Evolution of the Internet Twitter, Flickr, BBC Online Throwback Stories

Evolution of the internet gave millennials like me the golden opportunity to reach the far corners of the world from the edge of our beds. Something fascinated me when I came across old pictures of some great Internet enterprises we have today.

Evolution of the internet together with the platforms that are impacting us heavily today confirms that change is compulsory. It is either you evolve and grow or you rest in whatever!

Let’s quickly get into why I thought of sharing my mind concerning evolution of the Internet. Shall we?

“In the Beginning, ARPA created the ARPANET. And the ARPANET was without form and void. And darkness was upon the deep. And the spirit of ARPA moved upon the face of the network and ARPA said, ‘Let there be a protocol,’ and there was a protocol. And ARPA saw that it was good. And ARPA said, ‘Let there be more protocols,’ and it was so. And ARPA saw that it was good. And ARPA said, ‘Let there be more networks,’ and it was so.” Danny Cohen

This quote is one of the shortest ways of summarizing the evolution of the Internet, which was originally called ARPANET.

That ARPANET syndicate has grown from mere protocols, routers, and networks to sophisticated internetwork of platforms, apps, websites, technologies and billion dollar enterprises.

As evolution of the Internet has taken the world by storm, we have witnessed the rise and fall of many platforms. Some leave us with us sweet memories, some leave us with nostalgia.

Let’s look into how Twitter, BBC Online, NYTimes &co looked when their websites first showed up online plus a brief story story on how they have fared over the years.

Evolution of the Internet -Twitter launch in 2006

On March 21, 2006 at San Francisco, California, United States, Twitter was founded. Twitter is the only bird I ever see that doesn’t fly. Maybe Twitter is spiritual and only gurus with spiritual eyes do see it flap her wings and fly away.

Who knows?

Evan Williams, Noah Glass, Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone brought us that game-changer which taught us how to make personal and business confessions in just 140 characters.

The hashtag (#), first proposed by user Chris Messina, debut on Twitter on August 2007. Did you know that before now?

Also, one of Twitter’s ground-breaking feat was beating the traditional media to sharing the first photo from US Airways plane crash in NYC’s Hudson River in January 2009.

Evolution of the Internet -Launch of whitehouse.gov in 1994.

‘On September 1, 2011, David Plouffe announced in an email that the White House is releasingWe the People” to allow public petitions on whitehouse.gov. The launch of the petitioning platform was announced by Katelyn Sabochik September 22, 2011 in a White House blog post’ -Wikipedia

One story I find captivating about whitehouse.gov initiative is the letter that Little Miss Flint wrote to President Obama. Miss Flint was an 8yr old resident of Flint where they were having serious issues with public health.

Little Miss Flint wrote to the White House to voice the hardship her fellow Flint residents were going through. Her letter was not only acknowledged but also replied by Mr President, Obama himself.

Launched in October 1994, the official website of the White House, whitehouse.gov, owned and run by the United States government is a window widely opened to all citizens to interact with the government of the United States.

whitehouse.gov is redesigned to suit every new administration in the country. It is no longer a portal to search for only Press Releases, Radio Addresses, Photos and Web Pages.

It is now a gigantic information resource where you could have access to general American history information, current news pertaining to the President, press briefings, proclamations, executive orders, and any speeches the president has made on the radio.

Evolution of the Internet -launch of Craigslist in 1995

Craig Newmark began the service in 1995 as an email distribution list to friends, featuring local events in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Craigslist became a web-based service in 1996 and expanded into other classified categories. It started expanding to other U.S. cities in 2000, and now covers 70 countries.

CL, a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, items wanted, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums was launched in 1995, but incorporated in 1999.

Craigslist looked like this when it went live in 1996.

There was no moderation when Craigslist started, so Newmark was surprised when people started using the mailing list for non-event postings. In January 2000, Jim Buckmaster joined the company as lead programmer and CTO.

Buckmaster contributed to Craigslist’ multi-city architecture, search engine, discussion forums, flagging system, self-posting process, homepage design, personals categories, and best-of-Craigslist feature. He was promoted to CEO in November 2000.

Evolution of the Internet -New York Times website was launched in 1996

With the motto, All the News That’s Fit to Print, the New York Times (NYT) is an American daily newspaper, founded and continuously published in New York City since September 18, 1851, by the New York Times Company.

The Ochs-Sulzberger family has controlled New York Times since 1896. For years, NYT was nicknamed the Gray Lady.

The advent of nytimes.com has lent a hand to transformation of traditional journalism worldwide. Nytimes.com came online in 1996 and has been ranked one of the top websites.

nytimes.com had 555 million page views in March 2005. The domain nytimes.com attracted at least 146 million visitors annually by 2008. — Compete.com study.

As an Internet giant that has followed through with evolution of the Internet, NYT, did not stop at the introduction of nytimes.com. The Times Reader came as a digital version of The New York Times.

The Times Reader was created via a collaboration between the newspaper and Microsoft. It was announced in Seattle in April 2006 by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., Bill Gates, and Tom Bodkin.

Times Reader takes the principles of print journalism and applies them to the technique of online reporting. It uses a series of technologies developed by Microsoft and their Windows Presentation Foundation team. Evolution of the Internet really!

Evolution of the Internet -launch of BBC Online in 1997

BBC Online is a portal that houses large network of websites such as BBC News and Sport, the on-demand video and radio services co-branded BBC iPlayer, the pre-school site CBeebies, and learning services such as Bitesize.

www.bbc.co.uk is the brand name for BBC Online.

The BBC has had an online presence supporting its TV and radio programs and web-only initiatives since 1994 but did not launch officially until December 1997.

Bbc.co.uk became the third medium after existing TV and radio networks as it was launched in December 1997.

