Today, we’re talking media – and sharing a brief history of online media / digital media in particular. Digitalization has been the defining revolution of our age, and online media is a large part of our life now. Studies show that people all over the world spend as much as 7.5 hours of their day consuming media, most of which is online. So it’s important to know what its history is and how it became such an important part of our lives.
What is Media? and It’s Types
First off, what is media? Media refers to any kind of communication channel that serves as a medium to enable information to reach a large group of people. There are several types of media. Then, there is print media consisting of magazines, newspapers, publishing industry and the like, mass media industry such as news channels on TV, radios and so on. There us also online media / digital media that is the information we consume on websites like ours. Cinema, photography and published books are also forms of media that are subtle but important.
Development In Media over time
Since communication is so basic to human beings, it’s always been there. It’s hard to pin point one instance that media came into our lives. Technically speaking, even the ancient caves of India and Indonesia bear scriptures and the like. This is perhaps the earliest form of broadcasting. Mass media came into the picture much later. This was perhaps when scientists developed some form of technology that could broadcast information to huge masses. The Egyptian invention of papyrus in 2900 BC was crucial to this. This meant that we could store information and consume it later, at different places and varying times. However, it was the Chinese who created paper as we use it today, around 100 BC. But this was still when we did not produce books on a mass scale and had to written manually and then re-written.
About 1500 years after this came an invention that revolutionized media – the printing press. Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press around 1450, which allowed media to reach a much, much wider audience. But this was when people were largely still illiterate so demand and consumption wasn’t high. Over the centuries, newspapers and magazines began to gain popularity and became the primary form of media for consumption. Then came the photographs, which appeared in newspapers late in the 19th century.
This was also when the Lumiere brothers screened the first film, which the audience did not like. Then came Graham Bell’s invention of the telephone and telegram, which was in use until quite recently. 1920 then saw the invention of the radio, which was a major advancement because audio now reached masses. Then came the television in 1948, which itself has undergone a series of changes and improvements to reach the 3D televisions of 2010.
Development In Online Media / Digital Media
The internet came into being quite discretely in 1965, in a Massachusetts laboratory. With a whole lot of improvisations, this evolved into The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, namely ARPAET. Post world war, the US adopted this as their military communication channel and became commercial in 1974. The first person in the world to send an email was Queen Elizabeth. Tim Berners-Lee then came up with a computer coding technology, now called the HTML. This enabled people to access information at the click of a button, sitting in their home. In the very next year, the world wide web began its long and arduous journey in the life of man, and within the next couple of years, it had about two million users and 600 hundred websites.
The next development in online media was the arrival of the google search engine in 1994. Now, all people could access websites of the world via computers by asking a simple query on the search engine. In 2004, the onset of social media created the second digital revolution, with information being thrust upon people at every second. Truly, ads and companies bombard information on Instagram, an average person sees about 6000 – 10000 ads a day, many of which are on Instagram and facebook. These apps are also evolving to incorporate more and more features to enhance engagement, and the social media business, including influencers, companies and media agencies is slowly and steadily growing.