The term “internet” has been around since the early to mid-seventies, even though the medium it eventually came to define didn’t enter the public consciousness until two decades later. The word was originally not capitalized as it should be now, and is shortened from “internetwork,” a reference to the interconnected computer networks that comprise what we now know as the Internet. The term is also thought to have gained popularity from frequent reference to “internet protocol” in the early days of networked computing, which defines how packets of data travel over the network (and, incidentally, is what the “i.p.” in your IP address stands for).
Other terms soon came on the scene that built off of the interconnected network symbolism, most notably the concept of the “web” that appeared in the early 1990s, and later the “website.” I don’t know if anyone else has used it before, but if not I’d like to coin a new term today: cobwebsite, to refer to a website that has not been updated in a while. Cute, huh? (I just looked this up on the web – it appears I’m not the first!)