Elon University

Early ’90s Predictions

Photos of Internet thought-leaders in the 1990s

4,200 predictions, biographies, and more

The Early 1990s Predictions Database, compiled in the early 2000s in a content study of early 1990s media, was funded by Pew Research. It is a revealing slice of history –  a collection of smart people’s projections of the potential future of the internet. It includes the opinions of an eclectic group of internet pioneers.

The highlight here is the searchable and browseable selection of predictive remarks made between 1990 and 1995 about the future of networked communications. The early 1990s Predictions Database contains more than 4,200 statements made by 1,000 different voices of the time, from well-connected stakeholders to common netizens. They tell about their hopes and fears, their concerns and conflicts. It is the story of the people who supported or opposed a networked world, and they tell it in their own words.

To do a specific search of the database, click here

To browse through some small, themed collections of predictions entries from the ’90s predictions section of this site, follow these links:
Brief, Biting Predictions 
Edgy-Incisive Predictions 
Info Highway Predictions

In addition, the Early 1990s section includes:

Acronyms of the ’90s-From AAT to OOPS to RFC to WYSIWYG to ZDS, the letters all meant something to technology folks.
Biographies of 200 fascinating internet people of the ’90s- Interesting folks, listed from A to Z, or Aboba to Zisman.
Synonyms of the ’90s- There were many names for the internet, including “information superhighway.”
Database Details- An explanation of how the Early 1990s predictions were gathered and an explanation of methodology.
Database Search Fields- A detailed explanation of exactly how the 1990s predictions were found and sorted.
Prediction Categories- A grid showing the topics and subtopics for predictions as they are classified for the site.
Prediction Cues- How many ways are there to say “I predict”? The most common cue is the word “will” and its derivations.
Early Internet History– A quick look at the earliest stages of development of the internet, from the ’60s to the ’90s.