Happy Belated Birthday, WWW!

(Image courtesy of w3.org)

Born in the very early 80’s, it wasn’t until sometime in the mid 1990’s where I was first introduced to the WWW, also known as the World Wide Web. I remember my friend and I, who hated Barney the Dinosaur (which debuted on TV in 1992), found a site called The Jihad to Destroy Barney on the World Wide Web. On this website were fan-fics (fan fiction stories) of the destruction of Barney and his rise as an anti-Christ, games where you could try and kill Barney, and other countless violent entries about how to destroy Barney. At the time we thought it was hilarious, but looking back I find it quite barbarous. It’s now one of my earliest memories of the web.

On Monday, the web turned 25 years old. Now, the web and the internet are not synonymous like some believe. The easiest way for one to think about the internet is as a newspaper. The web is actually each individual article in a newspaper. So, essentially, the internet is how you connect online and the web is all the pages you visit. When the web was first proposed at a Swiss physics laboratory in Cern and the creator, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, claimed that it almost didn’t happen and a “tremendous amount of hubris” was involved in the beginning (Binns, 2014). It was out of the blue and at first was completely ignored (Binns, 2014).

The idea was based on Berners-Lee’s original file storing program called Enquire (Binns, 2014). Little did Sir Tim know how much the web was going to affect the world. To this day, countless people rely on it for almost every job being done or even as education for world events. I’m willing to bet that most people reading this blog right now have no idea what it was like before the web. I was fortunate enough to have seen the shift from no web to almost exclusively web based things in my lifetime. I remember having a land line and having to memorize phone numbers, look up books at a library via the Dewey Decimal System, read a paper map, call a store to see if something was in stock, go to AAA for a “triptik”, and more. Nowadays, these things can all be stored, bought, or found online. Even my classes are primarily online with the exception of having to actually show up for attendance.

By late 1993, there were more than 500 known web servers and the web was about 1% of internet traffic, but 2 decades later there are an estimated 630 million websites (Binns, 2014). Today most of us can’t live without the web. Most of us probably don’t even know the difference between the internet and the web. It’s important to know that this crazy idea is still relatively young, but has shaped our world in so many ways. So, happy belated birthday world wide web and thank you for hosting my blog!

References:

Binns, D. (2014, March 10). World wide web: 25 years since a ‘vague idea’ changed our wwway of life. Metro. Retrieved from http://metro.co.uk/2014/03/10/world-wide-web-25-years-since-a-vague-idea-changed-our-wwway-of-life-4500335/

7 thoughts on “Happy Belated Birthday, WWW!

  1. Its pretty crazy to think about how far the internet has come in 25 years, but even crazier to consider where it might end up 25 years from now. It seems to me that as technology becomes better and better, advancements are happening via the internet much faster, which kind of makes you think: Is there life AFTER the Internet? I mean, will it just keep expanding or will something new pop up before long?

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    • You’re absolutely right! The internet has changed a LOT over the years. I grew up on 56K dial up modems and stupid Angelfire websites with glittery images being the “cool” thing. Now there’s entire flash games , interactive web, movies, etc. It’s INSANE to see how much has changed!

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  2. Interesting thought. My question is, with drastic changes in technology, is the web even still the same thing? Or has it changed several times over, in incremental technology shifts, without users’ awareness? We’ve all become quite used to continuity in improvements and upgrades, so I’m pretty sure if something was going to replace the internet, it would have to (or simply would) happen seamlessly.

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    • As I said in my reply above to Christina, it’s changed a LOT! I can’t wait to see full on holograms and Tony Stark/Iron Man tech where we’re using our hands in a 3d hologram to interact with our computers. It’ll happen one day, we have the tech…

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  3. All other forms of media have been around for way longer than 25 years and the internet has progressed SO MUCH in that short time frame. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the internet turns 50, or 100.

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  4. I know this guy did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit not too long ago and he expressed both excitement and fear for the Web’s future.

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