Read & Respond week 3 – Origins of the Internet

You might want to read/watch this week’s links before delving into Briggs as they provide some historical context to what he’s talking about. First: Two video clips!

1981 Newscast about “THE INTERNET”

History of the Internet

Supplement these by SKIMMING one or more of these links (they’re meaty, reference-heavy sources, so just get an overview):

Is the Internet something invented by an individual? What’s a specific surprising event you found in the timelines? Remember, your response (to these links AND to Briggs) is due as a comment to this post no later than 10a on Monday, January 26.

27 Responses to Read & Respond week 3 – Origins of the Internet

  1. Sara Wells says:

    When talking about how blogging came to be, it is essential to talk about how the internet came to be. Skimming through the links and watching the video about the way the internet was created, it was all about competition. The USSR orbits Sputnik- oh no! We must do something better. Somewhere in the United States, the internet is born. France counter-attacks with a new aspect, and so on and so on.

    The video illustrated that processors were huge, specialists were the only people who knew how to use the internet, as limited as the system was, and it was a luxury. Storage space on the internet and speed was much, much less than we could ever imagine according to the internet timeline. Just under 60 years ago, it was nothing. Now, we can’t imagine our lives without it. The internet was seen as a threat to journalism, and we now know that we couldn’t have expanded journalism as it is today without it.

    All of this relates to blogging. Blogging is spreading because of competition, just as the coming of the internet was. At the beginning, blogging was foreign to most. Without reliable platforms, it could be a hard task for the every-day print journalist to complete. Blogging was nothing. Now, we can’t imagine our lives without it.

    Briggs outlines that competition has expanded between large news outlets and the average Joe who started a blog for fun. The need for website trafficking in order to produce revenue from advertisers is huge, and the issue probably will increase. News outlets like the Los Angeles Times, NBC, and CNN have blogs all dedicated to different subjects in order to get more to their readers in a more personal way.

    That’s what we can do with blogs, too. Cultivating a voice and relating to your readers, as well as establishing yourself as an expert on a topic, can be very beneficial to our future journalism careers.

    Some of the things Brigg’s suggests I can implement in my blog to make it more compelling to readers. Being the authority with a personality is something I think I’ve already started doing. I also show all of my posts to my mother before reading, as childish as that may seem. She’s an English major- and loves proofing. However, I need to start making my posts scanable and use maybe even more photos. I love the idea of putting in bullet points or lists and making certain sections have titles, as my posts aren’t the shortest. Briggs has a lot of good advice in this chapter.

    • aaaaaargh says:

      Your conflict/competition reading is very apt. Whether via innovation or straight-up fear, watching the other guy seems to play a key role in driving progress. I love that you’re showing these to your mom, provided you can rely on her to be an honest critic (which English majors usually are). Consider ways to shorten, break up, and otherwise make your work more digestible without sacrificing quality; these are core skills online.

  2. chadkriss55 says:

    The only reason we have the technology we have today is through the Internet. It surprised me that the creation of the Internet began in 1957. What really surprised me was that the Internet only began to exist due to Sputnik 1 and the discovery of Cuban missiles. In this case, war was the starting point of a technological revolution. No one person made the Internet. It took too much man power to take on tasks like putting a newspaper on a computer. It took a group of people getting little to no money to make what we today take for granted. To create a successful blog, it doesn’t take one person. It takes a group of people to make a successful blog. By reading other blogs, a person could make great content, but it takes readers to make your blog worth something. Even if the blog site looks fancy, without great content, they are simply an interior decorator of the Internet.

    • aaaaaargh says:

      You’re somewhat vague on details. What do you mean by “the only reason we have the technology today is through the internet” – surely there are non-internet technologies in the present day? I’m also not quite sure what you’re drawing from Briggs beyond the abstract – remember to be explicit in making these connections.

  3. dillondurst says:

    Although the idea of the Internet was essentially hatched by an individual, its creation required much more manpower. I also found it interesting that the Internet was basically created because of the Russian’s launch of Sputnik in the 1950s. Americans were pretty much scrambling to try to come up with the next big thing and revolutionized the way we connect with one another in the process. Most of us today can’t imagine living without the luxury off having all information just an instant click away. I myself get 99 percent of all my daily news online through various websites and social media platforms.

