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: A video clip!

History of the Internet

After viewing that, skim 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 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 22.

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17 Responses to Read & Respond week 3: Origins of the Internet

  1. Cara Devenney says:

    I would not say that the Internet was invented by an individual, but more from groups of people working together, and even alone at times. The first computers were gigantic, only performed one task at a time, and had to be kept in a cool area so the machines did not over heat. Today, computers take may different forms such as our phones, laptops, electronic signs, GPS, and even our refrigerators! Technology has certainly boomed since the 1950s, and it is going to keep enhancing as time goes by. The most interesting fact that I did not quite know is that after the Soviet Union released their satellite, The Sputnik 1, the U.S. wanted to basically compete with them as well as protect their (U.S.) technology. So in response to this, the U.S. found DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Project) in February 1958. This technology was used to expand research as well as to help the military. During this era, knowledge was only transferred by people, and the DARPA system was able to accept large transfers, plus it already existed of some research; this ended up becoming the ARPANET in 1966. The ARPANET, to briefly summarize, was the first network where separate networks could join together and communicate. Sine the Internet plays a GIGANTIC role in our world today, learning the history of it was pretty neat!

  2. The internet, I would think, is often thought to have been invented by a single individual. However, that isn’t the case. After reading the internetsociety.org link and watching the video provided on the class blog, I learned that the internet was more of a collaboration project and investment by the United States, Britain, France and Ireland. Internet society’s link also taught me that the advance of internet was fueled by countries wanting to advance technology and countries wanting to commercialize the technology. Both of these motivators helped push research forward and provide us with the internet we have today.
    I found it interesting that the term “internet” was created after France’s plan for connecting with networks was created and even though France’s budget was smaller, Cyclades concept went further than Arpanet and NPL.
    Briggs focuses mostly on how to utilize the internet in a more modern way by coding and understanding what it has to offer outside of YouTube and buzzed. In the book, Briggs mentions RSS which can help specifically narrow down searches and allow you to subscribe to receive notifications about specific topics, but it is also mentioned that RSS isn’t popular even though many of us use it without even knowing. He also writes about how to use HTML and CSS coding which is very useful for journalists and highly valuable as a skill. HTML is the necessary coding and I would say the backbone of a webpage, while CSS is coding to help make pages look pretty.

    • mglamastro says:

      Briggs touch on some really important points in chapter 1. He really stressed the importance of journalists that have strong technology backgrounds (i.e., those that do not have to rely on so-called “supergeeks” (p. 7) to accomplish day-to-day tasks in their jobs. In other words, a journalist who has a strong technology background/is computer- and Internet-savvy definitely has leverage over a more traditional journalist. This is because, journalists (both individually and as part of a company) can use the Internet to their advantage; they can connect more strongly to larger audiences via search engine optimization (SEO), personal their WordPress site (or any website) to match their personal and/or company aesthetic with HTML and find and organize incoming information via RSS feeds. In this sense Briggs really stresses the importance of being a “web worker” (p. 7) as well as a journalist.

      I also think Hobbes’ Internet Timeline is really relevant background information for all so-called web workers to know. While most of us tend to think of the Internet as something relatively modern concept, when in fact, Hobbes suggests Internet development began as far back as the 1950s. Of course, early forms of the Internet were used only by the government (DoD) and the military. Now, everyday Americans live life with the Internet literally at the their fingertips; it is user-friendly and arguably a backbone of our modern culture.

      Similarly, when the Internet first came into existence, it could only be used via computers that were extremely large and had to be stored in specialized rooms to keep them cool. In order to combat this inconvenience, the earliest Internet developers sought the connect computers so that they could control them remotely and directly (information from the video). These life-changing advancements, which took decades to develop, are often forgotten about in today’s society, in which many of us are able to store Internet-ready devices in our pockets and handbags. I strongly believe this is because Internet technology developed on a uniquely shaped graph. Instead of a steady incline, Internet technology grew slowly at first, and within the last 15, 10 or even 5 years, developments have skyrocketed, causing the timeline to shoot nearly straight up (as opposed to on a slant).

