Web predecessors

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By Reuel John F. Lumawag

Web Traveller

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


THE internet has gone a long way since its development in the 1960s, as a medium for exchanging and sharing of information. True, it's also a good tool of communication that allows us to get in touch with our family and friends wherever they are in the world. It was not easy but I did my research and gathered the "firsts" of the world wide web (WWW).

1st social networking site

According to my tedious research on Wikipedia and Google, SixDegrees.com, was one of the earliest manifestations of the modern day social networking sites that we know today. The site allows users to create profile, list friends, send messages, post bulletin board items, and see their connection to other users. Sounds familiar? The website lasted from 1997 to 2001. We can say that it was the mother of prominent social networking sites like Friendster, Facebook, MySpace, and Hi5. (source: Wikipedia and "The Brief History of Social Media" from uncp.edu)

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1st search engine

Search engines are the most reliable thing you can find in the web and they all began with Archie in 1990. Archie is "Archive," just without the "v." It was named that way because its founder, Alan Emtage, had to "shorten it to comply with the Unix world standard of assigning programs and files short." The site hosted an index of downloadable listings but since it has limited space during that era, only the listings are available and not the contents of the site. (source: Wikipedia and "The History of Search Engines - An Infographic" from wordstream.com)

1st video sharing site

The first video sharing website started way back in 1997 by Chase Norlin. The website allowed users to upload files in different video file formats. Norlin, in a interview with BeetTV, said during their time they had "serious bandwidth problem and there was no business model to support for video uploaders." Since then, there had been evolutions that led to the conception of Youtube, Vimeo, or Vine, with faster and stronger bandwidth. And also, Youtube has its partner program which "allows the uploader of the video to share the revenue produced by advertising on the site." (source: Wikipedia and BeetTV)

1st internet encyclopedia

Wikipedia is a student's best friend when it comes to doing their assignment in the last minute. But before Wikipedia, there was Interpedia (the name given to the first proposals for an Internet encyclopedia which would allow anyone to contribute by writing articles and submitting them to the central catalog of all Interpedia pages). It was initiated by Rick Gates in 1993.

The internet is still young and still has a long way to go. Right now, we are saving files through the internet with Cloud technology, we are able to have a face-to-face communication with our families through Skype, and stalk your crush. The internet is proving to be a powerful tool in the society today. It's still, in fact, in a continuous evolution phase that in a year or two, we may be seeing yet another useful uses for internet.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 15, 2014.

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