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The Origins of Internet Journalism

By Edited May 1, 2016 0 0

The history of the Internet includes a vast amount of data and yet, the length of time it has taken for it to become a driving force in our lives is fairly short. Significant breakthroughs have occurred in just the last decade that have revolutionized human behavior and transformed the way we absorb and share information.

Though many would agree that websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube have forever changed the way we communicate, other platforms like Mashable, Buzzfeed, and Reddit have altered how we digest news.

But where did it all start? Did every major news platform have a scintillating story to report on that got them noticed? Or was it a slow and steady trickle of mundane information that helped them build up a reputation over the years?

A recently launched microsite can show us exactly what went into building these dynamo websites of the present.

TWITTER

Twitter, for example, started with the most innocent of Tweets. Founder Jack Dorsey wrote, “Just setting up my twttr” and sent it out into the virtually empty twitter universe. Now, million of users later, that first tweet is permanently remembered as the first voice in the system. 

BUZZFEED

Buzzfeed, today best known for viral cat videos and top 10 lists, first posted a article about waterboarding. Before waterboarding was a common buzzword in our vocabulary, the news blog featured a piece about the controversial form of torture. Pretty heavy stuff back then.

WHITEHOUSE.GOV

In 2009, in the wake of Obama’s first election win, White House Director of New Media Macon Phillips launched whitehouse.gov. Although the first post is just a basic intro to the site, Phillips’ comments illustrate the fresh approach Obama would bring to the oval office for the next 4+ years.

Media comes in all different forms today but it’s clear to everyone that online journalism is here to stay. It’s really inspiring to think about these tech founders and journalists putting words to the metaphorical page for the first time with no sense of what the site would grow into over the years.

Looking back at these original posts on popular websites shows us that you can start small and create something powerful enough to change the course of the digital world as we know it.

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