As an addendum to my series of postings looking at online media elements, I thought you might be interested in this potted history of online media:
Compuserve announce the GIF graphics format, with lossless compression, transparency and animation capability. Nowhere much to use it yet, however, as no World Wide Web.
The Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) is established. They develop the MPEG video compression formats used primarily on CDs / DVDs but also, to a limited extent, and much later, online.
Tim Berners-Lee, working at CERN, releases the first proposal for the World Wide Web. The proposal includes HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the primary basis for formatting web pages to this day.
The World Wide Web is launched.
One of the first webcams was set up at Cambridge University.
The first graphical MMPORG (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game) appears on AOL.
The first SMS messages were sent from mobile phones.
The first Netscape browser was launched. Support was provided for the JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format for displaying photographs online.
The first digital cameras were released.
Sun Microsystems released the Java programming language, which was designed to support more sophisticated online applications than HTML could manage.
The very first VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) services made it possible to communication online using voice.
Microsoft acknowledge that the Internet will be a reality in the long-term and launch Internet Explorer, a free browser.
The first instant messaging systems are launched.
The PNG graphics format is launched.
RealMedia launch their audio streaming service.
Macromedia (since acquired by Adobe) launch Flash as a tool for online animation.
Microsoft launch NetMeeting, an early web conference service.
RealMedia extend their streaming to include video.
The PlaceWare Auditorium web conferencing service is launched (PlaceWare has sinced been purchased by Microsoft).
The term ‘weblog’ is coined. Two years later, it is first shortened to ‘blog’.
The term ‘webinar’ is first coined.
WebEx launches its web conferencing service.
CBT Systems coins the term ‘e-learning’.
Launch of the Wikipedia.
Apple sells the first iPods.
The first 3G networks provide broadband capability for mobile phone users.
SecondLife introduces its online, 3D virtual world.
Skype introduces internet telephony.
Apple launch iTunes as a way to download music tracks.
More camera phones are sold worldwide than stand alone digital cameras.
And Flickr, as a way to share photos online.
And Firefox, a new browser, based on Netscape Navigator.
Podcasting becomes popular.
YouTube allows video content to be shared online.
Twitter heralds the age of micro-blogging.
Apple launch the iPhone.
At this point, it would be tempting to conclude that we have all of what we need in terms of tools and technologies for delivering online media. But of course we know better than that.