Wednesday, July 03, 2013

BPN 1640: The Switch to Internet in The Netherlands (1)

During during the coming days I will publish a serialised article on the silent and sudden switch to Internet in the Netherlands. The article will exists of five installments. Jak. 

In 2011 my book on the pre-internet era in The Netherlands[i] was published. The book describes the period of new media, online as well as offline in The Netherlands between 1967 and 1997.
Three conclusions can be drawn from the book:
1.  There was life way before internet; new media started to develop itself some 25 years before the introduction of internet;
2.  Before the introduction of internet services there were commercial online services and offline products since 1980;
3.  Despite a professional information infrastructure and a million guilders annual turn-over of commercial information services, there was a silent and sudden switch in favour of internet by Dutch consumer in less than three years, from 1994 to 1997.

In this series of blogs the development and commercialisation of new media in The Netherlands will be sketched and the question will be posed why internet could take over the existing online world in less than three years: was it the technology, was it the organisation, was it a new user group or was it a combination of these factors?

[i] Jak Boumans (2011): Toen digitale media nog nieuw waren – Pre-internet in de polder (1967-1997).
Translation title: When digital media were still brand-new - Pre-Internet in the polder (1967-1997)
Media Update ; ISBN 9789078730057. Design cover: Chiara Boeri; graphic design: Collage.
The book is in The Dutch language. Most likely there will be no translation in the English language. This article is a summary of the 320 page book. This is the Table of Content (TOC): 

Introduction: New media present themselves
Part 1: The search (1945-1980)
Chapter 1: US, the cradle of online
Chapter 2: Online differently
Chapter 3: New media in the polder

Part 2: Two stream country in the commercial online

Chapter 4: Commercial ASCII services and databases

Chapter 5: Teletext and videotex

Chapter 6: Packaged bandwidth
Part 3: Disturbed growth
Chapter 7: Growing professionalism
Chapter 8: Internet
Chapter 9: The end for new media, silent switch
-           Inventory used sources
-           Illustrations
-           Dutch timeline
-           Business and persons’ index
-           Author’s biography 

Instalment 2: Life before Internet

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