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Welcome to Denzyl Fiegelson, consultant to iTunes & Coke Music EU!

Greetings. I am honored to be a guest contributor to the MidemNet 2009 blog. I’m traveling in the South of France right now, so this is sent from the road, part 1 of many to come. So some thoughts for today; I’m in awe of the state of this present moment in time. The ability for limitless research, studies, communication and gathering of information is amazing. I was recently facilitating a workshop in Iceland for young music students, and we were looking into the origin of how useful the internet has become. This stemmed from questions as to how I could tour manage a large international music production (the Paul Simon Graceland Tour) in the 1980’s, pre-fax days, and how at that time the telex was our most useful communicating tool. So we looked back to around the period of 1994-1996, which is when I launched 2 internet companies; my label – AWAL, and an online flower company – hanaflowers.com.

The web was gaining some serious momentum at that time. I remember there were less than 50,000 websites (now more than 160 million). The web browser of choice was Netscape Navigator. Most people used dial-up Internet connections with mighty speeds
ranging from 28.8Kbps to 33.6Kbps. Modern 56Kbps modems showed up in 1997.

Remember some of these; YAHOO, In 1994, “Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web” had been renamed to“Yahoo!”. Webcrawler got started in 1994 and was the first Web search engine toprovide full text search. Lycos – Founded in 1995, Lycos quickly grew into one of the most popular portals and search engines on the Web. By 1999, Lycos was the
most-visited Web portal in the world. Altavista was a search engine that launched in 1995 and quickly gained massive popularity. Aside from strong traffic to their own website, in 1996, Altavista became the exclusive provider of search results to Yahoo. Netscape Founded in 1994 (originally as Mosaic Communications Corporation),
Netscape was one of the true pioneers of the Web. In 1996, Netscape Navigator was the leading Web browser by a large margin. Ultimate Band List (UBL) launched in 1994 and provided a popular music database with information about merchandise, artists, concerts, record labels, contact lists etc…Excite – Launched in Dec 1995, Excite was yet another player in the increasingly crowded Web portal market. MSN (The Microsoft Network) got started as a set of Internet services in 1995 (it was launched with Windows 95). It was originally intended to be both an online service and an Internet service provider along the lines of AOL. Tripod was originally touted as a “hip web site
and pay service for and by college students,” but mainly became known as a place where people could create free web pages (like GeoCities). Tripod would later be bought by Lycos. The New York Times website was an early adopter in getting users to sign up to access Web content. Others to mention here; GeoCities, Craigslist, Download.com, Mosaic, FutureGamer, CompuServe, Adam Curry and MTV, and remember going floppy disc free, that was liberating.

Check out the WayBack Machine (the Internet Archive) and one can see screenshots of what these sites looked like back then.

Till the next time, À tout à l’heure.

Denzyl


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