This week marks 25 years since the internet was very first created. That's right, that's 25 years since Tim Berners-Lee first created his proposal for the world wide web, and what a journey it has been!
It wasn't until the December of 1990 that the first ever website went live - the same year that the Nintendo Game Boy was released in Europe - and has since sold over 118 million devices!
It's funny the number of conversations that we have where people generally assume that Google is "the internet", as opposed to it being the website directory that it actually is. So we explain it by saying think of it like the modern day yellow pages, that you used to land on your doorstep, accept Google has the power to crawl billions of websites and update itself in next to no time at all. That's all it is at its core - a huge online web directory. Accept whereas once upon a time it simply listed pages upon pages of websites which were related to your search query, now Google is a magnificent beast that has evolved to how it believes that we now look for information, to make it as straight forward and effortless as possible:
- There is predictive search - showing a dropdown of suggested search terms before you have even finished typing.
- We have local business listings - so you know the location and business details of local businesses in your close vicinity, or even in a specified location if you are travelling or on the move.
- Image/Voice search - "OK Google", one of the most common predictions for 2016 and 2017 is the rise of voice activated search. Never before have more people owned and regularly use smartphones, and now software is endeavouring to keep up by allowing "hands free" search to be as simple as ever.
And that's just to name a few!
So why do we associate Google with being the answer to all of our questions, research needs and searches for information? Well, two guys called Larry Page and Sergey Brin, took the industry by storm when they registered the Google domain in 1997. Starting in a garage, Page and Brin set about creating their own search engine in a bid to then sell it for $1million to whoever was willing to purchase it.
Then came the highly anticipated "millennium bug". Will all computers crash, will stocks flatline, how will systems and databases cope with the seemingly complete wipe of information as we start the new century?! It's fair to say that, although there were problems, the turn of the century saw the internet as an information resource and method of communication absolutely sore.
We can now send messages to the other side of the world in seconds, make voice calls to other countries, find information at the touch of a button and chat and keep up to date with friends and family in a way never known before.
The last 25 years mark a turning point in history for business, education and the way that we interact with each other. What the next 25 years will hold in store is yet to unfold, so hold on to your seats, it looks to be an incredibly exciting journey.