Big Internet Museum catalogs internet from ARPAnet to Gangnam Style

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The Big Internet Museum finishes up with Gangnam Style – currently anyway

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The internet only became commercialized in 1995, but its genesis goes back to the late 1960s, more precisely October 29, 1969. That was the date when Robert William Tayor, a former NASA researcher working for the Pentagon’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), launched the ARPAnet operational network, which is recognized as the precursor to what became the internet. ARPAnet provides the starting point for visitors to the recently launched The Big Internet Museum, a virtual venue for all things great and downright silly about the internet.

The museum is presented as a slideshow and moves over a timeline that covers 1969 to 2012. At the time of writing this article the tour ended with South Korean superstar Psy’s Gangnam Style, which has notched over one billion views on YouTube. Between ARPAnet and K-pop madness are AOL, MSN, LOLCats and many other internet icons, some of which already look positively vintage now. Some pieces are likely to give visitors a warm feeling of nostalgia, such as the page about Geocities, which colorfully ruled the Web-hosting arena in the late 90s.

The online museum project was devised by Dutch advertising professionals Dani Polak, Joep Drummen and Joeri Bakker. MediaMonks, a leading digital production agency in The Netherlands, chipped in with the technology and a mobile version of the museum is currently in development.

The Big Internet Museum's collection is still limited at this point – it took me around ten minutes to skim through it – which is probably to be expected given the subject matter. But in true Web 2.0 spirit, users can help it grow and become curators by submitting a piece. The public votes whether a proposed piece deserves a place in the museum’s permanent collection. If the Web is a work in progress, then it makes sense that its shrine should also reflect that.

Visitors can take a virtual stroll through the museum's halls here.

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