These days, when everyone seems to have a Facebook friend, is LinkedIn or can Google himself, it's hard to remember the old days, before the dot-com revolution.
It was 25 years ago - March 15, 1985 - that the first dot-com Web page - Symbolics.com - appeared on the Internet, ushering in the commercial age of the World Wide Web.¬† Development was slow, at first.¬† It took more than two years for the first 100 sites to go online and by 1995, the number had grown to 18,000.
But from those humble beginnings the Internet has grown to more than 80 million dot-com domain names, according to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF). Crunching the numbers, 99.9 percent of all Internet growth has occurred over the past 15 years.
"The global diffusion of the commercial Internet has occurred with astounding speed," says the ITIF report "The Internet Economy 25 Years After .Com." "Every country on Earth, developed and developing alike, has adopted the Internet."
The impact on the U.S. economy of the Internet sector is estimated at
$300 billion or about 2 percent of the total, according to a report issued by
Hamilton Consultants and the Harvard Business school last year.