A friend of mine, JF Mergin, wrote a section of this article in which he said:
What individual had the biggest impact on your work in the government or the work of government?At the time, it seemed obvious to me, but if people as smart as JF's potential customers were mystified, I must admit that my powers of explanation were not as good as my ability to think up and build new Internet applications... [The Personal Internet Newspaper was known as the PINPaper. When I moved to CMGI with this technology, the product was known as Echo].
In the late 1980s a fellow named Harry Forsdick was working at BBN Technologies on early Internet applications. No one really understood what he was doing and he was exploring and area where no one had gone before. One particular application was called (as I remember) the PIN or Personal Internet Newspaper. Using a scripting language that foreshadowed Java Script and Google scripting, one could build an automatically generated newspaper based on the content of very large number of sites. When this was shown to a number of potential customers, there was almost a universal lack of understanding. However, it really made me think about how little we know of the potential of this growing network and it obliterated a number of conceptual walls.