    This is also where blogging comes into play. Some of the top blogs (Briggs lists the Huffington Post, The Daily Beast and TMZ as a few of the top blogs as of May 2012) provide people the opportunity to speak their piece and also obtain valuable information, all while connecting with readers. Briggs mentions that the best blogs are not maintained by a single person, but by a team of writers. I definitely believe this is true because a variety of writers allows better coverage, different opinions/views and ultimately results better content. A fancy webpage can only get you so far if its content isn’t up to par.

  4. cposey32014 says:

    The internet was first created in 1961 by RAND Paul Baran incase of a nuclear attack, but it has transformed into much more than that. The internet was not fully up and running until 1990, but since then it has exploded and is a part of everyday life. We see it ever changing in the world of journalism. According to the one video about newspapers starting to use the internet in 1981 it took over 2 hours to send a newspaper over the telephone line. I find this the most surprising thing considering now with the push of a button I can bring up The Washington Post or the New York Times.
    As journalist Briggs says it is important to blog and in order to blog you must be dedicated and determined to do so. The internet allows journalist a further reach than ever before and there are many more ways to become active other than blogging.

  5. I believe that the idea of the internet was developed by individual, but the physical internet itself took more than just one more. I found it remarkable that the idea of the internet began to crop up in the 1950’s. Obviously, the internet have revolutionized our society, and it’s pretty much an essential part of life these days. I can’t imagine how life back then could’ve been when the internet was just an idea.

    With the development of the internet came the many different things you can do with it. One of which, is blogging. Blogs have changed the game in regard to news online. Briggs’ mentions TMZ as one of the top blogs. TMZ has been one of the best sources for breaking news and is considered in unlikely source. Now it is a credible source and often gets news before major outlets such as CNN.

    TMZ got to where it’s at because of having many different people there to work it. That’s another thing Briggs mentioned. Having manpower can help a blog flourish.

    For myself, manpower isn’t going to happen, because my blog is to be run by just me. I can, however, implements strategies Briggs suggestions. Making my blog easier to read by making it easy on the eyes. Short and simple make good posts and that’s something I need to implement.

  6. Renata Di Gregorio says:

    I was not surprised that the beginning of the internet spurred from defensive tactics of competing countries trying to out-do each other. Throughout history civilizations have evolved because of the need to survive by outdoing its competition. And even without the survival aspect, people will constantly be trying to be the best. In this case it was the military but instead of adopting gunpowder in place of knives because the other civilization has, Sputnik 1 was launched and the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Defense was in charge of it.

    According to the videos, the idea of a distributive network of connections that could cross long distances was also spurred from fear of Cuban missiles This also spurred scientific, commercial, and military ideas for the use this interconnected network. According to “A Brief History of the Internet,” in 1965 the first wide-area computer network was created. But it was not until 1990 and the help of ARPANET, the Advanced Research Project Network, that the “hardware” was removed and the “real” internet began.

    The internet took many groups of people throughout the world years to end up where we are with the internet today. Briggs’ research on which blogs have become the most popular is similar in this aspect. He names the Huffington Post and Daily Beast as such, which are both manned by groups of people to connect readers in a way that took years of conceptualization and research to get to.

    • aaaaaargh says:

      Interesting connection on the role of conflict (or fear of conflict) in driving innovation. Can you provide a little more depth on what you’ve drawn from Briggs?

  7. I have to say that my favorite part of this week’s response is the rich timeline given for the internet. It’s amazing to think that the meme-rich, cat-filled clickbait I generally click on actually stemmed from the first Russian satellite to orbit earth. The fear factor and need to develop technology is especially in line with my personal interests and blog. While I’ll be the first to admit that I only skimmed the articles on packet switching and ARPANET, I found that the Briggs chapter really gave an anecdotal visual for this concept. In my post last week I talked a lot about the difference between large, general news outlets and smaller, specialized media. Briggs effectively drove home the role blogs play in media, especially for specialized or localized topics, like those featured on my personal blog.

    I also enjoyed Briggs’s tips for an effective blog. I strive to keep my blog sounding personal and conversational without losing an authoritative voice or manner. I also received my first blog comment this week, so I’ve been actively working to improve my engagement with my audience.

    As the internet, and more importantly the media landscape, begins to change, I believe that Briggs is spot on about the blogs place among media giants.

  8. kmshire says:

    After watching those two videos and skimming the articles, I am thanking my lucky stars that technology is where it is today. I still get frustrated when I remember the sounds of dialup. It is amazing how far technology has come and chilling to think where it will be in just a few years.

