The world wide web (www) was 25 years old this week. Even Sir Tim Berners Lee with his most enthusiastic and optimistic perspective could never have dreamt the profound effect the world wide web would have on the world.
To roll the clock back slightly, the Internet hailed from a connectivity approach and environment called Arpanet used to deliver resilient and disaster tolerant computer to computer communication in research, university and military situations. The world wide web spawned from Tim Berners Lee’s invention of a programming langauge called HTML and associated work with colleagues at CERN that allowed linked pages to be created, edited, searched and located across an internet style environment. And the result, computer to computer connectivity, plus pages that could be linked and searched (we now call them web pages and web sites), that has delivered us the rich tapestry we now called “the internet and the world wide web (www)”.
I have greatly simplified something that is underpinned by extraordinary complexity that second by second is hidden from us all. Our engagement with the world wide web is public but personal, general but specific, real time and real world – in fact for most of us the internet is so bound into our day to day existence a world without it is now unimaginable.
But you may say, in the midsts of the mobile device explosion that has reprogrammed our understanding of always connected, a connected world without the world wide web is acceptable as there is always an “app” available that can deliver the same value. I however, do not agree as many of the “apps” in use today are no more than clever front ends to full blown world wide web based sites (with content, application and database logic behind). When considering a mobile user technology based existence, without the web and its rich content the user experience would be nothing like the “anything is possible” digital world we embrace today.
So for many the 25th birthday of the world wide web (www) came and went without so much as a raised eyebrow – but as I have now highlighted the significance of the monumental event spend 60 seconds and consider your own 24 hour existence with “NO” involvement, interaction or service delivered by the good old “www”. Painful thought if you ask me…..(I stopped after 15 seconds !!)
Until next time.