The Internet Society: Emergence of the Online World in 1995
In 1995, the internet turned what was once a place for researchers and the technologically proficient into a household concept.
By 1995, moreover, computer use had crossed an important threshold: more than half of American adults were using computers at home, in school, or at work. And many new computers then were shipped with modems installed, encouraging access to the online world. Additionally, the growth of multifaceted, commercial online services such as America Online, CompuServe, and Prodigy signaled emergent popular interest in going online, however circumscribed the experience might be. It was no major leap for subscribers to move directly to the Web and its promise of vast, unrestricted content.
The Web, moreover, came to be recognized as a barrier-lowering, micro-targeting platform that could facilitate connections otherwise difficult or impossible to achieve. To varying degrees, entities such as Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, and Match.com all seized on this capacity. They embraced the flexibility, versatility, and relative efficiency of the online world. Their founders recognized the Web’s capacity to promote convenience and to foster, if loosely and temporally, a sense of connection among consumers across distances. The feedback option, notably promoted by Amazon, emerged as a confidence-building mechanism for online consumers.