Famous Internet Firsts
The Internet is probably the most important invention of our era.
In anthropological terms, the internet could be a step forward in human evolution. An extension of our way of communicating and getting closer to the world and other people.
The inception of the internet began with the invention of ARPA, which later, in 1968 was baptized as ARPANET. At the same time, the most cutting-edge research centres such as MIT were already working on the technology needed to send information from one computer to another. This is when the first email was born.
As time went by, ARPANET became more democratic and went from being a secret defence network to an academic network, until the first public demonstrations were held and the first e-mails were sent. Between 1983 and 1990, ARPANET was progressively migrated to the TCP/IP protocol.
Then the TCP/IP protocol disappeared and its successor, inter-networking or, as we know it today, the Internet, remained.
With the birth of the World Wide Web in 1989, the first hypertext communication system (with links), the foundations of the new era of communications were established.
From there, "life [as we know it] would make its way". With the birth of the first search engines and the first social networks the infinite universe of the net was taking shape, and laid its foundations at the end of the nineties. Today it continues to grow and mutate, like a living organism.
Twitter, Instagram, webchats, Amazon, Google, memes, Wikipedia, apps... These have all become inseparable companions of people and have produced profound and global changes to our way of seeing life.
Let's take a look at the exciting history of the Internet.
In 1962, prior to the creation of the Internet, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used an IBM 7090 computer to exchange communications between various users. But the first email sent through Arpanet - a computer network run by the U.S. Department of Defense and a precursor to the Internet - dates back to 1971. The body of the message read ‘QWERTYUIOP’. These were the first row of letters you have on the keyboard. The idea of an email came about thanks to the computer programmer Ray Tomlinson (1941-2016), who also incorporated the use of the at (@) as a divider between the name of the user and the name of the server.
This acronym for laughing out loud was first used in the 1980s. Canadian Wayne Pearson, then a teenager, came up with it after reading something so funny in a chat that he started to laugh: LOL was the way he found to express that hilarity.
The first OMG - aka Oh My God! also widely used on the Net and used to express surprise or disbelief - was used for the first time at a time when there was no Internet. In the middle of World War I, on - September 1917 the British Admiral John Arbuthnot Fisher wrote in a letter to Winston Churchill, who was the Minister of Armament, this phrase: "It has come to my ears that there is a new order of chivalry on the table - O. M. G. (Oh, my God!)".
While most chats now take place through messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook Messenger, before the arrival of the smartphone people used to chat via websites or IRC clients (Internet Relay Chat). This latter system was, in fact, the origin of chats as they are known today and was created by Jarkko WiZ Oikarinen in 1988, while working in the Department of Information Processing Sciences at the University of Oulu (Finland).
The name of the first chat server was tolsun.oulu.fi. If we talk about the prehistory of chats, we have to go back to October 26, 1988. At 10:30 at night the first chat message in history was sent through Arpanet. The communication took place between the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Stanford Research Institute, now known as SRI, in San Francisco. That first message consisted of two letters -LO- because the connection was lost before the word LOGIN could be completed.
It was not intentional. The first ever cyber attack was the result of the curiosity of a student at Cornell University (USA). In November 1988, Robert Tappan Morris wanted to find out how big the Internet was, that is, how many devices were connected to the Internet. To do this, he wrote a program that was later defined as a worm: it traveled from one computer to another and asked each machine to send a signal to a control server.
By requiring so much information to be sent to a particular address, it overloaded six thousand connections to universities, research centers, and military institutions. The first virus - which, unlike a worm, does need user intervention to be executed - appeared earlier, in 1971. It was called Creeper and, when it went into action, it showed this message on screen: "I am a creeper...". Catch me if you can! It was created by engineer Robert H. Bob Thomas as part of an experiment on how the Net worked. In chronological order, the ten most destructive viruses of all time have been: CIH, Blaster, Melissa, Sobig.F , ILOVEYOU, Bagle, Code Red, MyDoom, SQL Slammer and Sasser.
The first website was created by the British physicist Tim Berners-Lee in December 1990 with a NeXT computer, although it could not be seen until August 1991. Its function was to inform the world about the new World Wide Web: its main functions, the steps to follow in order to access documents and to create a server. The first WWW did not have photos, graphics or videos.
The recognition of the first blog is disputed by several candidates. The blog What's New, launched in 1993 and consisted of a list of links. The personal blog that opened the way for others was that of the American Justin Hall.
In January 1994 he had just begun his studies at Swarthmore College, and it was then when he published the home page, where he showed a photo of himself attacking Colonel Oliver North, who rose to fame in the 1980s for his key role in the Irangate scandal (which revolved around the US government for selling arms to Iran and financing the Nicaraguan Contra) and another of the actor Cary Grant taking acid. It also had a sex section, where it warned: "Don't forget to clean the semen from your keyboards".
