It is hard to visualize life without the Web, although a large majority of Americans spent part or most of their lives without it. Other than it was only 25 years ago this week that British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee published the proposal that is extensively considered to be the birth of the World Wide Web.
While Berners-Lee published "Information Management: A Proposal" at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, he leave to achieve a practical goal: to build the troves of information at the institute, called as CERN, more accessible to the scientists there by using hypertext to share information. Instead, he touched off a revolution.
Now, more than 2.7 billion people around the world access the Web. We Here should look back at the World Wide Web's meteoric rise since 1989.
1990: Berners-Lee develops the first Web page and server; name it the WorldWideWeb, on a NEXT computer for scientists at CERN.
1992: A photo of the musical group Les Horribles Cernettes, featuring the wives and administrative assistants of CERN scientists, was the first photo posted to the Web. Jean Armour Polly popularizes the phrase "surfing the Internet".
1993: On 30 April, CERN creates the WorldWideWeb software available to public. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) student newspaper, The Tech, is the first newspaper to develop a Web presence. In December, The New York Times publishes its first article about the Web, in which the print papers explains Mosaic, one of the earliest Internet browsers, as a "map to the buried treasures of the Information Age."
1994: Netscape is the brainchild of Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark launches. Yahoo also gets it's begin this year and the first banner ad appears. By the end of the year, 11 million Americans were online, as are the White House and United Nations. Berners-Lee founds World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to create worldwide standards for the Web.
1995: Microsoft introduces the novel Web browser, Internet Explorer, setting off a "browser war" with Netscape. Jeff Bezos and Pierre Omidyar touch off the e-commerce revolution with the launches of eBay and Amazon. John Wainwright orders the first book off Amazon: Douglas Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought. Omidyar is baffled by one of the first items auctioned off over eBay: a broken laser pointer. Quietly, Craig Newmark starts Craigslist as the way to advertise events in San Francisco.
1996: Hotmail became one of the first Web mail services. An animated baby dancing to "Hooked on a Feeling" captivates country, becoming one of the first viral videos.
1997: Netflix opens for business, mailing DVDs to subscribers. John Barger originates the term "Web log" and known today simply as a blog, on his online journal, Robot Wisdom, that chronicles everything from James Joyce to artificial intelligence.
1998: Sergey Brin and Larry Page launch Google, preparation shop in Susan Wojcicki's garage. Pew Research finds that 20 percent of Americans are getting their news via Web, up 16 percentage points in 3 years.
1999: One year after the Digital Millenium Copyright Act becomes law; 19 year old Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning launch the file-sharing service Napster, to chagrin of music executives but the delight of college students. The Internet Corporations for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) takes over management of Web's domain names.
2000: On 10th March, NASDAQ reaches a high of 5,048.62. By the end of the year, it is downwards more than 72 percent, the dot-com bubble has burst. AOL buys Time Warner for a whopping $165 million. The New York Times predicts the future convergence of old and original media.
2001: Jim Wales creates Wikipedia. A federal judge shuts down Napster. Google awes users with launch of Google Earth. Americans are expenditure an average of 83 minutes online per session.
2003: The social-media revolution begins with the introduction of Myspace, and Apple debuts its Web browser, Safari. Harry Potter and Britney Spears are the two most popular searches on Google.
2004: Google moves into Web mail with the launch of Gmail. Mark Zuckerberg creates thefacebook.com in his Harvard dorm, at first only available to college students.
2005: Reddit is founded in this year. YouTube debuts with a video posted by cofounder Jawed Karim about the awesomeness of elephants' trunks. The number of people associated to the Internet worldwide tops 1 billion, and broadband overtakes dial-up connections.
2006: Jack Dorsey inaugurates the launch of Twitter with tweet: "just setting up my twitter." Republican Sen. Ted Stevens is lampooned by the media after explaining the Internet as a "series of tubes" during a hearing on net neutrality.
2007: Chris Messina proposes the first hashtag (#barcamp). Steve Jobs unveils the iPhone. "Charlie Bit My Finger" that becomes a YouTube video sensation, and remains fifth most popular YouTube video of all time.
2008: Google launches Chrome. Barack Obama's presidential campaign makes sense use of the Web. More than half the U.S. population used participated in the presidential campaign via the Web, in accordance to Pew Research.
2009: Twitter breaks news of the U.S. Airways crash into Hudson River, revolutionizing how news is consumed and reported. The "Craigslist Killer" sends chills down America's spine.
2010: Facebook reaches 400 million active users. Pinterest and Instagram are then founded. Wikileaks upends the U.S. intelligence and diplomatic community with release of thousands of classified documents.
2011: Facebook and Twitter are used to arrange the revolutions of the Arab Spring. The Egyptian government responds to protests through unplugging the Internet.
2012: The e-commerce market tops $1 trillion, along with eMarketer. Internet companies flex their power with the widespread Internet blackout to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act. President Obama's tweet declaring victory in the 2012 presidential election gets more than 800,000 retweets and making his tweet the most retweeted ever. South Korean performer Psy's "Gangnam Style" becomes the most watched YouTube video ever, with nearly two billion views to date.
2013: 87 percent of Americans are connected to the Internet, consistent with Pew Research. Twitter hits 143,199 tweets per second, a new record, throughout an airing of the animated film Castle in the Sky in Japan. Miley Cyrus is the most searched person on Google. Americans are spending on average more than 5 hours per day online, approximately double the amount of time in 2010.
2014: The U.S. cedes left over control of the Internet, partially the result of the damaging effects of ongoing revelations about the U.S. government's surveillance program.