Here's my take on how we've got to where we are today. . ..
To simplify greatly, well I suppose us humans used facial, hand and body movements to kick it all off. Geoffrey Nunberg has an informative time line on his site. It is interesting to read, time and time again how each wave of information evolution is pulsed along by a never ending tug and pull created from the human need to communicate with each other and technological innovations that gives information wider room to expand into.
Thus giving the opportunity for information to become more freely and openly available. In terms of information volume I like to use the following metaphor to visualize how near the start we are: imagine the size of the universe a micro * ten to the power of -10000 of a second after big bang and compare it to the size of the Universe today, in other words, hold a pea in your hand and compare it to the size of the Universe. So, we are at the earliest of days in my view.