    Sometimes it takes a little competition to spark a fire. This was definitely the case with the development of the Internet. The launch of Sputnik lit a fire under the US’s butt-and thus the Internet was born.

    The Internet opened several thousand doors; you can find anything from animals doing adorable things to breaking news the moment it happens. One thing that remains popular and relevant is blogs.

    Brigg’s dedicates the entire chapter to teaching inspiring bloggers how to create a noteworthy blog. The one piece of advice that stuck with me was “keep it conversational.” It’s easy to write about something that interests me, but what makes a good blogger is writing something that keeps the attention of the reader.

  9. It’s hard to imagine a world without the Internet. For all of us in college, we have never known a world without instant communication and technology. However, all of this was not the case for some of our parents and especially grandparents. The Internet grew and started due to countries vying against each other.

    With the increased sense of competition, this allows us to advance technologically every day. I was unaware that the idea of the Internet was basically developed because of the Sputnik launch… who knew?!

    When the Internet was first being introduced, many people were confused, scared, and just didn’t understand it. It took several years for people to learn how to use it and realize its benefits. However, our generation saw this same pattern through blogging.

    When blogging first started becoming popular, many found it difficult to do and considered it as a waste of time. However, more and more outlets emerged which allowed more people to get engaged and have an easier time. Today, blogging has transformed the world of journalism and it would be hard to live without. Competition between citizen journalists and professional media organizations is increasing, just as we saw between countries and the birth of the Internet.

    In this chapter, Briggs offered several different tips that I would like to incorporate into my blog. I want to make my blog easier on the eyes and plays with fonts and pictures to make it more engaging to viewers. I also think it’s important to write conversationally and establish a voice for yourself. Readers are not going to read your blog if it’s written like it’s out of a textbook. Instead, I want readers to feel like they know me and are able to share their thoughts and feeling with me.

  10. The internet is an amazing interlocking web of networks that has had such a unique history. Starting in 1957, computer developers and users were locked into a room with a computer the size of the state of texas. Interestingly enough they were able to start creating a connection.

    Through this lesson, I finally have understood why my grandfather constantly asks for my help performing the most basic of internet and computer based tasks. The thought of getting your news on the computer seemed so farfetched to the general public before the 20th and 21st century.

    What I found most interesting about the Briggs readings as well as the videos and links was the fact that the internet and computers started as a web of knowledge transfers. Blogs started the same way. They contributed to the ongoing conversation. It was interesting that blogging was essentially kicked off due to 9/11. Granted, 9/11 was probably the most significant national event in the technology age, it was cool to see that they both have similar roots.

    I completely agree with all of Briggs’ sentiments on how to start your own useful and creative blog. I’ve found that blogging about a specific topic always requires absolute knowledge of the topic, as does writing hard news. During my early stages of blogging, i was so focused on opinions, when true and excellent blogging contains a huge element of journalism.

    At the core, passion and the gathering of information is the source of great journalism. The gathering and acquisition of information was the birth of the modern internet, and that is the key to good blogging and overall use of the internet.

  11. After watching the videos and reading the text I learned a decent amount about the history of the Internet. It is crazy to think as the video says “Something we take for granted now was just an idea 50 years ago.” Now almost everyone and everything is linked to the internet.

    The internet was created by the collaborative effort of different groups with different intentions. I never knew that a major part of what led to the internet today was rooted in defense research. The men and women who created the internet must have had quite the burden on their shoulders when trying to figure out a way to connect the enormous computers that they were working with back in the late 50’s and 60’s,

    The Internet has a parallel with blogs in the sense that they are not created by an individual. Yes, there is a single writer who produces the content in each post, but with each post the writer receives input and feedback from his/her reader. This feedback helps form the blog into something aimed at the readers which is what blogging is all about.

    Briggs talks about how facilitating a continuing conversation. If your blog cannot flow with your readers they won’t come back. Briggs also talks about how when the internet first came about that the only people who could produce web sites were programmers and those who knew how to code. Their sites were flashy but lacked substance to hold a readers’ interest. By tailoring the blog to the readers, we are able to have readers continue to come back and read our content. This is a win-win situation for all involved.

    So when asked the question was the internet created by an individual, the answer is no. The internet was created by the combined efforts of people around the world to make the internet what it is now. Currently our blogs are in the same place as the early concepts for the internet. However, as we begin to build a base of readers and receive their feedback, they will continue to grow and develop into something much better than we could expect.

