Read & Respond week 3: Origins of the Internet

This week, we’ll go back to where it all got started. As you learn to be a more effective online communicator, it helps to know more about where online communication came from. 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):

From the early internet, the road leads to the social Web, and that road is littered with the corpses of early efforts. Ever hear of Friendster? It’s arguably the first major social networking site … and it’s dead now. MySpace is still out there, populated by some hardcore oddballs, but it’s nothing like it once was. And we predict The Death Of Facebook pretty much every year. The argument has been made (seemingly every year) that social media as we know it is about to change. What do you think?

Is the Internet something invented by an individual? What’s a specific surprising event you found in the timelines? What do you think keeps a social media site alive, and what comes next? Remember, your response is due as a comment to this post no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, January 21.

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

  1. The Internet is definitely a group effort in terms of how it came to be. Like the video pointed out, the major advancements of computers came around 1957—following the release of Sputnik I from the Soviet Union. The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) planned a large-scale information system through computers called Arpanet, which would be followed by three other concepts that are detrimental to the creation of the Internet. The first actual social interactions via computers was in 1962, and it was a series of memos by J.C.R Licklider, head of the computer research program at DARPA. However, it wasn’t until 1991 that CERN released the. World Wide Web. Some might argue that the Internet was created by someone like Bob Kahn or Vint Cerf, but the Internet clearly didn’t happen overnight. There were so many steps taken along the way between 1957 and where we are now, that it’s impossible to say that all of this was created by an individual. People built off of prior research and added onto it to get the Internet that we use now.

    A surprising event that I just recently saw on Facebook was the death of the dog famous for his unique haircut, Boo. While this isn’t anything like hard news, it’s something that sort of comes as a shock to those who’ve been following him for the last decade. Someone created a page for their dog, and they now have over 16.5 million people following the account. The viral nature of this little dog created an Internet following so massive that there were two picture books created, as well as a stuffed animal by GUND. Even hard news stations like CNN and BBC covered his death.

    This leads me to my point that a lot of what keeps current social media alive are the celebrities and viral stars (like Boo) who draw people onto their pages. As a child, I remember a lot of my Facebook usage—as embarrassing as it is to say—was based on following things like Boo’s page. Likewise, certain demographics may be more prone to use a site if they see that other people like them are using it. In this way, we are kind of in a monkey-see-monkey-do situation, but I think that’s what is keeping the Internet alive in the first place. When people say things or things happen that the masses consider important, they place more emphasis on the sites used to express this content. In terms of what comes next, I believe that depends on what our focal points choose. When others use new platforms to tell their stories, we will naturally follow; we leave behind social media like MySpace and Facebook when we see that less of the people in the spotlight are using it.

  2. I don’t believe the internet was invented by one singular person, it was developed over time by several different people into one person got it right, and made it what we have today. The event I found most surprising was actually the beginning. I did not realize how long ago the idea of the internet started. I always thought it was in the 80, not the 50s. I think what jeeps certain social media alive is the community and the way we use to communicate. Twitter seems to be an easy way to find different communities and talk with them while Facebook is more about keeping in contact with friends and family. I honestly am not sure what’s next because to me, it feels like we have it all. But the internet is always changing so you never know!

    • I don’t think the internet is something that was created by an individual. The internet has been a working progress introduced by several individuals, and is still continuing to progress as we speak. The most surprising thing to me was that the internet has been around for so long. I always thought the internet came around in the 90’s, but it has actually been in gear since the 50’s, which is crazy to me. My parents always talk about how they remember when computers first came to their classrooms, so I was always under the impression that the internet came out after that. The internet is always changing, along with social media. Social media sights stay alive from them staying up with the latest trends. I think that most social media sights that have died off are because they didn’t keep up with what the audience wanted. I think that Facebook is still alive because they keep up with the popular sites, like instagram and snapchat. Also, Facebook has an older crowd, which keeps the younger crowd involved to stay in touch which their older family members mostly. I also think all these social media sights out today are staying alive simply because they each do different things. You have instagram to share photos, snapchat is a way of staying in touch and privately talking to someone, and twitter is used mostly for news purposes. It is hard to tell what is coming next. I think social media and the internet has evolved so much, I can’t imagine it being more than it is now. Although, the way it evolves in such a short amount of time, I don’t think it will be long until we see what comes out next.

