Although the early history of the Internet dates back to 1960, it was in 1989 when British scientist Tim Berners-Lee submitted to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN, for its acronym in French), the document “Information Management: A Proposal” which eventually would lead to the birth of the web.
The origin of this document was born from the need to organize computer scientists from around the world who came to CERN because they believed that it was more practical to be networked together to share information more directly.
Although this proposal was deemed inaccurate it paved the way to forge the World Wide Web as we know it today. However, in the early 90's some “experts” predicted that it would collapse and not have any practical business usage.
For example, in 1995, astronomer and cybersecurity expert, Clifford Stoll, published in Newsweek that the Internet and websites would never replace newspapers. His claims were based on the belief that there is countless amounts of unverified data and that nothing safe is online, however we all know the results.
Also in 1995, Robert Metcalfe predicted that the Internet would explode based on the assumption that having greater numbers of uses would result in a supernova-type, catastrophic collapse. But in reality the closest the Internet comes to dying is when Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp go out for half an hour.
Peter Huber, a lawyer and enthusiastic researcher, wrote an article in Columbia Journalism mentioning that the Internet would prevent governments and big corporations from having control over the flow of information. But today, we know that information can be tracked and found very easily.
And finally in 2004 Bill Gates predicted that spam would disappear in 2006. Although e-mail filters and other mechanisms have helped reduce unwanted emails, we still receive unwanted messages in our inboxes. In fact, according to Greenview Data, in December 2013 spam accounted for 68% of all incoming mail.
What will be the fate of the Internet? To disappear? To evolve or become obsolete? Only time will tell but in the meantime leave your comments and/or predictions.
Jorge Chavez is Senior Editor at Mijo! Brands of Mexico.