  3. Rebecca Toro says:

    I had no idea there were so many different concepts of networks. It’s interesting to learn that the internet was originally created to send information and receive information mainly for the purpose of professional networks such as RAND, ARPA, and such. Today the internet has so many uses than just information. In the video, I thought it was interesting how networks simply link together and are seemingly endless, that if one networks get corrupted, there is always a backbone. After reading The History of the Internet, I got more details on exactly what happened each year of the development of networks and the internet leading into the present. An interesting discovery in the Briggs chapter was RSS. I learned that it was a positive key for journalists. It helps us gather large amounts of information without a long search. Overall, the Internet links and allows us to send information. Although we have books, the Internet is quick and efficient which helps journalist deliver and receive news quickly.

  4. Haley says:

    The internet was a mutually beneficial invention from the science, military, and economic standpoints. I think it’s interesting to think that the internet has completely changed the way we live and it was invented when the Rocket Boys were getting excited over Sputnik. I myself have never been the tech person when it comes to journalism. I’m one of those students who says “I just like like writing.” (I know- It’s amazingly annoying) The more I learn and become versed in all areas of internet functioning and new programs the more I understand the necessity behind truly understanding internet functions and networks. I had previously heard of RSS, but didn’t actually know what it was. Having Briggs explain the actually functioning behind it then relating it to Twitter was helpful. We now live in a society of instantaneous internet information overload and things like RSS can help. I thought it was extremely interesting that the original waves would have messed up in the act of an atomic collision. These types of innovations and discoveries will lead us into a world of better, faster, and more availability of the internet. As a digital journalist, I am excited to see where the future of the internet goes.

  5. miaswanegan says:

    I wouldn’t say that the internet was invented by an individual. Yes, someone had to come up with the first thought but then over the year’s others piggy backed on to make changes and get it to where it is today. I thought that it was really cool in 1990 when Advanced Network & Services was formed and with all the growth and research that within a year all the sites were connected as a backbone based off of this chance. It is really amazing just how far we have come with the Internet considering it was just a beginning in the late fifties. In the present I feel like we take it all for granted but then I remember that with out generation, it’s all we know. Without the progression of the internet today we wouldn’t know half of the things we do in the short timespan it takes to be informed. Another thing that was cool about the timeline was that it pointed out in 1994, Pizza Hut started offering online ordering. I’m sure that was a huge moment in time because it was convenient but toady we can order anything online but that is completely normal. This weeks readings in the book and on the web were neat because it really broke down the evolution of something that we all use everyday and without it things would be much much harder.

  6. Cayla Nolder says:

    Reading through the links, admittedly skimming at times, I found it very intriguing how much the internet has evolved – mindblowing. The video really helped me form an understanding of how information use to be split in order to be sent and then be put back together on the receiving end. The historical parallels and the internet become more clear as well. In regards to Briggs, I think learning how to implement a daily RSS habit would be beneficial in the long run because it enables you to easily monitor the content that you’re interested in. Even though Briggs mention RSS in chapter 1, I don’t think it truly clicked with me until chapter 2. Shamefully, I admit that I’m not much of a twitter user (until recently) but seeing how it can be an effective microblogging tool justifies the purpose of having one. I hope that we go over how we can use twitter to promote our WordPress content. Furthermore, Briggs emphasizes what it takes to excel at blogging by giving helpful tips and advice. This proved particularly helpful because I was struggling when developing my personal blog concept..I kept making it too personal and I wasn’t fully understanding what was required of me from the assignment. Taking Briggs advice into consideration I think I was able to figure out not just what my blog was going to be about but how I intended on connecting with my audience. Pages 72-78, really breaks down what should and shouldn’t be done when you begin writing a blog. On an end note, I basically think that this book is a bible for the class and I will read it, then re-read it when need be.

  7. lindseybaatz says:

    The internet is such a complex concept, it is almost impossible to compile the complete history of it in one article. After reading bits and pieces of each article, I have a better understanding of how the internet came to be what it is today. All forms of media have adapted with the internet. For example, classic cable television is evolving to strictly be provided through the internet.

    The creation of the internet was a collaborative process. There were many concepts, however France’s “internet” of connecting different networks inevitably prevailed.

    Briggs focused on the future of the internet, and what it means for journalists. HTML is a skill we should all know. (at least the basics) I honestly had no idea what an RSS feed was. Briggs explains what it is and why it’s used. However, I am interested to learn more about it in class.