In November 2014, as it approved complete migration of BBC 3 online, the BBC Trust said there was “clear public value in moving BBC Three online, as independent evidence shows younger audiences are watching more online and watching less linear TV”.

BBC as a broadcasting warlord identified online content as a potent way to catch the attention of young fellas via BBC iPlayer and Youtube channel. This is yet another enterprise that did not sleep on evolution of the Internet.

Evolution of the Internet -Dell website was launched in 1996

At the age of 19, a college student, Michael Dell found PC’s Limited with $1,000 and a game-changing vision for the technology industry.

Michael Dell became the youngest CEO on Fortune 500 list in 1992. When Dell.com launched in 1996, it generated $1m worth of sales per day with just six months of going live on the Internet.

Within four years, Michael Dell’s idea of changing how computers were designed, manufactured and sold graduated from a dormitory room to a $30m-dollar acquisition.

Dell is not left behind by evolution of the Internet. It has been waxing strong as it acquired enterprise solutions companies Secureworks, RNA Networks and Dell Force10 Networks in 2011.

It also committed $1 billion to develop Dell data and solution centers around the world and records the largest single-year revenue increase in company history.

Evolution of the Internet -friendsreunited.com launch in 2000

In the summer of 2000, friendsreunited.com was launched for people to find their old friends from their school days.

From his back bedroom in suburban North London, Pankhurst alongside his wife Julie and friend Jason Porter launched Friends Reunited. It was a social networking site before the phrase had even been uttered.

Friends Reunited was probably the first idea to give the world an idea of social networking. But it’s so unfortunate, it did not survive evolution of the Internet.

Within a year, 2.5 million people had signed up on Friends Reunited to get back in touch with old school friends. At its peak, 23 million were using it.

In 2005, ITV bought friendsreunited.com for £175 million, making the Pankhursts and Porter rich beyond their wildest dreams. The sad news is that it was shut down officially on Feb. 26, 2016 after trying for a couple years to catch up with Facebook, but to no avail.

Life can be so unfair; Facebook finally killed Friends Reunited after 12 wild years of hard fight. RIP Friends Reunited, evolution of the Internet snatched you away from friends and family. We greatly miss you!

Evolution of the Internet -launch of Telegraph.co.uk in 1994

The Daily Telegraph and Courier was founded by Colonel Arthur B. Sleigh in June 1855 to air a personal grievance against the future commander-in-chief of the British Army, Prince George, Duke of Cambridge.

Joseph Moses Levy, the owner of The Sunday Times, agreed to print the newspaper, and the first edition was published on 29 June 1855.

Daily Telegraph struggled, and Sleigh was unable to pay Levy the printing bill. Levy took over the newspaper, with the aim of producing a cheaper newspaper than his main competitors in London, the Daily News and The Morning Post, to expand the size of the overall market.

Telegraph.co.uk was launched, under the name electronic telegraph at midday on 15 November 1994 at the headquarters of The Daily Telegraph at Canary Wharf in London Docklands.

Telegraph.co.uk is the online version of the newspaper. It uses banner title The Telegraph and includes articles from the print editions of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, as well as web-only content such as breaking news, features, picture galleries and blogs.

Telegraph.co.uk was named UK Consumer Website of the Year in 2007 and Digital Publisher of the year in 2009 by the Association of Online Publisher.

Telegraph.co.uk was Europe’s first daily web-based newspaper. It has evolved stronger with evolution of the Internet. It looked like this in 1994. While My Telegraph offers a platform for readers to have their own blog, save articles, and network with other readers.

Evolution of the Internet -Blogger was launched in 1999

In 1999, the platform that would later become Blogger was started by Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan at Pyra Labs. Blogger is largely responsible for bringing blogging to the mainstream.

But before then, it was generally recognized that the first blog was Links.net, created by Justin Hall, while he was a Swarthmore College student in 1994.

As at 1999, according to a list compiled by Jesse James Garrett, there were 23 blogs on the internet. But, by the middle of 2006, there were 50 million blogs according to Technorati‘s State of the Blogosphere report.

Blogger looked like this when it was launched by Evan Williams in 1999.

In 2003, Google, the world’s most-used internet search engine, announced the acquisition of Blogger, a web service which had fueled the rapid rise of the web journals popularly known as weblogs.

Pyra Labs, the company behind Blogger, was sold to Google for an undisclosed sum after four months of negotiations. Blogger still waxing strong in line with evolution of the Internet, I suppose.

Yeah, I suppose -with one eye on what WordPress is doing.

Evolution of the Internet — ’the late’ Flickr was born in 2004

Flickr was launched in February 2004 by Ludicorp, a Vancouver-based company founded by Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake. Flickr emerged from tools originally created for Ludicorp’s Game Neverending, a web-based massively multiplayer online game.

In less than two years, the photo-sharing site — now owned by Internet giant Yahoo! — has turned into one of the Web’s fastest-growing properties –slashdot.org

Do you know Flickr’s tag line? It reads “almost certainly the best online photo management and sharing application in the world.”

The tagline turned out to be an epic humble brag. Until Flickr was bought and run by struggling Yahoo, it was the best photo-sharing platform online.

Evolution of the Internet gave us Instagram. Now, Instagram let you see your friends’ instant pictures, while you can share yours with friends and family on Facebook.

As evolution of the Internet unfolds daily upon us, we witness successes upon successes being recorded by some Internet-based enterprises. it feels sad when we remember how wonderful some of them used to be though.

One big fat lesson for startups here: it is good to stay focused, it is great to plan ahead, it is awesome to keep the vision you started out with. But, have you seen, from my evolution of the Internet story, that nothing beats being flexible enough to evolve and get better over time?


Originally published at contentkrush.com on August 15, 2017.

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