Pre GoLive (1971- 1995)
- 1971 - The first email was sent
- 1978 - BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) was invented by two Chicago computer hobbyists to inform friends of meetings, make announcements and share information through postings. It was the rudimentary beginning of a small virtual community. Trolling and flame wars began.
- 1979 - Usenet was an early bulletin board that connected Duke University and the University of North Carolina
- 1992 - Tripod is launched as an online community for college students and young adults.
- 1994 - Geocities is launched. It can be considered of the first social networking site. It allowed users to create their own websites modeled after types of urban areas.
- 1995 - TheGlobe.com allowed users to publish their own content and interact with people with similar interests. It posted a record IPO that fell from $850 million to barely $4 million in less than 3 years.
GoLive era (1996 - 2007)
- 1997 - AOL Instant Messenger is launched, as well as SixDegrees.com, which allows profile creation and listing friends.
- 2001 - Wikipedia is launched
- 2002 - Friendster is launched. It is the first major website to promote the online connection of real-world friends. It signs up 3 million users in the first 3 months (about 1 out of every 125 internet users at the time) .
- 2003 - MySpace is launched. First conceived as a Friendster clone, the first version was coded in 10 days.
- 2004 - Facebook is launched, originally as a way of connecting college students. First limited to Harvard college, more than half of the 19,500 students signed up within the first month. Flickr and Digg as also launched.
- 2006 - Twitter is launched. MySpace was still the most popular social networking site in the U.S. Facebook membership was expanded and opened to anyone over the age of 13.
After the bursting of the dot-com bubble in the fall of 2001, people were starting to wonder if the web was an overhyped short-lived phenomenon that was set to decline. This stimulated discussion and reactions.
Dale Dougherty, a O'Reilly Media VP, noted that far from having "crashed", the web was more important than ever and noted that the companies that had survived the collapse seemed to have some things in common.
O'Reilly and Dougherty asked themselves wheter the dot-com collapse had marked some kind of turning point for the web, so they introduced the term Web 2.0 and the first Web 2.0 Conference in late 2004 took place.
Below is a schematic representation of O'Reilly's and Dougherty's initial brainstorming formulating what Web 2.0 was about:
Web 1.0 --> Web 2.0
DoubleClick --> Google AdSense
Ofoto --> Flickr
Akamai --> BitTorrent
mp3.com --> Napster
Britannica Online --> Wikipedia
personal websites --> blogging
evite --> upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation --> search engine optimization
page views --> cost per click
screen scraping --> web services
publishing --> participation
content management systems --> wikis
directories (taxonomy) --> tagging ("folksonomy")
stickiness --> syndication