Create Your Next Customer is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Happy Birthday COBOL and the Birth of Online Media

The programming language COBOL just turned 50 years old. 77% of the population would say whoopdeedoo to that, as they’ve never even heard of COBOL. But according to a recent Dr. Dobb’s Code Talk blog (a community platform for the future of programming), 60-80 percent of the world's enterprises still rely on COBOL to run their business. Many predict it will be around for another 50 years. Mid-life crisis? You be the judge.

This COBOL birthday had me thinking

-- because that’s where my one-track mind wanders -- how old is online media really? The short answer: It’s a baby. Infant, in fact, is better suited term.

The World Wide Web itself is only about 6,500 days old. I’m not talking about archaic computer networks developed in the ‘60s so Department of Defense could pass around information at dial-ups speeds. I’m talking about the web as we know it.

So, online media. Welcome to the world! My, how you’ve grown.

The amount of innovation in online media is staggering in such a short time. We’ve gone from basic text links, banners and opt-in email names to interactive Web 2.0-like microsites, hi-def-like video, complex lead-nurturing models, and immersive, conversational platforms. And this is just to name a few examples.

Sites like the Dr. Dobb’s Code Talk community -- which brings together Dobb’s Code Talk Gurus, member blogs and discussion forums -- highlight the direction of social media in the B2B world. How else to you pull together thousands of people, thousands of miles apart, and exchange information in near real-time?

It seems so simple doesn’t it. But, heck, without COBOL and other programming languages, none of this is possible. Happy Birthday indeed!