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The internet, since its inception, has been a blessing for the world. We have grown so fond and addicted of the internet gizmos that literally our breath is dependent on it. Even for the field of graphic design, internet has played a significant role in progress and development of the industry. The tasks that graphic designers used to perform offline are now easily done online.

And who can forget the enormous impact that social media has made in our lives. There are many famous personalities that have contributed significantly to the transformation of internet. We often hear about the cream of the lot, people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. But there are some unsung heroes that you might never have heard of, people who changed the internet and also deserve the accolade for their significant contributions.


Unknown Personalities that revolutionized Internet:

Following are 10 people who played an enormous role in revolutionizing the way we work on the internet, but you might have not heard of them before.


1. Jon Postel - Request for Comment (RFC)

I’m sure most of you might not have heard of the name, but Jonathan Bruce Postel made significant contributions to the development of the Internet. He is the architect behind the “Request for Comment (RFC)” document series. Jon also worked on the early protocols and the creation of TCP/IP. He co-developed many of the key Internet standards, including TCP/IP (basic Internet protocols), SMTP (email transfer), and DNS (name servers).

2. Julian Assange - WikiLeaks

We seldom get to know what the secret agencies like CIA and FBI are up to. Not anymore, now we do…courtesy Julian Assange. He was the man behind Wikileaks, a whistle-blowing website dedicated to publishing classified documents from around the world. Julian designed an advanced software for shielding the identities of the people who upload the documents.

3. Gary Thuerk - The first Email Spam

‘Spamming’ is a marketing technique of sending unsolicited e-mails to random people for promotional purposes. Albeit controversial in many aspects, it has revolutionized the e-marketing techniques. Gary Thuerk was the first person to send mass e-mailing to customers over the Arpanet for Digital’s new T-series of VAX systems. Consequently, this e-mail went on to become the world’s first spam.

4. Scott Fahlman - The First Emoticon

We use smileys so often, but have we ever thought who invented this in the first place? Scott Fahlman is the man behind the “Smiling Face” emoticon that we use in our instant messaging. By inventing the first ASCII-based smiley emoticon, Scott wanted to help to differentiate between humorous and serious content.

5. Peter Thiel - Paypal

Online transactions have eased our lives to a vast extent. But do we know who to thank? Yes Paypal…but who was behind this great notion? It is Peter Thiel, a significant figure associated in the set-up of PayPal. Peter began giving a small group of developers the access to its code, letting them to work with its online transaction framework.

6. Pierre Morad Omidyar - EBay

We buy so many things from home with a single click, but have we ever stopped for a second and thought…who to appreciate for this blessing? Pierre Omidyar is the man who set up an online marketplace, called eBay that connected buyers and sellers together. He revolutionized the concept of building trust on an anonymous user.

7. Robert Tappan Morris - First Worm Virus

One of the most notorious inventions of the internet is the “worm virus”. Ever wondered who is the culprit behind it? Robert Tappan Morris created the Morris Worm, one of the very first worm viruses to be sent out over the internet that inadvertently caused enormous financial damage when it was released in the late 80s.

8. Garrett Camp - StumbleUpon

If you are looking for a website that gives you news and gossips regarding every genre, try StumbleUpon. As a graphic designer, I often use this social bookmarking site to get inspiration. Garrett Camp is person chief architect behind Stumbleupon. According to the website, StumbleUpon has over 6 million users to date and it keeps on increasing.

9. Bram Cohen -Bit Torrent

Another controversial but highly used concept on the internet is “torrent”. Bram Cohen changed the face of file sharing by developing BitTorrent that instantly shares files over internet. BitTorrent revolutionized file sharing by breaking them up into several little portions. This way, users upload and download files at the simultaneously.

10. Michael Hart - eBooks

Education is the basic requirement to survive in today’s competitive world. But it is damn expensive. So hats off to Michael Hart for instituting the concept of eBooks and making education affordable and accessible to all. Project Gutenberg is the world’s first electronic library that changed the way we read and learn.
Do you know any other personality who contributed to the internet but hasn’t got due attention and acclaim?

  1. Kevin Wijaya On November 22nd, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Awesome article, it’s very informative and interesting

  1. ArenaCreative On November 23rd, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Surprised not to see Mark Zuckerburg on here, or the Napster dude :D I guess they weren’t exactly pioneers, just people that made huge advances.

  1. AlvanKrab On November 23rd, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Reomel Ramones and Onel de Guzman - ILOVEYOU Virus/ Love Bug way back in 2000.

  1. Nabeel On November 24th, 2010 at 8:12 am

    Nice article, exactly even now it’s impossible to be without paypal, use of eBooks is ever increasing, there isn’t anything not available on eBay, StumbleUpon best way to go through some real good and trending stuff on the internet .. simply aal of them plus lot of others -not mentioned here- have changed the course of life , for good.

  1. Aidan On November 25th, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    What about Tim Berners Lee? The father of the internet?

  1. Aussiewebmaster On November 27th, 2010 at 6:00 am

    Come on no Berners-Lee? the creator of the web?

    Marc Andreessen who gave us Mosiac the first real browser and Netscape

    Steve Case who brought AOL on to the web

    Bill von Meister who created AOL prior to the web

  1. 10 Personas que han revolucionado Internet - Los héroes poco apreciados [ENG] On November 27th, 2010 at 7:41 am

    [...] 10 Personas que han revolucionado Internet - Los héroes poco apreciados [ENG]  por Estic_Boig hace 3 segundos [...]

  1. Alex Gonçalves On November 27th, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    wow, good list. But, where are the guys of the biggest search engine of the internet?

  1. Bob On November 27th, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    You guys forgot the guy who invented the internet: Tim Berners-Lee.

  1. Aaron Veinotte On November 28th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    Great list. If it wasn’t for the “unknown personalities” reference, I would have said what about Mark Zuckerberg and Sean Fanning/Parker as well.

  1. Best Web Design On November 28th, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    They are heroes we can learn from and a great inspiration for all.

  1. Netpaths On November 29th, 2010 at 6:42 am

    wow, this is really good list and very interesting internet revolution, thanks for your post.

  1. John On November 29th, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Thank you for leaving out the founders of myspace, twitter and facebook - they did not revolutionize the internet, just transformed stuff that was already there.

  1. Rob O. On November 30th, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Here’s another vote for Steve Case. AOL may be little more than a forgotten punchline now, but America Online was a pioneering on-ramp to the Internet for millions and played a huge role in shaping the Web into the visual medium that it is today.

  1. Edward Pendowski On December 1st, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Others who contributed to the internet but as of yet haven’t gotten due attention and acclaim follow thusly:
    Sir Tim Berners-Lee facilitated the net into WWW, acknowledging the following shoulders which he stood upon:
    Paul Mockapetris and his friends figured out the Domain Name System (DNS).
    Vint Cerf worked out the Internet Protocol, and the Transmission Control Protocol.
    Ted Nelson devised a system for the hypertext link.

  1. Kyle G. On December 7th, 2010 at 2:52 am

    A great review on the history of the internet.

    Great post!

  1. Sharron Clemons On December 21st, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    wow, this is really good list and very interesting internet revolution, thanks for your post.

  1. bob On November 30th, 2011 at 5:48 am

    excuse me-Al Gore?

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