As Walter Isaacson explains in his book ‘The Innovators’, "his weblog contained scathing poems about his father's suicide, lucubrations about his various sexual desires, photographs of his penis, charmingly sharp stories about his stepfather and other effusions that bordered on what is considered an excess of information.
In June 1993, the first search engine was developed from MIT: it was called Wandex and, originally, it was not intended to be a search engine, but a research tool to measure the size of the Internet for academic purposes.
The first full-text search engine was WebCrauler, and it arrived a year later. Followed by Lycos, Infoseek, MetaCrawler and Excite appeared. In 1995, Altavista was the first search engine that allowed natural language and multi-language searches and checked inbound links to a given website, among other functions. A few months later, the Americans Larry Page and Sergey Brinn (actually born in Moscow, but emigrated with his family when he was only six years old) launched the search engine par excellence. It showed the most relevant results for the user according to various parameters, which was a huge qualitative leap over previous search engines. Since then, almost all of us have entrusted ourselves to San Google as soon as a question haunts us.
The first game app was ‘Tetris’, incorporated in 1994 by the Hagenuk MT-2000, of Danish manufacture. The first smartphone applications came later. In July 2008, Apple launched the first store in history, the original App Store, which, on the day of its launch, had only 500 iOS apps. In October of that year, it was available to Android Market users. The maximum price a developer can put on their app is 350 euros on Google Play and 999.99 on the App Store, which reaches, for example, Reyburn CyberTuner, a piano tuning software.
It was an advertisement for several museums that was sponsored by the American multinational AT&T. It was designed by Joe McCambley, co-founder of The Wonderfactory agency, and first appeared in October 1994 on HotWired.com. The banner cost $30,000 for a twelve-week period and its slogan read: "Have you ever clicked with your mouse here? You will. There are sources that say it achieved click rates of 78%. However, as early as 1993 there were other forms of advertising on the Internet, more specifically in Global Network Navigator (GNN), which was the first site to offer its pages to advertisers. The first banner in Spain appeared in 1996, in the search engine Ozú, and was an advertisement of the company AdverNet.
The first meme was the Hamster Dance, a video in GIF format from 1998 in which 392 rodents dance with a musical background.
Some people consider that the first meme actually dates back to 1921, when two images were published in Judge magazine, of a well drawn and badly drawn person, with the messages: "How do you think you see yourself in a picture" and "How do you really see yourself".
1995: the first item sold on Amazon
E-commerce is older than we think. In 1974, for example, the Artificial Language Laboratory of the Public University of Michigan developed a system for a computer to buy over the phone: it consisted of a voice synthesizer that converts the text that was typed into sounds, as if it were a phonic prosthesis. The first call was to Domino's, but the clerk hung up; the second, to Mr. Mike's pizzeria, was successful.
Since then, e-commerce has not stopped growing. The first item sold from the garage of Jeff Bezos,the creator of Amazon, was a scientific book.
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founded Facebook, is ranked first among the accounts that are still active, although before him there were three other profiles that were probably created for testing purposes. Arie Hasit was the first person outside the founding circle to join this social network; he was one of Zuckerberg's roommates at Harvard. In July 2014, singer Shakira became the first person to reach 100 million likes on Facebook.
It barely lasts eighteen seconds. The first YouTube video was uploaded on April 23, 2005 by German-American Jawed Karim, co-founder of YouTube, and is titled ‘Me at the zoo’. As of July 2019, it had more than 73 million reproductions, despite the fact that the video only shows Karim at the San Diego Zoo, located near elephants and talking briefly about these animals and their trunks.
For years, the channel with the most subscribers has been the Swedish video game critic Pew-DiePie, with more than -98 million. But in 2019 it has lost its number one to the Indian channel T-Series, which specialises in Bollywood music and films, with 106.8 million.
Jack Dorsey, the creator of the social network with the little blue bird, was the first person to write a tweet, although he wasn't particularly creative, it read "Installing my twttr". He published it at 9:50 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time) on March 21, 2006. The first hashtag was used by the American programmer Chris Messina, when on August 23, 2007 he launched the idea of using this system to group messages by subject on Twitter. At first, the platform saw no future for the initiative, but only two years later made it one of its most valuable elements.
The person with the most followers is the singer Katy Perry, with around 108 million.
The American Kevin Systrom, co-founder of this social network, uploaded the first photo to Instagram on July 16, 2010: it is the image of a golden retriever, and was taken at a taco stand. It ignores who owned the dog, but distinguishes a foot that belongs to the girlfriend of Systrom.
In January 2011, this app introduced hashtags, and user Jennifer Lee was the first to put #selfie to a photo. The first person to exceed 100 million followers, on September 25, 2016, was actress and singer Selena Gomez.