A Look Back at Internet Firsts
In October 1969, UCLA student Charley Kline was attempting to send the word “login” over to the Stanford Research Institute using the internet’s precursor: ARPANET.
At first, the system crashed, only managing to send the letters “i” and “o”. But an hour or so later, the full message was successfully sent and history was made:
Today, the internet permeates every facet of modern life. Billions of people around the world communicate through messaging apps, email, and social media platforms. By 2020, an estimated 20.8 billion “things” will be connected to the internet (including 13 billion household items like TVs, smoke detectors, and appliances).
It all starts somewhere
Though YouTube, Facebook, and email are ubiquitous now, they all started out with a single post, profile, or message, and that first action is not always what you’d expect.
As today’s infographic from Academized demonstrates, “firsts” on the internet are typically unpolished, unique snapshots of the people involved in creating the platform. From elephants at the zoo to live-streaming a coffee pot, we hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.
Links to Notable Internet Firsts
Everything posted to the web now lives in perpetuity.
Here are some notable internet firsts that can still be viewed, replicated, or experienced:
The First Search Engine
The first search engine was created to connect the McGill University’s School of Computer Science to the Internet. The engine, called Archie, was up-and-running in 1990, a full eight years before Google was created. The University of Warsaw still hosts a functioning version of Archie for historical purposes.
The First Amazon Order
Today, Amazon processes billions of orders per year, but the very first order was placed in July 1995. The grandiosely named book, Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models Of The Fundamental Mechanisms Of Thought, was ordered by computer scientist John Wainwright, who was beta-testing Amazon.com.
The First YouTube Video
The very first YouTube video was uploaded by YouTube’s co-founder, Jawad Karim. The 19-second video is no Gangnam Style. Jawad, who is standing in front of an elephant enclosure, deadpans, “Uh. The cool thing about these guys is that, is that they have really, really, really long, um, trunks, and that’s, that’s cool.” Cool, indeed.
The First Tweet
just setting up my twttr
— jack (@jack) March 21, 2006
Internet firsts are rarely flashy, as this tweet from Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, demonstrates. That said, as startups grow from rag-tag teams of determined founders into global behemoths, it’s nice to look back at those authentic, spontaneous first pieces of content.
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