Home
Alphabetical
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Who coined the word "Intranet"?

 

My original Question:

I once knew this, but lost the name.  For a long time between 1990 and 1996 I went around describing the best benefit of the web as the application inside the company, the "company-wide information system" or CWIS.  But obviously "Intranet" was a much better word, and I was (am) jealous for not having invented it.  Who first used it?

The Answer: Steven Telleen, in 1994.

I got many answers:

Emmanuel Durand (U.Laval, ca) wrote that Business Week mentioned it in 1996 according to an article by Jean-Paul Figer.

Frode Tennebø (dk) wrote that Steven L. Telleen "invented Intranet" in 1994 while he was working at Ahmdal. Telleen's article mentions 1995 and also that IntraNet is a trademark!

Jacob Smith (dk) confirmed that a little later: "Steve Telleen (stelleen@gigaweb.com) is a director at Giga Information Group and the author often credited with coining the term intranet.  You can read his book Internet Organization online at www.iorg.com/intranetorg."

Finally Will Monahan sent me an excerpt by Telleen himself:

When I coined the term "IntraNet" at Amdahl Corp. in the summer of 1994, it did have the connotation of an internal Web rather than just an internal Internet. In fact, the term we used internally before this was the too-cumbersome "Enterprise-Wide Web." So, while the ambiguity of "intranet" was apparent even back then, for lack of a better alternative, it caught on.

Note that Telleen too found that a longer description was unwieldy and as soon as a shorter word came along it caught on.  Like the web itself, an example of many people having very similar ideas at the same period.

At the First WWW Conference at CERN in May 1994 there were already two speakers talking about their intranets, one from Digital Equipment Corporation and one form Boeing.  CERN itself had timidly begun to set up its own internal web well before.

Valid XHTML 1.0 StrictValid CSS

next planned revision:

next planned revision: 2009-11