I’d like to mention also that there were other networks (we could also recall BBS’ in the modem age, I was 14 at the moment) that were pushed away by the growing and evolving internet society. I think that it’s the simplicity of tag usage and superiour flexibility of HTML language invented by CERN employee that was behind the explosive boom of internet. And this boom, in turn, indicated the need for other protocols that developed later.
As for evolution of internet itself, 15 years ago we could communicate only with text messages, now audio and video conferences are not uncommon. This evolution, however, wouldn’t be possible without the prior and parallel evolution of IT.
It may seem that evolution of internet has slowed down – now it’s too hard to find ways to communicate other than text, audio and video. Maybe think about tactile/action feedback that could be used for new interfaces – the imperfect contemporary Wii does that today and what can such interfaces evolve to in future? Or maybe invent a way of sending the flavours and smells in order to complete the full gamma of senses available to humans? – That’s what could be used for future meta-internet, I think.
As for the people, which are usually the greatest asset of any successful company, some brilliant folks can’t leave their household due to being disabled. Think of Steve Hawkins, for example. And there are many others for whom internet is the only way to reach out.
With the growing perfection of communicative environment such folks can be more and more productive. And in commercial way, too.
Clarification added 3 minutes ago:
Stephen Hawkins (I hope I spelled his name right) – astrophysicist from USA, Nobel prise winner