In case you didn’t know, the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) are not one and the same. The Internet is a massive network of networks; the Web is how we access information on that network. The Internet is about 20 years older than the WWW.
Thirty years ago, on March 15, 1985, the first dot com domain name was registered by the now-defunct computer company Symbolics. They’ve repurposed their domain name (symbolics.com) and now use it as an archive of sorts for historic internet facts… and to generate ad revenue. If you had the first ever .com would you want to give it up?
At the time of their domain name registration, the World Wide Web wasn’t in existence yet.
It would take until 1987 for the total number of .com domains to reach 100. Now there’s a .com registered every second, which equates to more than 80,000 per day!
The “.com” is the reason you’re here right now, on this website, reading this article. And also the reason you’re able to post to your social media sites, have your own business online, shop online, and of course, watch millions of videos.
Thirty years after the first .com there are now nearly three billion people around the world are online today, and more than $300 billion in U.S. e-commerce sales and over $1.3 trillion in global e-commerce sales, all relying on the Internet. And all rapidly moving towards living in a Smart World and The Internet of Things.
Until the end of 2013, there were 22 domain extensions: the most widely used and preferred by businesses, the .com, followed by .net, org and .edu. Over the next few years you’re going to see at least a thousand new domain extensions. Some good…some pointless…and some that are ridiculous enough to give birth to millions of more websites — .food, .rocks and .sucks, to name a few. I have a feeling that the .sucks and .rocks are going to be extremely popular.
Happy 30th Anniversary .com!
In celebration of the 30th anniversary of the .com, Open University put together a GIF of what things looked like online in the 1990s. Back then, you were most likely viewing websites Netscape’s Navigator browser. Remember that browser? Thankfully, most browsers have greatly improved over the years.
My favorite of the few GIFs they put together is (no surprise) the one of Apple’s first website. Apple.com was showing off its latest technological breakthrough, the iMac. Apple’s website was simple, uncluttered, and easy to use. Just like their products. Apple has come a long way since their first iMac — the creation of the iPod, iPad, iPhone, and All Things Apple, to their newly announced “next big thing” the Apple Watch. Interestingly enough, Apple left off the “i” for the Apple Watch.
WWW Fun Fact: The first transmitted word between two computers was “Lo.”
The first electronic message between two computers was sent 45 years ago over the ARPANET. UCLA Professor Kleinrock was supervising his student/programmer Charley Kline and they set up a message transmission to go from the UCLA SDS Sigma 7 Host computer to another programmer, Bill Duvall, at the SRI SDS 940 Host computer. The transmission itself was simply to “login” to SRI from UCLA. They succeeded in transmitting the “l” and the “o” and then the system crashed! Hence, the first message on the Internet was “lo.” They were able to do the full login about an hour later. (You can see the record of that first message here.)