Untangling the Web: First of a Three Part Series

By Raphel, Murray | Art Business News, November 2000 | Go to article overview

Untangling the Web: First of a Three Part Series


Raphel, Murray, Art Business News


SUMMARY BOX

* According to Price Waterhouse Coopers, less than $2 billion was spent on Internet advertising in 1998. But current predictions state that spending will increase to $22 billion by 2004.

* If predictions prove to be correct, more money will be spent on Internet advertising than on magazines, newspapers, TV, radio and direct mail.

* In 1998, the number of Internet users was 60 million. By 1999, the number of Internet users had jumped to $100 million and sales jumped to $12 billion, or a 100 percent increase in one year.

Part One of Three

AUTHOR'S NOTE: How do you explain, understand and make sense of the Internet? And what does it mean to art galleries and frame shops? Books and specialty magazines spring up overnight and statistics change daily, if not hourly.

In order to make sense of all this information, I researched where the Internet began, where it is and where it is going. I edited a tremendous amount of information down to three columns. It's difficult to be comprehensive in a field that changes so quickly. But, for now, here's what I found out.

The time was the summer of 1994. The place was the Digital World Trade Show in Los Angeles. The speaker was Jim Clark, co-founder of Mosaic Communications, and the theme was "The Future of Marketing." He said the Internet (what was that?) would be the "next big thing in communication."

The audience gave a collective yawn as they left to attend another session on something they felt far more important: Interactive T.V.

They should have paid closer attention. With revenues projected by Forrester Research to be as much as $33 billion within the next two years, the Web has achieved the fastest critical mass of any advertising medium of all time, according to a U.S. Commerce Department study.

Traffic on the Internet doubles every 100 days. To acquire an audience of 50 million it took radio 30 years, computers 16 years and TV 13 years. It took the Internet four years.

And so my first question is ...

What Is the Internet and Where Did it Come From?

The story of the Internet began more than 30 years ago with the Defense Department Advance Research Projects Agency Network who created the first computer network (ARPANET). They sent text messages between government and university scientists in California and Utah. And then, on Sept. 2, 1969, about 15 people were in the room on the UCLA campus when Scientific Data Systems Sigma 7 became the first computer to plug into ARPANET, which later morphed into the Internet.

UCLA's Professor Leonard Kleinrock made a prophetic statement in a news release: "Computer networks are still in their infancy. But as they grow and become more sophisticated, we will probably see the spread of computer utilities which, like present electric and telephone utilities, will service individual homes and offices across the country."

In the 1970s, Gordon Tucker was a brand manager at Procter & Gamble with three young marketers promoting brands, including Pringles and Duncan Hines. The three young employees went on to found some of the most successful Web sites. Steve Case founded America OnLine, Meg Whitman is c.e.o. of eBay and Andrew Parkinson founded Peapod. "Brand building mentality has come to the Internet" said Tucker, now c.e.o. of Egreetings.com.

The World Wide Web was introduced in 1989 by Tim Berners-Lee, a computer scientist trained at Oxford and working at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory in Switzerland. His goal was to aid communities between physicists working in different parts of the world for the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN). Networked e-mail was introduced in 1972.

About the same time, Marc Anderson, a student at the University of Illinois, developed the "browser." Now you could look at Web material online. The advertising folks looked at this new idea and thought, "Hmmm, is this the future of advertising? …

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