What did the future look like to the cognoscenti of the information industry in 1993? Mining Google Groups' vast Usenet archive is a great way to uncover informal history that can offer fascinating answers to questions like these.
Today's SearchDay article, The Future of the Internet, Eleven Years Ago, surfaces a Usenet posting reporting on the Internet World/Document Delivery 93 conference, where prominent pundits offered their takes on the future of the Net. It reads like a blog posting, and provides fascinating insights into the time just before the "big bang" of Internet growth that occurred in the mid-90s.
The Net was decidedly non-commercial in 1993, yet there was emerging consensus that online advertising would gradually become an important phenomenon. Remarkably, none of the speakers (even Garrett Gruener, who would co-found Ask Jeeves three years later) directly predicted search as the killer app of the future. Of course, the web was tiny in 1993, but it's still fascinating that such a huge, developing megatrend was all but invisible to the key players in the online information industry of the day.
Optimising Digital Marketing Campaigns with Search, Social and Analytics
At SES London (9-11 Feb) you'll get an overview of the latest tools, tips, and tactics in Paid, Owned, Earned, Integrated Media and Business Intelligence to streamline your marketing campaigns in 2015. Register by 31 October to take advantage of Early Bird Rates.