The history of the Internet includes a multitude of stories that grew out of the early efforts and mistakes of developers. Here are 5 quick and interesting facts about the Internet that you can use to kick-start a conversation with friends and colleagues.

  • Did you know that the first e-mail was sent in October, 1969.

The first e-mail was sent in October, 1969 by UCLA student programmer, Charley Kline. His message…: “LOG”. Why? He attempted to type LOGIN, but the network crashed after the enormous load of data required to enter the letter G

  • The very first spam email was sent in 1978

The very first spam email was sent in 1978. A marketer decided to send a mass email to 600 recipients. The unfortunate sender ended up typing the addresses first into the SUBJECT: field, which then overflowed into the TO: field, the CC: field, and finally the email body! The reaction of the recipients was much the same as users today: fury.

  • The very first website and server was established in a northwest suburb of Geneva

The very first website and server was established in a northwest suburb of Geneva, Switzerland on the Franco–Swiss border. The first URL address was Info.cern.ch. There are now more than 227 million websites, containing 65 billion web pages. 

  • The internet is now used by two billion people

The internet is now used by two billion people – a little under a third of the world’s population. What are they using it for? Approximately 75 per cent of web traffic is file sharing of video and music. Email only accounts for nine per cent.

  • Before Google there was BackRub

Backrub. In the mid-90s, developers Larry Page and Sergey Brin collaborated on a search engine, which they called BackRub. In 1997 they decided they needed a new name and came up with Google, a misspelling of googol. A googol is 10100, or one followed by a hundred zeros in decimal representation. Its official number name is 10 duotrigintillion.