When historians look back at the latter half of the twentieth century, they might well remember it less as the time man walked on the moon and more as the time when the Internet was born. The Advancement Research Projects Agency Network, known as the ARPANET, was developed in the 1960's by the U.S. Department of Defense. This was the world's first operational informational sharing network, and the predecessor of what we now call the Internet. Although the creation of the Internet was primarily to allow the sharing of resources, its true popularity came in the ability to send and receive mail. This communication process, known as electronic mail or more commonly referred to as e-mail, has now evolved into the most used application on the Internet today.
E-mail has had a great impact on the amount of information sent worldwide. It has become an important method of transmitting information previously relayed via regular mail, telephone, courier, fax, television or radio. An examination of these previous forms of communication provided an easy understanding of why e-mail became such a success. For example, communicating through speech, face-to-face, must be coordinated with others by location and time, therefore only a few could be reached. When utilizing writing or printing, the preparation of documents can cause a delay in time, but this method enabled the sender to reach many more people than face-to-face communication. Telephone, radio and television are able to reach a mass of people globally, but this too, had to be synchronized in time. E-mail has brought about the concept of anything, to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
After such an achievement as e-mail, what could be next? With the advancement of the Internet opening new doors, the launch of an innovative communication method called Instant Messaging began in the mid 1990's. This technology meant that the conversations that were previously being e-mailed and took seconds to send and receive, were now taking place in real time. Instant Messaging software is simply a program placed on a computer that connects to an on-line service, similar to a phone line connecting to the operator. This software permits computers to relay conversations over the Internet, which in turn means two or more people can "talk" or correspond simultaneously. Instant Messaging eliminates any delay issues with direct communication; however e-mail also evolved into another forum through Weblogs.
First introduced in the mid to late 1990's, Weblogs, also referred to as "blogs," are Internet webpages where entries are made similar to a journal or a diary. These personal views or updates to a particular subject are presented in reverse sequential order. Blogs can cover an array of topics including food, politics or local news, but most function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images and links to other blogs, web pages and other media related to its topic. Most blogs are...