Most important moments in the history of the internet

Business technology site ZDnet.com.au has compiled a list of the top 50 significant moments in internet history. While their site has the full list available, we at SmartCompany have picked 10 moments we think are some of the most important in the web’s development.

1. February 1966 – Development of ARPA. The US Government computer network ARPANET was designed to allow network file sharing over long distances, but became a precursor to the internet as we know it.

2. Late 1971 – Network email. Using a program called SNDMSG, computer programmer Ray Tomlinson sent the first networked email message. He also normalised the ‘@’ symbol into email usage.

3. April 1989 – Mp3 patented. Probably the most common form of music file around, the invention of Mp3 allowed music to be transferred via smaller files. It operates in the background of YouTube videos and is still one of the major formats music pirates favour.

4. September 1995 – eBay begins. This auction house actually began life as AuctionWeb, but the same principles remain. Only now you have to pay to sell your junk.

5. August 1998 – Google gets funding. Co-founder of Sun Microsystems Andy Bechtolsheim gave the Google crew a $100,000 cheque to get started, the group’s first investor. A decade later, Google dominates the web.

6. June 1999 – Napster begins. This peer-to-peer network was one of the first software applications to popularise the use of illegal file sharing. While Napster was eventually reborn as a subscription service, pirate downloads are still rampant.

7. August 1999 – Blogger born. The first blogging software applications introduced people venting their feelings online. Once a market for teenagers complaining; now it’s a business.

8. April 2003 – iTunes launches. With all major labels signed on and just 200,000 songs available, the launch of Apple’s iTunes store saw over a quarter of a million sales in 24 hours.

9. February 2005 – YouTube begins. Now owned by Google, this video uploading service has sparked dozens of rip offs, and has revolutionised the way content is shared online.

10. May 2006 – Pirate Bay raided. Swedish police raided the servers of this pirated content aggregator. While several servers were confiscated, the site came online three days later with several new members and is one of the most popular spots for pirated content.

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