The advent of the World Wide Web began with the invention of packet networking. The first packet network was called ARPANET, and was developed by J.C.R. Licklider, an MIT student in 1962. He recorded his vision of having a “Galactic Network” in which information could be passed through. Anyone from anywhere would be able to access this information on the world wide web at any time.
This idea is much like the Internet we have come to know today. Later, in 1965, Thomas Merrill and another MIT researcher, Lawrence Roberts, worked together to figure out how computers could communicate. They connected two computers via a low-speed dial-up telephone line and the first computer network ever was built. In addition, the MIT researchers realized that computers could do much more than communicate – they could also run programs and retrieve data.
In the early days of the Internet, access was limited to the military and science facilities. It was not until the mid-1990’s that the Internet was largely accessible to anyone who was willing to pay for the connection. Beginning in 1997, the “Dot Com Bubble” began to grow. Stock markets started to take notice of the opportunities the Internet provided.
If people could access information from anywhere, that must mean there are business opportunities everywhere. Soon, the development of .com companies began. Companies that added the prefix “e-” or the suffix “.com” to their business name saw their stocks skyrocket.
People wanted in on the companies that were technologically advanced. In 2001, once the bubble had exploded, some companies were left standing, while others were left to be forgotten. Cisco was one of the less fortunate companies; more than half of their stock was lost to the burst of the bubble. Other successful companies, like Amazon, continue to experience success today.
The World Wide Web isn’t solely for business, though. It is also be used for pleasure. Social media websites were developed as a way for users to share and create their own unique content. More specifically, these social platforms are Web 2.0 Internet based applications to utilize user generated content.
Essentially, an individual needs to seek these social platforms out in order to create their own unique profile and start sharing their information, which is maintained by the social platform. Social media companies have thrived on this model, even making money on users paying for premium models and corporations paying to advertise on their platform.
What was once an unheard of service, the World Wide Web can now be accessed anywhere, anytime. The development of mobile devices and networks has made it so we always have access to knowledge, gaming, social networking, and much more. It is almost impossible to find a mobile device that cannot connect to the Internet.
This need has become a way of life in today’s world – we need constant access to the World Wide Web at all times, be it for work, for research, or for pleasure. Prior to mobile devices, you were tied to a landline and could only access the Internet via your home computer network.
Now, with mobile phones and tablets, we can utilize the many networks available to us who also provide cellar service to get the Internet at any time. There are even certain programs that exist solely for mobile purposes, like Instagram. This photo sharing app was designed so that mobile users could quickly and easily share mobile photos via their network.
Because mobile phones have made it so, accessibility today is limitless. Accessing the Internet is as easy as connecting to a Wi-Fi signal. Whether you are looking to use a web browser to conduct a quick search or log onto Facebook to see what your friends are up to, you are never far from the Internet.
There are many people who believe being so connected is a bad thing, while others exist who think that there is no other way to be than “always on.” Regardless of which side you are on, you can understand the need for the World Wide Web. After all, you’re utilizing it right now!
This overview of the Internet only scratches the surface. Use the sources below to expand your knowledge of the World Wide Web and how it came to be what we know and love today.