  12. tmertins says:

    What surprises me about the history of the internet, is that it mirrors the history of the US space program. The country feared the Soviet Union’s threats with nuclear weapons and it became the motivation to innovate. Much like there was motivation to race the Soviets to the moon, there was motivation to create a way to exchange and store information much faster than humans can handle.

    It wasn’t a individual effort or idea that created the internet. Arpanet along with others, had the same idea all around the same time. The only difference was the purpose for which they had their networks built. And then what everyone realized was that one inter-connected “net” of networks could do all of those things and more together.

    And this Internet is still evolving today. Briggs says that blogging has changed journalism, and it has changed it. But blogging is something that is still evolving itself. Blogs are just pieces to the puzzle of an even greater picture that is a community. A content-gathering site like Reddit is the new blog, where millions of users post content into a subreddit of a specific interest. It’s strikingly similar to a blog, only not by an individual, but a collective. Briggs has a list of top 10 blogs from 2012, with Huffington Post being #1, but there’s not a single subreddit listed.

    Briggs suggests that blogs (and also YouTube channels, Twitter handles, and Facebook pages) allow anyone who has the bare minimum knowledge of the technology to be discoverable. Things that are worth finding in the world are now much more easily found.

    • aaaaaargh says:

      It really does align with the space program (and the Cold War, but that too aligns with the space program). Progress breeds both a sense of possibility and a sense of fear at that possibility.

  13. sjl0693 says:

    After reading chapter 2 in JournalismNEXT and watching the videos, it is safe to say that the internet was definitely not created by an individual but by the hard work and efforts of many people after the Sputnik launch. It was very interesting to discover that Sputnik led to the further development of the internet because I didn’t know the two ever correlated. Where the internet went from there was something no one could of predicted. To think of all we use the internet for these days when it didn’t even exist 50 years ago is crazy.

    On that same point, blogging is developing in a similar fashion to how the internet developed. As Briggs stated, blogging started as an outlet for people to express their opinions on events such as 9/11. Today, blogging can be used to find more information about different things people are interested in such as politics, sports and celebrities.

    Another similarity was how people were gun-shy at first when the internet first came out because they had no idea how to use it or what to use it for. When blogging first started to become popular, many people were skeptical at posting their thoughts and opinions on the internet. Now, there are millions of bloggers across the globe.

  14. ctomes says:

    The internet is something that I think some people today take for granted but after doing the readings and watching the videos its hard to see why. It is crazy to think that the internet was thought up because of something that Russia did by sending out Sputnik 1. It was because of Sputnik that we needed to keep our hold on being the leaders in technology. Also another reason for the internet was the Cuban missile crisis where we needed a way of getting messages too people without interruption. Both of these are what created the idea of the internet, and then in 1990 the Internet was born and its something that everyone uses today.

    In reference to the reading in the book, blogging is something that maybe one person does but it is a group thing. You don’t just blog so one person can see it you blog so that others will hear what you have to say and they read it because its something that interests them. Blogs also give people the freedom to in a way be their own publisher and journalist. With that blogging is the simplest form of journalism, with how easy it is to write something and publish it.

    With all of this its crazy to think that 25 years ago the internet was born and also to see that it was born out of a necessity to just be the best technological country. Also to see how the internet has grown and how everyone is using it to do things like create blogs. Blogs are freedom for writers to get news out their or just talk about something they love and without the internet it would never of happened.

  15. abdulazizq8 says:

    I think that the Internet was created by cumulative efforts of many individuals. As technology developed, the Internet developed too. The Internet today is different that what it was in 1957. When people in 1957 created the network, they had different purposes than what we have today. This development was a result of adding new features to the network until it became available to everyone and for different purposes.

    Briggs argues that everyone Journalism college student should have the experience of creating a blog. This requires college students to have the basic knowledge on how to use the Internet. I think that all college students are familiar with using the Internet since everything has switched to computers. However, many of us do not have any experience with blogging. I agree with Briggs that Journalism students should learn how to blog, because blogging is an informal practice for reporting. Many Journalism students will be reporters or will have to write reports for their jobs. Blogging gives them this experience in an informal way.

    Briggs also thinks that a blog should have a specific focus, and that bloggers should post daily. I disagree with him at this point because a blogger could not have a specific focus and talk about it everyday. There won’t be enough topics to post about daily if the blog has a specific focus. I think that 2-3 post weekly are more than enough to stay within the focus of the blog.

