24 Hours in Cyberspace

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24 Hours in Cyberspace (February 8, 1996) was "the largest one-day online event" up to that date, headed by photographer Rick Smolan with Jennifer Erwitt, Tom Melcher, Samir Arora and Clement Mok. [1] [2] [3] The project brought together the world's top 1,000 photographers, editors, programmers, and interactive designers to create a digital time capsule of online life." [1]

Rick Smolan American photographer

Rick Smolan is a former TIME, LIFE, and National Geographic photographer best known as the co-creator of the Day in the Life book series. He is currently CEO of Against All Odds Productions, a cross-media organization.

Samir Arora American businessman

Samir Arora is an American businessman and CEO of Sage Digital since April 2016, the former CEO of Mode Media from 2003 to April 2016. He was CEO and Chairman of the web design company NetObjects, Inc. from 1995 to 2001 and at Apple Inc. from 1982 to 1991.

Clement Mok is a graphic designer and author.



24 Hours in Cyberspace was an online project which took place on the then-active website, cyber24.com (and is still online at a mirror website maintained by Georgia Tech). [4] [5] At the time, it was billed as the "largest collaborative Internet event ever", involving thousands of photographers from all over the world, including 150 of the world's top photojournalists. [6] [7] Then Second Lady Tipper Gore was one of its photographers. [8] In addition, then Vice President Al Gore contributed the introductory essay to the Earthwatch section of the website. [9] In this essay, he discusses the impact of the Internet on the environment, education, and increased communication between people. [10]

Mirror websites or mirrors are replicas of other websites. Such websites have different URLs than the original site, but host identical or near-identical content. The main purpose of benign mirrors is often to reduce network traffic, improve access speed, improve availability of the original site, or provide a real-time backup of the original site. Malicious mirror sites can attempt to steal user information, distribute malware, or profit from the content of the original site, among other uses.

Georgia Institute of Technology public research university in Atlanta, Georgia, United States

The Georgia Institute of Technology, commonly referred to as Georgia Tech, is a public research university and institute of technology located in Atlanta, Georgia. It is part of the University System of Georgia and has satellite campuses in Savannah, Georgia; Metz, France; Athlone, Ireland; Shenzhen, China; and Singapore.

Internet Global system of connected computer networks

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.

The goal was not to show pictures of websites and computer monitors, but rather images of people whose lives were affected by the use of the growing Internet. Photographs were sent digitally to editors working real-time to choose the best pictures to put on the project's website. [5] The website received more than 4 million hits in the 24 hours that the project was active. [11]

Website set of related web pages served from a single web domain

A website or Web site is a collection of related network web resources, such as web pages, multimedia content, which are typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server. Notable examples are wikipedia.org, google.com, and amazon.com.

A computer is a device that can be instructed to carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically via computer programming. Modern computers have the ability to follow generalized sets of operations, called programs. These programs enable computers to perform an extremely wide range of tasks. A "complete" computer including the hardware, the operating system, and peripheral equipment required and used for "full" operation can be referred to as a computer system. This term may as well be used for a group of computers that are connected and work together, in particular a computer network or computer cluster.

Editing process of selecting and preparing media to convey information

Editing is the process of selecting and preparing written, visual, audible, and film media used to convey information. The editing process can involve correction, condensation, organization, and many other modifications performed with an intention of producing a correct, consistent, accurate and complete work.

24 Hours in Cyberspace served as a cover story for U.S. News and World Report . [12]

The technological infrastructure of the project was provided by a startup company spinoff from Apple Computer named NetObjects that was founded by Samir Arora, David Kleinberg, Clement Mok and Sal Arora. The system supplied by NetObjects allowed Smolan's international network of editors and photojournalists to submit text and images through web forms; it ran on Unix, relied on a database for content storage (Illustra) and used templating for easy and near-instantaneous page generation that obviated the need for the site's editorial staff to have any coding skills. [2] NetObjects was first to create the technology that would enable a team of the world's top picture editors and writers to become instant Web page designers. It let them do what they do best—edit and write—and automatically generate finished, sophisticated Web pages that millions of people were able to see only minutes after they were designed. Three million people clicked onto the 24 Hours site; the blaze of publicity surrounding the 24 Hours in Cyberspace project helped NetObjects raise $5.4 million in venture capital. [13]

Apple Inc. Technology company; developer of consumer electronics and multimedia platforms

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. It is considered one of the Big Four of technology along with Amazon, Google, and Facebook.


