2000 & 2001
The year 2000 will always be remembered as the year when the world finally realised that starting up a website and adding .com to your company name would not guaratee instant millions. Especially after the bankrupcy of internet fashion retailer, Boo, people started to realise that, like all other businesses around the world, internet companies needed proper business plans and ideas on how to make a profit. Since then internet companies around the world have had their share prices crash, even if they are a company with good potential, as investors realised how overvalued most of these companies were.
Unfortunately this has also meant that it has become harder and harder for new internet startups to get venture capital startup money, making starting a major website harder than ever. Luckily, though, the year 2000 also brought new innovations in the internet which should make it easier for site owners to succeed. There are now over half a billion people online (according to NUA) and they are now accessing the internet from computers, televisions, phones and consoles. Thousands of people come online every day, giving your website an even bigger potential audience. The new search engine Google (who now power Yahoo's web searches) has pioneered a new type of no-frills searching with a bigger database than any other search engine and a brand new searching system. This also increases your site's chances of being found.
Late this year, one of the biggest announcements on the internet was made, the 7 new TLDs (top level domains). These are going to be available like .com .net and .org. Unfortunately ICANN (who run the domain name system) did not make a the announcement that was expected, refusing .xxx and .web (two of the most popular choices) and allowing choices like .coop and .aero which did not seem particularly necessary for the development of the internet. The announcement caused anger at the unpopular choices and great excitement at the prospects of the new domains.
2000 has also been a major year for Gowansnet and Free Webmaster Help. In May, Gowansnet celebrated its first birthday and since then Free Webmaster Help has become a separate site with its own design and domain name. This year has also been one where Gowansnet broke all visitor records, with as many as 900 people accessing the site some weeks. Gowansnet (including Free Webmaster Help) has now had 18,000 visitors, creating nearly 75,000 pageviews since its launch in May 1999. There have been over 3000 dowloads from the download areas with First Page 2000, the most popular program, having over 600 downloads.
Even though the year 2000 was a hard year for internet businesses the year 2001 looks like it will be a better one, but only for the businesses that either make a profit or are not planning to spend millions on their websites. Small businesses will flourish as they set up their own websites cheaply and start receiving orders from them. New startups with good business plans will get the money they need. Unfortunatly, in 2001, many of the internet businesses will go bankrupt, be bought or will have to scale back thier operations as they are forced to face the reality that they must make money to justify the huge investments in them.
2001 will also be the year when the internet goes from being an over-hyped 'wonder' to being a part of everyday life. The internet will never completely replace banking, shopping and chatting offline but it will complement them all and give people wider choices. 2001 will also have the introduction of new technology and software for webmasters. Both Dreamweaver 4 and FrontPage 10 are scheduled for release this year and the biggest change to the web since HTML 4 was released should be announced. XHTML will be a combination of HTML and XML, allowing designers to improve their pages by making them understandable to machines as well as humans.
In Spring, when, after a 1 month period for trademark holders to register their domain names, the
7 new TLDs will be available to the public. This will cause a huge number of registrations as webmasters and potential webmasters fight over the new available names. This should give people a chance, though, to register 'good names' which have been unavailable for many years.
We also have major plans for Gowansnet and Free Webmaster Help for the next year. Gowansnet will be completely re-launced with a new target audience. Free Webmaster help will continue to have the best articles and tutorials and we are also planning to offer services like remotely hosted scripts and posibly even free web hosting. We also have plans which involve some of the most influential people on the web contributing to the site. As mentioned earlier, we are half way through the transfer to a new web host. All pages under the freewebmasterhelp.com domain are now located on our new servers and all pages under gowansnet.com and the Gowansnet mail service will be transfered early in the new year.
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