The First online community and Gmail is born. All on today’s On This Day from TEST Huddle.
1985 – The Beginnings of a Online Community
In the U.S., the first online community is launched. Stewart Brand and Larry Brilliant open The WELL (Whole Earth ‘Lectronic Link) online service. Brilliant (a physician and head of Network Technologies Intl in Michigan) came up with the original suggestion of the community. He proposed the idea for a public computer conferencing system to Brand, the publisher of the Whole Earth Catalogue. The WELL was the result. The WELL will go on on to have a major impact on the early culture of the internet. By the end of 1987, WELL will have over two thousand users.
2004 – Birth of Gmail
On this day in 2004, Google launches Gmail, the company’s free webmail and POP3 email service, as an invitation-only beta. As it’s launched on April Fool’s Day, the launch is actually met with initial scepticism due to Google’s long-standing tradition of April Fool’s jokes. Gmail quickly becomes immediately popular due to the large storage it offers users and its very smooth running thanks to Ajax. The service will be only be removed from beta stage in February 2007. Gmail will also inspire hundreds of major sites to implement Ajax into their own interactive pages, establishing Ajax as the defacto standard for interactive websites.