Author: Mike Frith, Founding Director, OSCAR.
It’s been ten years since OSCAR  began. Research was undertaken in the autumn and winter of 1999 and the OSCAR website was launched on March 1st 2000, right at the peak of the dot-com bubble.
This was an era when the Internet really was the ‘Information Superhighway’. The early years of the digital age saw many organisations starting to move their services from using traditional to electronic forms of propagation. Part of this was to have a presence on the World Wide Web, initially resembling an online version of their sales brochure but later becoming more of a depository for specific information and advice. The web quickly became the first port of call for anyone looking for information, overtaking the telephone, paper directories, local libraries, reference books, newspapers, periodicals, etc. One of the big challenges was organising all this information and making it accessible for Internet users. Search engines were in their infancy and often struggled to return relevant results, so web portals appeared offering categorisation of the growing chaotic mass of Web information. The vision of OSCAR was born in this era, part of which was to provide an information portal for all things ‘mission’ on the Web.
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