I watched a documentary today on the technological developments of the 20th century. It’s eerie (but not surprising) how closely the development of radio mirrored the development of the Web. One difference was the rate in which that development happened. Whereas radio took quite a few years to make a significant impact on American society at large, the Web went from 0 to 60 in about three and a half years. The actual figure is probably a lot less than three and a half years considering that Jay Leno is making eBay jokes and Jeff Bezos is Time’s Man of the Year.
One of the biggest early concerns with radio was how to pay for it. Advertising seemed like the way to go, but was almost ruled out because it seemed too intrusive…something to the effect that “radio was like being invited into people’s houses, and we didn’t want to do anything to be rude.” Ahhh, the good old days.