  3. Holly Fry says:

    I think social media already is changing. Fast food companies are now roasting and talking back to consumers on their media accounts when they used to just ask how they could be better. It’s all about the attitude surrounding the consumer. We want these companies to talk back to us because it’s funny and could go viral.
    The internet is not one singular thing, so it has to have been made by many people. Also, the many layers of changes it had to go through to be what we know it as now. One of the events I was surprised about was that the computer developers needed a specialist to relay the info to the computer kept in its special room. I figured it had always been one person or one group working directly on the computer.
    A social media site stays alive by keeping up with the trends. It can’t do it late like a dad trying to stay cool but just making it not popular anymore. To run these sites, you need young people who are the backbone of trends on the internet.

  4. We live in a time that is ever-changing and this means everything especially social media. We say (every year) that social media as we know it is about to change, but I don’t think we are necessarily wrong. Each year brings new and different apps/platforms that we didn’t expect the year before. Updates occur every other month with new additions we didn’t expect. The thought however, that we are moving away from apps and “social media is dying” as the link said, I believe is naive to think. If anything these concepts are growing and taking control over more of the population. Today’s children know how to maneuver a phone or app before they even say their first words.

    The invention of the internet was clearly a group effort. Through trial and error and the ideals of various people coming together allowed the internet and our dependency on it come to life. Not only was it a group effort but it took various groups from around the world developing new methods and “net” programs to advance to where we are now. One thing that was interesting to me about the timeline was actually the very start of it. I didn’t realize that the desire for the internet came with the launch of Sputnik and the United States desire to stay ahead in science and technology. Without that moment (and scare of the people of this country) I wonder if we would be as far as we are today? I also found it interesting just how many people it took to keep these old computers working or

    Social media is still alive today because its instant ability to connect you to your friends, celebrities, fun viral content and open doorways to things you didn’t think possible. Our world is still amazed by social media and what we can do with it. When that awe factor wears off so does the need for certain social media. Just like with Facebook, when an older crowd became more frequent on the media, less people of the younger generations found Facebook necessary any more. There will always be some demographic still looking or into a certain app or media. Currently I believe that social media isn’t hurting for us to use it more, rather we desire to be present on it more.

  5. Cody Nespor says:

    I do not think you could say that the internet was invented by a single person or even a single entity. The internet was and has been a huge collaborative effort by everyone who uses it. Even at its beginning, we see that it was not a single person, company or country. Different people are constantly having bigger and better ideas for the internet and implementing them. I was surprised at how much collaboration made up the early internet. I had thought that the internet came only from DARPA. I did not know that other countries were also trying to develop similar systems and they all came together to form what is now the internet.

    As for social media, I think it is hard to try and predict what will come next. Logically we all know that Twitter and Facebook will eventually fade from popularity and something else will take their place, but if we were able to predict what that thing would be we could just make it ourselves. It is almost like a paradox, we know that something will eventually replace them, but we have no idea as to what that thing is or could be. What keeps a platform alive is obviously having a community. If a platform’s goal is to connect people and at least two people are connecting can you call it dead? Maybe it is not alive, more like surviving, but would it be fair to call it dead? This reminds me of when the Halo 2 servers were shut down on the original XBOX. There were a number of people who kept playing weeks after the servers shut down until it was eventually just one guy (https://kotaku.com/the-last-man-to-play-halo-2-on-xbox-live-5535672). I could not find the exact quote, but I remember reading somewhere that the last guy online said he quit because without someone to play against it stopped being a multiplayer game, and I think that’s how social media kind of works too.

