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Table of Contents

eMarketing: The Essential Guide to Online Marketing, v. 1.0

by Rob Stokes and the Minds of Quirk

1.2 A Brief Timeline in Internet Development

Learning Objective

  1. Develop an understanding of how the Internet evolved.

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).