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Internet Timeline 1997

Winamp / Wi-Fi / Blog / business.com

Hosts:26,053,000    WebHosts:1,681,868    Users:118,930,000

Winamp, the first popular MP3 music player, boosted the success of MP3 virtually overnight. It was developed by college dropout Justin Frankel at his parents' home in Sedona, Arizona.

IEEE 802.11, codenamed Wi-Fi, is a wireless local area network (WLAN) standard first released in June 1997. Wi-Fi connects electronic devices wirelessly across short distances, roughly 150-300 ft. A Wi-Fi enabled device, such as a personal computer, video game console, or smartphone, can connect to the Internet via a wireless network access point, or "hotspot". Wi-Fi enabled devices came slow in the early years, with only 7.5 million units shipped in 2001. Units shipped increased exponentially over the next ten years, reaching 41 million units by 2003, 300 million units by 2007, and over 1 billion units in 2011.

The term "weblog" was coined by Jorn Barger in December 1997, while the shorter version, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz in 1999. Blogging has emerged as a popular means of communication, affecting public opinion and mass media around the world. It wasn't until 2004 that the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream as political consultants, news services, and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion formation. Webster's Dictionary declared "blog" as the word of the year in 2004, and by February 2011 there were more than 156 million active blogs.

The domain name business.com, originally registered for $50 in 1995, sold for $150,000 in 1997. It would later be sold again in 1999 for $7,500,000.