  8. zamuhammad says:

    The evolution of the Internet in my opinion has grown fairly quickly. Starting with the Arpanet in 1983 the beginning stages of the internet were underway and 1990 the World Wide Web was created. The internet was not invented by a specific individual, its was manly an idea that was shared and with the help of other people’s thoughts (and technology) the internet had become relevant. I was surprised to find out that there were so many steps to get to where the internet is today. For example, I did not know that just from the concept of time sharing sparked so much change in computer technology. Creating time-sharing made it useful for developers to share their work directly from one computer to another. In Briggs readers learn that the RSS gathers information quickly and more instantaneous. This helps people narrow down searches to more specific things that people are trying to find. In journalism the internet plays a very important role due to the face that most of the information in today’s world spreads through social media. Breaking news is more likely to be noticed on twitter and Facebook than the actual news channels. That is why the development of the internet is so important.

    -Zaakira Muhammad

  9. If we were to talk about the Internet before I read the above articles, I would say that it was created by one person and has evolved over time. The video and articles showed that it took many more people all over the world to develop different ways to better the initial creation of batch processing in order for it to get to what we know as the Internet. It is something that continues to grow further everyday.

    I found Arpanet to be the most interesting part of the Internet’s history. For one, I had no idea it was even a thing. I guess I have never had much interest in finding out how the Internet has come to be what it is today. Growing up with the Internet, it comes as second nature. It makes me wonder if I would care about the history more if I hasn’t grown up using one. Anyways, Arpanet was relied on for end to end reliability which we don’t even realize was something a computer used to think about. Now it happens almost automatically.

    Briggs brought something interesting forward for me as well. He mentioned that the Internet and the World Wide Web are not the same thing. That kind of threw me there for a second. “The Web is not the computer network but rather a way of accessing information through the network.” Reading that, it makes sense to me but I know I have used the two interchangeably. At least now I know I was making a mistake and can change it moving forward!

    I am super excited that Briggs also includes a lot of helpful information on how Web servers and browsers work and what RSS, FTP, Web and HTML pages, CSS, and XML are and how to use them efficiently. Explaining why these things are useful and how we can successfully incorporate them into our blogs can help us advance our blogs further than we originally anticipated. I personally didn’t know much about all of those features and I consider myself a pretty computer efficient person. I’m excited to apply some of them, if not all of them, to my WordPress blog!

  10. The Internet was not made by one person or for one person. It was an accumulation of the talents of three different nations (the U.S., England and France) and their networks: ARPANET (U.S.), RAND (U.S.), NPL (England), and Cyclades. Though these network developers did not work together, the video explains that it was the combination of the scientific, military, and commercial efforts that inspired how the Internet works today.

    Briggs’ was right to say that it’s easy to take today’s Internet for granted. I have never thought about the process of building such a great technological advance. From the earliest networks to RSS feeds, the Internet and World Wide Web are invaluable tools for the modern journalist.

    We are responsible for making information available for the viewing public, so it’s vital to know the HTTP, FTP and RSS concepts explained by Briggs..

    A great point made in “A Brief History of the Internet” is that the future of the Internet is how the process of change is handled. As more parts jump into the Internet game, we have to be aware of all the advancements coming our way.

  11. After the readings i find that i too agree with Briggs as well as some of y classmates that journalists with a strong tech background definitely have and advantage over the journalists of the past. Being able to affectively find a newsworthy story and then transfer it over to a widely viewed media source or outlet is a highly viable skill to have today.

    In regards to the internet I feel that overtime it has definitely evolved into a universal network made up of a mass amount of sources and outlets for the billions of people that use it. The internet is definitely a shell of what it used to be and has become so much more advanced and widely available that it is literally impossible to say that it could be contained to the constraints of being for just one single person.

    After the readings i have also become a bit more grateful for the fact that we are learning HTML in this course as i feel that it will definitely be a highly valuable skill for me. Especially since the field of journalism is being revolutionized by new media tech and advancements everyday.

  12. Ashley Conley says:

    From watching the video and skimming through the readings this week, I came to the conclusion that the Internet was not invented by a single person, but rather created through a series of technologically intelligent people over a multitude of years.

    As Hobbes’ timeline suggests, the Internet took years to develop within its full capacity (1959-early 2000’s and so on). The most interesting thing I found on the timeline was that the term “surfing the net” wasn’t invented until 1992. I’m surprised it took someone that long to relate “surfing” the Internet to “surfing” the waves. Neat!

