Fifty years ago this week the internet was born.  It was called ARPANET then, but it contained the technology that drives the worldwide system today.  For the first 25 years of its life, it was a backbone of science and engineering then with development of the web, it exploded into the commercial and individual entity it is today to the dismay of its founder.  We in PR who were there for the beginning remember a hostile environment.  Practitioners did not want to be bothered by new technology.  It got in the way of doing things in the traditional way.  Eventually, PR came around and agencies worldwide are deeply involved in social media.  The disdain for new technology to transmit messages was a shock to those of us promoting it.  Practitioners were followers and not leaders.  It is not clear if that is still the case.  PR is a global business and the era of “mom-n-pop” entrepreneurs is diminished.  It is safe to say that most practitioners now do not remember a time when the internet was just an academic resource, and that is good.  The field should never again retreat from new media.

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