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A Brief Timeline in Internet Development

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There is no doubt about it—the Internet has changed the world we live in. Never before has it been so easy to access information; communicate with people all over the globe; and share articles, videos, photos, and all manner of media.

The Internet has led to an increasingly connected environment, and the growth of Internet usage has resulted in the declining distribution of traditional media: television, radio, newspapers, and magazines. Marketing in this connected environment and using that connectivity to market is eMarketing.

EMarketing embraces a wide range of strategies, but what underpins successful eMarketing is a user-centric and cohesive approach to these strategies.

While the Internet and the World Wide Web have enabled what we call new media, the theories that led to the development of the Internet have been developing since the 1950s.

The following is a brief timeline of the key events that led to the development of the Internet as it is known today:

  • 1958. U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) is established to lead science and military technological developments.
  • 1961. Massachusetts Institute of Technology publishes a research paper on packet-switching theory.
  • 1961–69. Research into intercomputer communications and networks is ongoing.
  • 1969. Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense, goes live; U.S. universities connect network facilities for the first time.
  • 1971. Ray Tomlinson creates the first network e-mail application.
  • 1973. Protocols to enable multinetwork Internet opportunities are developed; first international ARPANET connections are made.
  • 1976. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sends an e-mail.
  • 1978. First spam e-mail is recorded.
  • 1980. Tim Berners-Lee develops rules for the World Wide Web and is credited as being the “Web’s father”; Alan Emtage develops the first search tool, known as “Archie.”
  • 1982. Standard network protocols are established: transmission control protocol (TCP) and Internet protocol (IP), commonly referred to as TCP/IP.
  • 1984. Joint Academic Network (JANET) is established, linking higher-education institutions; domain name system (DNS) is introduced.
  • 1985. A company named Symbolics becomes the first registered dot-com domain.
  • 1987. U.S. National Science Foundation is the catalyst for the surge in funded work into the Internet; number of Internet hosts increases significantly in this period.
  • 1988–1990. Twenty-eight countries sign up to hook up to the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), reinforcing international Internet potential.
  • 1990. U.S. Senator Al Gore coins the term “information superhighway.”
  • 1991. Web father Tim Berners-Lee releases the World Wide Web (WWW) with scientists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN).
  • 1992. America Online (AOL) is launched and raises $23 million in flotation; the phrase “surfing the Net” is introduced by Jean Armour Polly; the World Bank goes online.
  • 1993. Mainstream media attention increases awareness of the Internet; first Internet publication, Wired, goes on sale; Mosaic introduces the first Web browser with graphical user interface and is the forerunner of Netscape Navigator; first online shopping malls and virtual banks emerge, as does evidence of spam; first clickable banner advertisement is sold by Global Network Navigator to a law firm.
  • 1995. Amazon is launched by Jeff Bezos; trial dial-up systems such as AOL and CompuServe launch; charging is introduced for domain names; search technology companies such as Alta Vista, Infoseek, Excite, and MetaCrawler rapidly appear.
  • 1996. Yahoo! is launched on the stock exchange, and shares are up nearly 300 percent on its first day.
  • 1997. MP3.com is founded; the phrase “search engine optimization” is used for the first time in a Web forum.
  • 1998. XML (extensible markup language) is released to enable compatibility between different computer systems; Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
  • 1999. Peter Merholz coins the word “blog.”
  • 2000. AOL and Time Warner announce they are merging; pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns are introduced for top-ten search rankings; Google AdWords launches, charging for advertisements on a cost-per-mille (CPM, or cost-per-thousand impressions) basis.
  • 2002. UK online monthly consumer shopping breaks through the £1 billion barrier; Google AdWords charges on a PPC basis instead of a CPM.
  • 2003. EBay topples Amazon as the most visited UK Web site.
  • 2004. CD WOW! loses court case and rights to source cheaper compact discs (CDs) outside the European Union, undermining the global concept of the Internet.
  • 2005. Iceland leads the world with broadband penetration: 26.7 inhabitants per 100 have broadband compared with 15.9 per 100 in the United Kingdom.
  • 2006. Google buys YouTube for $1.6 billion; Facebook membership opens to anyone; Technorati.com notes that a blog is created every second of every day; Time magazine names “You” as person of the year due to online activity.
  • 2008. Firefox 3.0 launches with over eight million downloads in twenty-four hours; Internet usage tops 1,407,724,920 worldwide.
  • 2009. An estimated 1,802,330,457 are using the Internet worldwide as of December 31.Miniwatts Marketing Group, “Internet Usage Statistics,” Internet World Stats, June 19, 2010, http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm (accessed June 22, 2010).

Source: Online Marketing Essentials (v. 1.0), Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0

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