The year is 1995. The internet starts going mainstream and the dot-com bubble begins its rapid inflation. But 10 years before all of this, a small team of systems administrators made a seemingly simple decision that would turn out to have a monumental impact on these events and would set the course of the internet for the foreseeable future. 

Dr. W. Joseph Campbell sets the stage for our season on the internet in 1995. Claire L. Evans explains how hard it was to find anything on the early internet. One team was charged with compiling that information in the early days of the ARPANET. Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler recounts being the internet’s sole librarian in those early days, and how she helped come up with the rules for future domain names. Paul Mockapetris describes designing the domain name system they later implemented as the internet went from a public network to a private business. And Ben Tarnoff explains the results of that increasingly privatized internet.

If you want to read up on some of our research on the domain name system (DNS), you can check out all our bonus material over at

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