    • aaaaaargh says:

      Good point about basic digital literacy in regard to Briggs. Just because one has “switched on computers” doesn’t mean one possesses the knowledge to communicate with one – too often we lump all these skills into one bag. I disagree on your point that having a specific focus would be impossible to update daily, but it DOES depend on the breadth of that focus – the broader the subject, the more frequently one can update.

  16. Mike Marsh says:

    The part that stood out most to me was in the first video when the reporter says one day we will be getting all of our news from a screen and said but for now the newspaper sellers still have a job. This is humorous in the sense that it is now almost completely correct! The evolution of newspapers and the internet has made it so the universal way to read news or get information is all via a screen.

    It was also interesting when skimming though the Hobbes Timeline of the Internet how everything started with launching the first artificial satellite into orbit which started the creation of APRA in 1957, which later formed APRANET. This become the basis for early internet that served as a “cooperative network of time-sharing computers”.

    Scrolling down to more current dates Hobbes cites things like when you could start to register domains to the first online election in Switzerland in 2003. It is crazy to think of where internet started compared to the level it is at today. Reading the articles and watching these videos made me think of where the internet will be in 20 years from now if it keeps expanding and becoming more technologically advanced.

    In the reading, Briggs makes some very good points regarding blogging and how it has changed journalism. The part that hit home with me was when Briggs makes the point that blogging CHANGED journalism. Its immediacy and the ways in which an interactive aspect is brought into it where people can comment and become part of the conversation themselves brings the author and the readers closer together. Briggs also makes the point that there are no space or time constraint boundaries when you are a blogger. In the past, there were strict deadlines with newspapers and tedious space requirements. Having the freedom that blogging permits gives journalists a new way to report on a specific conversation and engage with a group of readers.

    The curating part of the chapter was also very useful and interesting. Creating an aesthetically pleasing blog is just as important as the content within it. Someone can easily choose not to read what you are talking about if they were to go to your blog and it had no fluid layout or looked unprofessional. The widget options and add-ons in WordPress allow you to curate your blog how you like. The CSS editing also lets you use coding to create your blogs design.

  17. lbarry2 says:

    What I was most surprised about in the history of the internet was that it was created during the beginning of our nation’s space program. The nuclear threats from the Soviet union, and their launch of Sputnik, gave us all the more reason to create something that could download and store more information than humans thought possible. It was created with a motive for innovation, and it did just that.

    I don’t think the creation of the internet was in any way an individual idea. At the same time, Arpanet and others were having the same ideas, just for different reasons. This idea that the internet was created by a single individual, but the collection of ideas from many people, holds true with blogs. Blogs might be started off by one individual’s ideas, but the creation of the blog and how it progresses is determined by the ideas and thoughts of a collection of individuals. Without that collection of ideas from other individuals, the blog would be worthless and would serve no purpose.

    Briggs explained how blogging has changed journalism, and I couldn’t agree with that more. But as one of our classmates explained in an earlier post, blogging is still evolving too (Reddit, for example). I thought it was interesting how Briggs made his top ten list of blogs, with the Huffington Post being #1, but never once included a subreddit. Just like the internet itself, blogging is progressing and adapting to new ways, and I think sites like Reddit should be accounted for.

    The same goes for how people react to the internet. As the internet is adapting to new ways, so are people. At first, people were shy to use the internet, but now almost everyone uses it everyday to gain knowledge and information.

  18. paigeczyzewski says:

    I’ve always wanted to start a blog before this class, however, as echoed in Briggs this week, blogs take a lot of work because they aren’t “magic.” Conversation in the blogosphere takes time, effort, and passion. I hate to admit that I needed a class to keep me on track, but we’re all flawed. What I liked most about the reading this week, was the section on blogging with a personality. I’m post from an academic standpoint, but I really am trying to link topics to funny subject in the media. Some words even link to ridiculous side talk; you just kinda have to read one of my posts to see what I’m talking about. I really want to maintain my personality.

    Regarding this week’s links and questions, I particularly enjoyed Melih Bilgil’s graphic video on the history of the internet. The idea started with time sharing in 1957 and the internet came into existence because of Sputnik 1 and Cuban missiles. The basis began with the concept of quickly accelerating knowledge transfer, and it was the commercial, scientific, and military approaches to this basis that are the “foundation of our internet.” As described in the link “Brief History of the Internet,” the idea of the internet was envisioned by an individual (Licklider), however the group DARPA developed the concept. And what I found most interesting was Bilgil’s review of how the term “inter-net” was born.

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