The Real Internet Boom

You can scroll back to my first blog entry to learn about the basic history of the Internet and Swiss researcher and MIT professor Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the hyperlink. While an independent contractor at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) from June to December 1980, Berners-Lee proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers. On December, 25 1990 he implemented the first successful communication between an http client and server via the Internet.

In 1992, a few of the students at the University of Illinois led by Marc Andreessen came across the World Wide Web protocol released from Burners-Lee and CERN. They thought it was a great idea, but it was clumsy for most people with a minimum of skill with the computer. They decided it would be a fun a potentially worthwhile project to write a friendlier, graphical interface on the browser. Eventually they released it on the Internet, and the downloads increased steadily. In 1993, Andreessen’s Mosaic browser was used by over one million people around the world. He had a hit, but he didn’t realize it, and it was the school’s property.

Think about it. In 1993 (that’s 15 years ago), 1 million people had access to the Internet.
In 2000, seven years later, the number reached 100 million.

  • I don’t think the Internet as we know it today was really born yet, because just 20 million had access to the Internet via a high-speed or broadband connection.
  • Many people don’t distinguish numbers between Internet users and high-speed Internet users and why it’s important – but I saw a vast difference because the high-speed Internet opened up the possibility of the virtual Internet and what made my invention, Online Job Tour, possible.

Between 2004 and 2009, the number of high speed Internet users has grown from 80 million to almost 2 Billion. An internet with immediate downloads of rich content, photos, videos, and the advance of user-friendly tools that allow novices to access and express themselves in the newly-created virtual world, has made the Internet, among many things a compelling web-solution for many activities.

My focus since 2003 since the founding of Promo Web Innovations has been to introduce Online Job Tour to selected healthcare employers as the “new approach” to reaching and recruiting today’s and tomorrow’s jobseekers – who are now online with a high-speed connection.

Formerly a “text-based world” because slow dial up Internet made it too difficult to download a single photo, today Online Job Tour is a revolutionary tool that helps employers and jobseekers connect online in today’s high-speed Internet world.

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On April 30, 2007 (2 years ago), USA Today published the “Top 25” Internet-related inventions. They are fascinating to review to see how far our global Internet culture has come since Tim Berners-Lee:

1. Tim Berners-Lee invents the hyperlink.

2. Email

3. GUI (Graphical user Interface) Apple featured clickable icons on its 1984 Mac vs. blinking lines of text

4. America Online Chat Rooms/text-messaging really boomed with AOL (35 million subscribers in 2001)

5. Broadband (1% of Internet users had it in 1998. 78% had it in 2008)

6. Google

7. Mosaic/Netcape – Mosaic ruled until Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (“IE”) took off in 1998.

8. eBay – 230 million worldwide customers in 2007

9. Amazon.com – while the stock market was crashing in late 2008, Amazon posted a 7% profit – how is that for a metaphor for the Internet’s powerful growth.

10. Wi-Fi – entire college campuses, and even entire towns, are Wi-Fi (this stands for “Wireless Fidelity,” or wireless access to the Internet.

11. Instant Messaging

12. Yahoo

13. Compuserve/Prodigy – in the 1980s these were the first mainstream companies to offer consumers direct access to the Internet.

14. The WELL – this was the first “virtual community” and now there are many of them – yes, people buy and sell virtual real estate in these virtual worlds.

15. Vices – online gambling topped $12 Billion in 2006 – ever think you were in the wrong business? LOL

16. Spam/spyware – Junk email accounted for 9 of 10 emails on the Internet in 2006.

17. Flash – seen a video lately? It’s likely on a Flash player.

18. Online mapping tools

19. Napster – created in Shawn Fanning’s dorm room, Napster let more than 26 million people tap into free music downloads – record companies shut it down.

20. YouTube – in my opinion, this is a growing revolution – digital video will be bigger than digital photos.

21. The Drudge Report – this was the first blog – remember its first scoop? Remember Monica Lewinsky?

22. Bloggers – this is perhaps the beginning of the end of the traditional newspaper because the world is changing how news is exchanged.

23. Craigslist – yes, it’s named after a real person: Craig Newmark. Free classified ads and the way we find apartments, cars, and dates by users supplying “friendly neighborhood information.”

24. MySpace – the precursor and first major “social networking” phenomenon.

25. Gaming and virtual worlds – here is another industry that defies the stock market. I’m not a big user here only because I’m afraid I would get addicted! And as an “old schooler,” I have a problem with Guitar Hero and think it would be much more cool if people would actually take the time to learn to play the guitar!

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Why is this all important and what’s my point?

So much has happened in the last 5 years that suggests a new world has been created and especially for HR professionals and recruiters for companies, and compelling need to be Internet savvy and understand the Internet is essential to success because all jobseekers are now online.

  • A 10/25/2007 NY Times article claimed the classified employment advertising industry in 2007 was at $5.9 Billion and is expected to be $10 Billion in 2011.
  • The Economist published an article in 10/4/2007 that said the average American will change jobs 7-13 times and change careers 5 times.
  • And the Internet remains on fire as a social networking and new phenomenon to communicate with each other – Twitter has more than 6 million hits per month when it had 1.2 million in all of 2008. Facebook is a monster and Microsoft knew it would be – buying a 1.5% share of it for $240 million in 2007.

These are no longer metaphors or signs but “evidence” that employers today must embrace the Internet and be involved in the “virtual world” born from high speed Internet.

And I didn’t even mention smart phones yet – that’s another blog entry!

To contact me directly, email me at carlbrickman@yahoo.com. I am also on Facebook. Learn more about my work at http://www.promoweb-us.com

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