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Introduction to e-Commerce. A Little History. Dr. Michael D. Featherstone Fall 2009. Intro to the Internet and the World Wide Web.

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introduction to e commerce

Introduction to e-Commerce

A Little History

Dr. Michael D. Featherstone

Fall 2009

intro to the internet and the world wide web
Intro to the Internet and the World Wide Web

The Web has no geography, no landscape. It has no distance. It has nothing natural in it. It has few rules of behaviour and fewer lines of authority. Common sense doesn’t hold there, and uncommon sense hasn’t yet emerged. No wonder we’re having trouble figuring out how to build businesses in this new land (Weinberger “Small Pieces Loosely Joined” 2002, p. 8).

It grew like a weed without the shaping impact of a consciously defined

social contract to determine what the medium should be delivering, for what purpose, and with what value. Perhaps it happened too fast, too unexpectedly for constructive reflection; so that the technology shaped us before we could shape it.

Donnelly “The Confetti Generation: How the new communications technology is fragmenting America”, 1986, p. 21

The Web presents a new paradigm for business

It represents a punctuated equilibrium in the business environment

founders of the internet
Founders of the Internet

The Internet evolved. It was developed in the 1960’s in response the perceived threat of a nuclear attack during the ‘Cold War’ between the USA and the (former) USSR.

It was built through the combined efforts of the Military, Industry, and Academe. Originally it was under the auspices of ARPANET, the Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The Wizards: Vint Cerf and Robert KahnCerf and Kahn teamed up in the early 1970s to devise the TCP and IP protocols—the basic linking structure of the Internet. Before being anointed “chief Internet evangelist” by his current employer, Google, Cerf served as a senior vice president at MCI; he had begun his distinguished career as a student of Leonard Kleinrock’s at U.C.L.A. Kahn helped design the original Interface Message Processor for the Arpanet at Bolt, Beranek & Newman, in 1969, before heading the computer-research arm of ARPA. In 2005 the two men were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Factoid: Nobody knows who first used the word Internet - it just became a shortcut around this time for "internetworking". The earliest written use of the word appears to be by Vint Cerf in 1974 .

a brief video case study co starring vinton cerf
A Brief Video Case Study Co-Starring Vinton Cerf

Tracking the Internet into the 21st Century

At some point in your careers, you will have the opportunity to introduce a boss or a manager or executive or colleague. It may be at a company conference or a national conference or merely a local or team meeting.

Such an opportunity can provide tremendous exposure for you.

world wide web
World Wide Web

You may or may not know the Web was invented by a single individual.

world wide web6
World Wide Web

Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web while at CERN in Switzerland.

He also developed HTML – the hyper text markup language. (see view source)

That means that the very first browser was his invention as well.

He has since been ‘Knighted’ by Queen Elizabeth of England, so it’s “Sir Tim Berners-Lee now.



<title>MensBowTies dot-com everything about bow ties</title>

<meta name="description" content="shopping, everything about bow ties, mens fashion,">

<meta name="keywords" content="bow ties, bow tie, necktie, mens fashion">



.welcome { font-size: 12pt; font-family: geneva,arial; color: ffffff }

.small { font-size: 8pt; font-family: geneva,arial }

td { font-family: geneva,arial; font-size: 10pt }

.bold { font-weight: bold; font-family: geneva,arial; font-size: 10pt }

.large { font-size: 12pt; }



<STYLE type="text/css">


first commercial browser
First Commercial Browser

Marc Andreesen developed the first commercial browser while at the University of Illinois. Originally referred to as the Mosaic browser, it became the Netscape browser.



aximp c:\windows\system\shdocvw.dll

tlbimp mshtml.tlb

namespace ND.WebBrowser


using System;

using System.Drawing;

using System.ComponentModel;

using System.Windows.Forms;

using Microsoft.Win32;

using AxSHDocVw;

using MSHTML;

// etc..

protected void mnuFile_Popup(object sender, EventArgs e)


MenuItem miFile = MenuMain.MenuItems[0];

miFile.MenuItems[14].Checked = AxWebBrowser.Offline;

Int32 EnabledTest = Convert.ToInt32(SHDocVw.OLECMDF.OLECMDF_SUPPORTED) + Convert.ToInt32(SHDocVw.OLECMDF.OLECMDF_ENABLED);

miFile.MenuItems[2].Enabled = EnabledTest.Equals(AxWebBrowser.QueryStatusWB //Refresh test for Edit (SHDocVw.OLECMDID.OLECMDID_REFRESH));

miFile.MenuItems[3].Enabled = EnabledTest.Equals(AxWebBrowser.QueryStatusWB (SHDocVw.OLECMDID.OLECMDID_SAVE));

miFile.MenuItems[4].Enabled = EnabledTest.Equals(AxWebBrowser.QueryStatusWB (SHDocVw.OLECMDID.OLECMDID_SAVEAS));

miFile.MenuItems[6].Enabled = EnabledTest.Equals(AxWebBrowser.QueryStatusWB (SHDocVw.OLECMDID.OLECMDID_PAGESETUP));

miFile.MenuItems[7].Enabled = EnabledTest.Equals(AxWebBrowser.QueryStatusWB (SHDocVw.OLECMDID.OLECMDID_PRINT));

miFile.MenuItems[8].Enabled = EnabledTest.Equals(AxWebBrowser.QueryStatusWB (SHDocVw.OLECMDID.OLECMDID_PRINTPREVIEW));

miFile.MenuItems[13].Enabled = EnabledTest.Equals(AxWebBrowser.QueryStatusWB (SHDocVw.OLECMDID.OLECMDID_PROPERTIES)); }

protected void mnuFileSave_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)


Object o = null;



protected void mnuFileOpen_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)


OpenForm frmOpen = new OpenForm(); frmOpen.ShowDialog(this); if(frmOpen.DialogResult == DialogResult.OK)

{ Object o =AxWebBrowser.Navigate(frmOpen.Address, ref o, ref o, ref o, ref o); } }

internet vs web
Internet vs. Web

“The Internet ('Net) is a network of networks. Basically it is made from computers and cables. What Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn did was to figure out how this could be used to send around little "packets" of information. As Vint points out, a packet is a bit like a postcard with a simple address on it. If you put the right address on a packet, and gave it to any computer which is connected as part of the Net, each computer would figure out which cable to send it down next so that it would get to its destination. That's what the Internet does. It delivers packets - anywhere in the world, normally well under a second. …

The Web is an abstract (imaginary) space of information. On the Net, you find computers -- on the Web, you find document, sounds, videos,.... information. On the Net, the connections are cables between computers; on the Web, connections are hypertext links. The Web exists because of programs which communicate between computers on the Net. The Web could not be without the Net. The Web made the net useful because people are really interested in information (not to mention knowledge and wisdom!) and don't really want to have know about computers and cables.”

Quoted from Sir Tim Berners-Lee


IE changed everything because

Because it was a pretty good browser

It came free with Windows

Today’s browsers






And numerous others:

dot com bubble 1995 2002
Dot Com Bubble 1995-2002

The dot-com bust of 2000-2002

And then everything changed. Fast-forward to the dot-com crash of 2000-2002. Venture capital investments started dropping immediately, borrowers defaulted, bond-market froze, and stock market started to tumble first slowly, and then, after September 11, it dropped down very fast, just like the falling comet. Companies started disappearing left and right, and the party quickly came to an end. Prospects disappeared, analysts changed their tune, and internet became a commodity.

growth of the web
Growth of the Web

Note that this chart shows growth in EXPONENTIAL TERMS.

this concludes today s presentation

This Concludes Today’s Presentation

Thank you for your attention