    This week’s Briggs reading really got me thinking about how important the Internet is for journalists. It’s such a universal tool, not just for us, but for everyone. The Internet is our way of getting information out there to the general public. Since almost everyone has access to the Internet, there’s always going to be someone searching for something. Journalism has turned almost completely digital and we’re all “web workers”, Briggs says (p. 7).

    The Internet is always evolving, which means those of us who hope to become journalists some day have to keep up. This should provide us incentive to be even more creative, accurate and ready to learn every day!

  13. Laura Andrea says:

    The Internet has infinite contributors to make it what it is today. As mentioned in Briggs people contribute everything from extensions and plugins to actual web browsers like Firefox. In a way, it’s the biggest open source project in the world.

    Something I found surprising from the timelines was how ununiform the internet was in its very early stages. I always associated the Internet’s early days with military and classified government use with some sense of consistency. Instead, it’s open architecture design actually makes a lot more sense when we think of what it has become today, an innumerable number of people constantly contributing to make it better.

  14. To be honest I really had little knowledge on how the Internet came to be. This video provides a good insight on the development of the Internet and how it’s transformed over time. It is interesting to think about, that perhaps what we know as the Internet today was not exactly what was meant to be or ever believed to be when it was developed.

    The Internet is so vital to journalism. It helps with research and distribution. The Internet is becoming the main source for Journalism it seems.

    RSS, or Rich Site Summary, is an easier way to simplify the way we find and view information available on the Internet. It also helps keep updated on the latest posts to what you are specifically looking for. I had heard of RSS but never knew what it was until now. It’s pretty interesting.

  15. dshedrick says:

    The Internet was not “invented” by any single person. Rather, it is the compilation of many discoveries and innovations by scientists all over the globe, most notably from the United States, such as Robert Kahn and Vint Cerf, who developed TCP/IP, which is the communications model for the Internet, and England, such as computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, which is the information space that we are used to accessing through the Internet.
    Something that is interesting that I learned, that most certainly led to the climate of the Information Age that was ushered in by the development of the Internet, is the fact that Berners-Lee never patented or tried to make money off of his innovations. He believes that if had tried to monetize his efforts, the World Wide Web as we know it would not exist. He wanted it to be accessible and simple for everyone, like a service to the world. (http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,137689,00.html )
    I think this ties in nicely with the first chapter of Briggs, where he literally teaches readers step-by-step how to operate basic HTML and CSS, as well as explaining what exactly those terms mean, since the majority of his readers are not experts in computer science. His directions and explanations allow anyone to become Internet savvy and able to create at least the simplest of pages and posts. Briggs is essentially doing what one of the Fathers of the Internet set out to do; make information accessible to everyone in a convenient way. This allows everyone to contribute to the Internet, just as how many scientists collaborated to create it in the first place.
    Another aspect of the story that I’m sure still surprises everyone, not just me, is again just the recency of all the developments and the modernization of the Internet. This intangible thing that quite literally affects every single aspect of our lives was only really popularized a little over 20 years ago, even though there were inklings about it beginning over 50 years ago. Much like journalism and media today (as a result of the Internet, typically), it is difficult to conceive just how and when new developments will occur and change the face of everything as we know it. The Internet, although a very recent advancement, rapidly created the zeitgeist of our time, both as humans living in 2017 and as journalists, and we must always be on our toes for whatever will undoubtedly come next.

  16. Briggs said “we’re all web workers now,” and I couldn’t agree more with that. As journalists, it’s pertinent for us to be familiar with the latest technology in order to connect with others, fact-check, and disseminate information as quickly as possible. The internet has made this 100x+ easier, but it wasn’t created by a single person. Some of the brightest from the U.S., England and France contributed to the way we use the internet today (and thankfully, we don’t have to capitalize “internet” anymore).

    I really like that Briggs talked about using HTML and CSS. I’m a decent coder, and I think it’s an extremely important skill to have! Not a lot of people know how to write their own code, so it helps you stand out from the crowd. It’s not a difficult thing to learn, and the more people that know how to code, the more quickly we can make advancements in technology.

    I also found it funny that “surfing the net” wasn’t coined until 1992–it’s such a 90s thing to say.

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