March 15th, 2010
03:40 AM ET

Dot-com marks 25th anniversary

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.

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Filed under: Technology
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Check your dates for the Web; HTTP was invented in 1990. There were no 'home pages' prior to this. There were protocols like GOPHER and of course the venerable FTP back in the '80s that a company could use for data distribution.

    March 15, 2010 at 4:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Shallow Waters

    An interesting thing to note is that the internet actually began with the US government agency D.A.R.P.A. It is surprising that the government hasn't tried to reacquire the free flapping reigns of the unwieldy internet and tax it to repay the deficit. Especially since there are millions using it and thousands more everyday. I would post a question if the US Deficit could be paid off with internet taxes, how many would agree to the US government getting behind its reigns?

    March 15, 2010 at 5:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. Garth Patterson

    Well actually, this wasn't the very first _web page_, as the World Wide Web didn't exist back then, and web browsers were non-existent.

    It was the first .com domain, which was accessible by internet tools like Gopher, and proprietary online services like Compuserve and The Source (I think), as well as local BBSs that subscribed to internet access through universities and companies.

    I'll tell you tho', computer history does take me back. 🙂

    March 15, 2010 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ora Lassila

    You are confusing the Internet and the Web. The latter did not appear until around 1990.

    March 15, 2010 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
  5. tongue in cheek

    The Internet is evil. I am surprised the world has lasted this long with it. I doubt we'll be here to celebrate 50. We'll all be long gone by then all because of the Internet.

    March 15, 2010 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. godbluff

    There's an internet? I wish someone would have told me!

    March 15, 2010 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. tim

    Happy Birthday!

    March 15, 2010 at 6:27 am | Report abuse |