  6. The internet is one of the most powerful tools to ever exist. It has transformed our lives and impacted our daily routines. I do not think that you can say that the internet was created by a single individual. It was not just a single experiment either that transformed our lives forever. Through technological advancements and trial and error, the internet has only gotten more reliable over time. It has taken thousands of minds to create the internet and I believe that over time, people kept building on what already existed with the internet and made that even better. Social media platforms and apps were not the initial goal when the internet came about. It was used for research and technology advancements. Now, it has become a drug for millennials that they cannot live without.

    One event that stuck out at me on the timeline was the universities that advanced technology. To my surprise, it was not all ivy league universities, but rather most universities that were on the west coast such as USC, UCLA, UCSB, etc. This does make sense because these well respected universities are close to Silicon Valley which is the technology capital of the country.

    What keeps a social media site alive is the potential that site has to grow and expand into something all individuals can enjoy. Instagram is a genius social media site because businesses rely on this site to obtain business. The pictures you post can be seen right away by customers on their cellular device without even having to go into the store. Online shopping is the best it has ever been and social media is key to a successful business. Sites like Facebook have slowed down in popularity because there is no more room to grow. The key to a successful and long lasting social media site is to have endless possibilities, keep up with trends, and give the people what they want. What comes next is unimaginable to me but I think the whole world will not see it coming.

  7. patrickswebsite537111432 says:

    I think that it would be wrong to say that the internet was invented by just one person. If you Google “who invented the internet” you get Robert E. Kahn and Vint Cerf. I guess you could say that these two get credit for starting the internet but I think the real answer is that millions of people over time have have developed the internet in some way making it the endless hub for information and enjoyment that it is today. The internet is evolving each day and will continue to provide almost anything a person could ask for for generations to come.

    A surprising event or concept that I have noticed scrolling through my timelines recently is the amount of advertisements that are out there. Thousands of Instagram accounts with as little as over 10k followers are even advertising products. I think that the amount of advertisements will continue to grow as social media becomes more popular and things such as newspapers and tv commercials begin to die out.

    The answer to what keeps a social media site alive is pretty simple I think, the people. The users of a social media site are the driving force and the media will continue to grow and evolve as long as the users are still engaged and interested. I also think a big reason social media sites die is because of the emergence of another one, for example myspace fell to facebook and facebook currently falling to twitter and instagram. If a social media site can keep the interest of its audience and continue to appeal, they will stay alive. In regards to what comes next, that will be decided by whoever is smart enough to create the next social media site that all twitter and instagram users will ditch for. However, I don’t think that will be for a long time.

  8. adamjpayne says:

    I don’t think you can say that the internet was invented by one person, or even one nation, entirely because there were so many factors that go into what the internet is. The very interface was developed through so many technological advancements through space race endeavors, university advancements, and a necessity for powerful computing devices. I think that at the time, these innovators didn’t even know the gravity of which their advancements could take off. I found it particularly interesting seeing how a computer used to be so massive and controlled by a much smaller device connected to the database because when you think about it, this is pretty much identical to how it works today. The only difference is, instead of all of the technology needing a huge place to be housed, it is all connected through the cloud. Also, it is notable to observe how the want for smaller and smaller computers is still something you see in modern day with each new laptop and desktop boasting thinner and thinner designs.

    With social media, I think the way to keep it alive, is by updating the framework from time to time, to mimic and enhance ideas from the society around them or even other social media platforms. For example, Instagram adding stories to compete with snapchat, originally did not work because it wasn’t an advancement, it was a photo copy. But, when it developed and presented itself to be more-so for aesthetics/vibes instead of Snapchat-esque documentation/comedy it is used much more frequently. I think what would be next would just be an interface that steals the best aspects of certain social medias and combines them. Tweeting and sending snapchats I feel are the two most frequently used parts of social media that could be intertwined in one interface. Or, making more social media that’s specific to interests like Spotify and Twitter or Instagram and Rotten Tomatoes having blended content would really mark a (I think) positive shift for social media.