NetObjects, Inc. is a software company founded in 1995 by Samir Arora, David Kleinberg, Clement Mok and Sal Arora. The company is best known for the development of NetObjects Fusion, a web design application for small and medium enterprises with designers who need complete control over page layout and a similar user interface as desktop publishing applications.

Unix family of computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix

Unix is a family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, development starting in the 1970s at the Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and others.

The project reportedly cost as much as $5 million, and was funded with assistance from 50 companies, mostly in the form of loans of computer hardware and technology experts. Adobe Systems, Sun Microsystems and Kodak were listed as major supporters. [11] [14]

Computer hardware physical components of a computer system

Computer hardware includes the physical, tangible parts or components of a computer, such as the cabinet, central processing unit, monitor, keyboard, computer data storage, graphics card, sound card, speakers and motherboard. By contrast, software is instructions that can be stored and run by hardware. Hardware is so-termed because it is "hard" or rigid with respect to changes or modifications; whereas software is "soft" because it is easy to update or change. Intermediate between software and hardware is "firmware", which is software that is strongly coupled to the particular hardware of a computer system and thus the most difficult to change but also among the most stable with respect to consistency of interface. The progression from levels of "hardness" to "softness" in computer systems parallels a progression of layers of abstraction in computing.

Technology making, modification, usage, and knowledge of tools, machines, techniques, crafts, systems, and methods of organization

Technology is the collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Technology can be the knowledge of techniques, processes, and the like, or it can be embedded in machines to allow for operation without detailed knowledge of their workings. Systems applying technology by taking an input, changing it according to the system's use, and then producing an outcome are referred to as technology systems or technological systems.

Sun Microsystems defunct computer hardware and software company which was based in Santa Clara

Sun Microsystems, Inc. was an American company that sold computers, computer components, software, and information technology services and created the Java programming language, the Solaris operating system, ZFS, the Network File System (NFS), and SPARC. Sun contributed significantly to the evolution of several key computing technologies, among them Unix, RISC processors, thin client computing, and virtualized computing. Sun was founded on February 24, 1982. At its height, the Sun headquarters were in Santa Clara, California, on the former west campus of the Agnews Developmental Center.


A companion book by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt was published in 1996. It contains two hundred photographs from the over 200,000 which were taken on that day. It also contains a CD with the full contents of the original website. [15] [16]


A photographic exhibition was unveiled at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History on 23 January 1997, featuring 70 photos from the project by the 24 Hours in Cyberspace team, Rick Smolan, Jennifer Erwitt, Samir Arora, Clement Mok and Vic Zaud. [17] It was introduced by then Vice President Al Gore [18] [19] who was also given a copy of the book and CD. [1]

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Internet Archive US non-profit organization founded in 1996 in San Francisco by Brewster Kahle

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  1. 1 2 3 "24 Hours in Cyberspace" (and more)
  2. 1 2 "Rick Smolan, Dave Winer, Jorn Barger and the Genealogy of Blogging as Network 2000 | Tawawa.org". tawawa.org. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  3. "Clement Mok :: On Record :: Article". www.clementmok.com. Archived from the original on 2016-04-21. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  4. Mirror of Official site map Archived February 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. 1 2 Mirror of Official Site Archived December 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "24 Hours in Cyberspace" exhibit grand opening to feature Enhanced CU-SeeMe - Vice President Al Gore expected to attend.
  7. "24 Hours in Cyberspace" Archived 2006-09-07 at the Wayback Machine , February 6, 1996
  8. Picture This:Tipper Gore, Photojournalist Archived February 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. Earthwatch: 24 Hours in Cyberspace Archived February 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  10. Vice President Al Gore's introduction to Earthwatch: 24 Hours In Cyberspace Archived 2008-02-13 at the Wayback Machine
  11. 1 2 "Halfhill, T.R. "Inside the Ultimate Web Site"". Archived from the original on 1996-12-20. Retrieved 2016-09-29., BYTE, May 1996
  12. "In the Media". Archived from the original on 2007-12-24. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
  13. "NETOBJECTS WEB PUBLISHING SOFTWARE - July 8, 1996". archive.fortune.com. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
  14. "Sponsors". Archived from the original on 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2007-12-21.
  15. Review of Internet Books: 24 Hours in Cyberspace
  16. "24 Hours in Cyberspace", October 1996
  17. The human face of cyberspace, painted in random images
  18. 24 Hours in Cyberspace: Smithsonian
  19. Cisco Systems And HP Sponsor Smithsonian Exhibit