content!
Why was the World Wide Web Originally Created?
Originally, the plan was for the internet to be used as a place to store and share documents across a worldwide network. For the first several years, it met this purpose. Used for academia, research, and even military means, the web quickly grew legs and began to run as a network for sharing information.
Who Started E-Commerce?
As the web grew, we realized we could use it to make money. The first online retailer was a bookstore by the name of Book Stacks Unlimited, created by Charles M. Stack in 1992. Books Unlimited eventually became books.com and was sold to Barnes and Noble. Two years after Books Unlimited debuted, a guy named Jeff Bezos created a little company called Amazon.com
Concerns about the safety and security of shopping online lead to the creation of SSL encryption certificates by Netscape in 1994, which has since hit version 3.0 and become an internet standard.
eBay was born in 1995 as an online auction site, as was Global Reach Internet Productions, a web development firm that saw the internet as a catalyst to advance the way business was done. In 1998, a search engine called Google crawled its way onto the web and forever changed the way websites were found.
What Was the First Social Network?
As we grow, we begin to learn communication, social skills, and how to make friends. Sure, we may have those awkward first few interactions with others, but we learn from them and begin to connect with people. We learn how to behave, social norms, and how to express ourselves. We even learn how to get what we want from others.
The web may have started as a document sharing space that transitioned into a place for business and e-commerce, but by the early 2000s, the web got social. With the introduction of a website called Six Degrees in 1997, users were able to connect with others, post blogs, and upload photos. By all accounts, Six Degrees was the first Social Network. The success of Six Degrees gave way for the rise of Friendster in 2002 which would eventually become an online gaming website. The early 2000s also saw the creation of sites like Myspace for people to create their own space online, and LinkedIn to connect professionally. After that, social went viral.
Social Goes Viral
Blogging gave people a voice and a chance for others to respond to that voice. Social media took it to the next level. 2005 was the year that the internet realized that anyone could be a star with the invention of YouTube. With this whole new way to express themselves, people found themselves connecting with others across greater distances and more directly than any other web-based medium had allowed. By 2006, the world gained access to Facebook and Twitter.
How Important is a Mobile-Friendly Website?
In today’s web space environment, everything is mobile. Businesses that do not have mobile-friendly websites miss out on customers and opportunities. A website lives or dies by its listing on Google, and Google loves responsive websites.
Businesses have long accepted that they must have a web presence that represents their corporate identity and social media networks must be an integral part of digital marketing strategy.
No longer satisfied with simply holding all human knowledge and entertainment in the palm of their hands, today’s audience craves more. They hunger for connection and experience over most else and can smell through inauthenticity instantly. Users know what they want, want it all, and they want it now. So, instant gratification is the currency of the day, and content marketing has become the key to success.
Gone are the days of simply offering a product or service. To succeed today, companies are required to strive to truly understand the unique needs of their customers. This can only be done by communicating. Companies have been forced to evolve to meet demands, become more accessible, and mobile-friendly.
Why Does the Internet Exist Today?
That’s kind of like asking “What’s the meaning of life” isn’t it? From that very first website to today’s deep and rich web, the world wide web has existed for one purpose: to connect. We share ideas, tell stories, and expand human knowledge thanks to the ever-expanding knowledge base that is the world wide web.
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