My friend Larry Magid, a technology columnist for CBS News.com and others, has a wonderful new column out about “The Decade in Technology.” You have to read it to appreciate just how far we have come in such a short time. Larry notes:
[T]he past 10 years were a momentous period for technology. Not only was there no iPhone a decade ago, there was hardly anything that could be considered a smartphone. The BlackBerry was introduced in 1999, when the well-heeled techno-savvy were carrying around flip phones. That year, 1999, was the height of the dot-com boom. But when you look back at it, the online world was nothing like it is today. There was no Facebook (founded in 2004) or Twitter (2007). Even MySpace wasn’t founded until 2003. The term Web 2.0 hadn’t been coined and most people who were online used the Web mostly to consume information. Those with the skills and resources to post to the Web were called “Webmasters.” Today, everyone with a Facebook account is a master of his or her own Web.
I tried to document the incredible technological changes in my own life over the past decade in this essay I penned on Super Bowl Sunday last February: “10 Years Ago Today… (Thinking About Technological Progress).”
Larry also notes that giants came and went as technology continued to evolve in unexpected ways:
Ten years ago AOL was the most popular Internet service provider and was so successful that it was able to purchase media giant Time Warner in January 2000 for $182 billion in stock. But the marriage didn’t make it through the decade. The two companies formally split up this month, with AOL, once again, being traded on the New York Stock Exchange as a separate company. AOL thrived in the ’90s because people were using the service to go online via phone. Today most American homes have broadband.
That’s something I wrote about at length in my recent paper on “A Brief History of Media Merger Hysteria.” Anyway, read Larry’s entire piece. It really drives home how lucky we are to be living in the midst of such at technological renaissance and information cornucopia.