  9. deanmarrazzo says:

    It would be tough to say that the internet was invented by one single person. It seemed to be a collective effort, knowingly or not, by a variety of individuals and nations across the globe. The internet today was influenced and developed by a far and wide variety of events. The space race with the Soviet Union and Cuban Missile Crisis played a large role in many advancements toward the internet of today.

    I found it interesting that the design of the computer went from a very large external device to hold the main components with a detached device used to control it; to both of these devices being small enough to fit in the palm of our hands. The phones we carry around today are so far beyond what any of the original internet/computer pioneers could imagine.

    In order to make a change you need to find an existing pattern in which people share information and create a way to use that pattern in an interactive way. Snapchat came onto the scene and changed the concept of sharing pictures and videos with people. By taking the act of connecting through pictures and combining it with the ability to quickly send and receive them with text they were able to create a platform of their own. I think in order to keep a social media site alive you need to continue to make subtle adjustments that are staying in touch with the trends. Facebook and Instagram incorporated a story feature because of the success snapchat had with that concept.

  10. sadiejanes says:

    In regard to the argument that social media as we know it is about to change, I’d have to agree. Social media is always changing. Some platforms – like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – seem to have some staying power. They stay relevant to their users. Other platforms (like Vine) fade away. I’m not sure what it is that keeps a social media site alive. I think maybe it’s being able to adapt – to not be a one-note platform. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have all evolved since they were first introduced and they all managed to still be relevant years later.

    The Internet we now enjoy was in the works for decades and was certainly not the invention of just one individual. Researchers built on the work of those that came before them to develop concepts like packet-switching, which was an early and integral development on the road to the modern Internet. The ideas and contributions of many individuals were necessary on the long road to the invention of the Internet.

    While going through the timelines, I was surprised at how early an e-mail program was invented. I always assumed it was invented in the 1990s because I’d always thought that’s when it took off, but according to the Hobbes’ Internet Timeline, and e-mail program was invented in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson. Some individuals even utilized e-mail in the 1970s, which was I found to be incredibly surprising. Apparently, Queen Elizabeth II sent out her first e-mail in 1976.

  11. anneeparker says:

    Although the Internet as we know it truly emerged in the 90s, it’s changed quite a bit since its initial conception. Even before that when we had ARPANET, it was a system of networks that connected major universities. Under this premise, I would say no, the Internet was not created by one person. Yes, Tim Berners-Lee was the person who revolutionized how we view the Internet today, but we wouldn’t have the vast structure we have now if it were for the contributions of many. A piece of the APRANET’s history that I personally enjoyed was that in 1976, Queen Elizabeth II sent her first email, which is probably one of the cutest things to happen ever on the Internet (or its forebear).

    One thing that has come out of the Internet that the public has really taken to is social media. Since those types of sites began popping up, more and more have followed. Not all have been successful and some have definitely outlived their predecessors. Social media is constantly changing, whether it’s one site changing their UI or UX functionalities, or it’s an entire platform shutting down only to be replaced by a new one. Social media is not a stagnant market, and I don’t think it ever will be.

  12. haileyspicer says:

    In my opinion, the internet is not something invented by one individual but it is a group effort. After watching the video, it is clear that from the beginning, many individuals from all over the world collaborated their different ideas and opinions to create the internet world we have today. The event that surprised me the most on the timeline was the amount of manual work that was put into computers very early on. Before 1957, computers only worked on one task at a time and because of the size of the computers they had to be stored in special cooled rooms. This amazed me because of how advanced our computers are today and how many things we can do on them at once.

    Social Media has basically taken over, especially in my generation. The social media world is always changing and constantly moving, so I feel like its impossible to know what will come next. Over the years Facebook has been left in the dust and Twitter and Instagram have completely taken over. I think what keeps social media alive is making content that is for everyone. Most people love sharing anything and everything about their lives and I believe thats why Instagram is on top of the social media chain. People are able to share photos and promote businesses so easily, and I’m sure they will grow and be able to do even more.

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