The first practical schematics for the internet would not arrive until the early 1960’s, when MIT’s J.C.R Licklider popularized the idea of an “Intergalactic Network” of computers. Shortly thereafter, computer scientists developed the concept of “packet switching”, a method of effectively transmitting electronic data that would later become one of the major building blocks of the internet.
After the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik satellite, the US Defense Department was considering ways information could be disseminated even after a nuclear attack. This eventually led to the formation of the ARPANET, the network that evolved into what we know now as the Internet.
On October 29th of 69 ARPAnet delivered its first message: a “node-to-node” communication from one computer to another. The first computer was located in a research lab at UCLA and the second was at Stanford; each one was the size of a house. The first message “LOGIN” was short and simple, and it crashed the ARPA network. The Stanford computer only received the note’s first two letters.
TCP/IP is established on ARPAnet
In January of 1983, a new communications protocol was established called Transfer Control Protocol / Internetwork Protocol or TCP/IP. This allowed different kinds of computers on different networks to talk to each other. ARPANET and defense data network officially changed to the TC/IP standard on January 1, 1983, hence the birth of the Internet. All computers can now connect to the network via this universal language.
ARPANET’s membership was limited to certain academic and research organizations that had contracts with the defense department. In 1989, British computer scientist, Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web. While it’s often confused with the internet itself, the web is only just the most common means of accessing data on the internet which is usually in the form of websites and hyperlinks.
The Beginning: Web 1: The world wide web
It was originally created to meet the demand for automated information-sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world. Personal computers were still in their infancy.
This is referred to as the read-only web, where the content was only created and distributed by publishers themselves.
Web 2.0 refers to read-write. Websites that emphasize user-generated content, ease of use, participatory culture and interoperability. This is the internet we know today. Consumers are their own content publishers. The web is dominated by a few centralized platforms that own and monetize users’ personal data in exchange for access to their networks.
In web 2.0 we saw the rise of web publishing platforms like wordpress and social media platforms such as myspace, facebook and twitter.
The version of the web we are in the process of transitioning to. Web3 refers to “Read-write-own”. Essentially what this is are decentralized applications that run on the blockchain and allow anyone to participate without monetizing their personal data. In 2009, “Satoshi Nakamoto” introduced the Bitcoin network, unlocking the principles set by Lee of Web3. When considering the essential component to decentralization on the web we must consumer the creation of the crypto wallet. Having a wallet, such as Meta Mask, Coinbase or Rainbow, allows users to participate in decentralized applications through connections that allow them to conduct transactions. The wallet serves as a passport, ledger and collection.
Many of us in the technology community are excited about the idea of owning our own data, maintaining privacy and taking the power out of the hands of the “governing overlords”.
I believe the future of the web lies in the seamless integration of these technologies into our daily lives. Virtual, traditional…anything through a day’s journey. We’ll begin to see the culture and function of the web spread into the real world.
So what’s next for the web?
I’d say that there is a lot that can happen in the real-world using web 3 philosophies. While many people may picture web3 as a virtual destination, that does not necessarily ring true. There is a lot of real-world utility for NFTs, as well as real-world brand advertising for the metaverse that we’re beginning to see in sports stadiums, retail stores, and events like art shows. I believe that the future of the metaverse lies in the seamless integration of these technologies into our daily lives, virtual and traditional throughout a typical day’s journey. We’ll begin to see virtual ownership in physical objects, like buildings, vehicles, and luxury goods, and we’ll begin to see the culture and function of the internet spread into the real world.