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History of the Internet

An Online World Arises.

During the cold war, in 1960, the two superpowers, USA and URSS, competed heavily to produce new technological advancement that would enable one of them to surpass the other. Even a little breakthrough could have meant a radical change in the balance of power, as such it was not only a arms race but also a technological race

It was in this context that ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) developed the ARPANET a network that was meant to allow the decentralized sharing of important and sensitive files, preventing their compromise in a case of an attack, which, in the 60s, was a possible situation.

However, the cold war evolved into a peaceful coexistence between the two great powers, and there wasn’t the danger of an imminent attack. As such, the United States government allowed academic defense researchers to enter in the ARPANET.

This action proved to strain the capabilities of the network, so it was necessary to create two different networks the MILNET for military use and the ARPANET for non-military use.

The Internet Grows

The 90s brought with them a rapid expansion of a technology that, until then, was only available to a restricted amount of people. It was in this year that Tim Berners-Lee developed the first web browser and the first web server.

Many more web browsers were soon developed allowing for a more user-friendly experience as they had a graphical interface that was more visually appealing to users than just simple text. The year of 1993 saw the creating of the web browsing “Mosaic.” that provoked a massive influx of web users. The Internet was beginning to show its fantastic and revolutionary capabilities.

A New All-Encompassing Media

As the popularity of the web grew more and newer businesses and services within the Internet developed, creating many opportunities for the online entrepreneurs. Activities such as online e-commerce, online forums, blogs, emails, mailing lists and more, experienced an exponential growth in the early years of the web.

However, this growth soon turned into an investing frenzy and soon “dot com” companies saw their stock values rapidly rise to a ridiculously high amount. A “dot com” investment bubble was formed, followed by a severe market crash that disrupted the online market.

Nevertheless, this market crash was not enough to stop the growth of the internet and the online market quickly recovered.

The continuous rise in Internet popularity led to the advancement of the technology in the way of a more user-focus online experience. In this regard, social media began to increase in popularity establishing a new sense of community, the “online community.”

This focus in online communities reflected in the way websites sought to engage their public, and so they included functions that we now take for granted like the share buttons, the “like” buttons, the comment sections, the “add friend” functionalities, all developed with the social aspect in mind.

Today, many of us cannot think of a life completely “off the grid,” completely devoid of the internet, and that fact is revealing of how much power the web has. As the youngest form of media not only managed to gather a tremendous amount of users but is also slowly surpassing, encompassing and transforming the media like the TV, Radio and the newspaper.