Happy Birthday Internet! In case you didn't know today is the world wide web's 25th birthday. That's right the internet, web, net, whatever else you like it call it is 25 years old. So Happy Birthday Internet, net, web, etc!
While that seems like a long time, isn't it incredible to think that internet has only been around for 25 years? To me it seems like it's been around for a long time but I still remember a time when there were computers that did not connect to the internet and all you could really do with them was play computer games. At least at the time that's all I thought computers were good for. Who would want to use a word processor? 🙂
To celebrate and mark the occasion Tim Berners-Lee, the man who came up with and built the internet, wrote a guest post on Google's Official Blog. (There was no mention of the ex-Vice President, Al Gore, as having created the internet.) He talks about his experiences of coming up with the idea while at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) writing a paper “Information Management: A Proposal” 25 years ago on March 12th, 1989 and the software project developed.
Though CERN, as a physics lab, couldn’t justify such a general software project, my boss Mike Sendall allowed me to work on it on the side. In 1990, I wrote the first browser and editor. In 1993, after much urging, CERN declared that WWW technology would be available to all, without paying royalties, forever.
Imagine if CERN had charged for technology that servers run on? They could have been Google, Facebook, IBM, like 100's time over. The internet is arguably the most game-changing invention in history. Of course there could be an argument between that and indoor plumbing though. What do you think?
Berners-Lee continued in the Google guest post on the way the web he built is structured.
By design, the underlying Internet and the WWW are non-hierarchical, decentralized and radically open. The web can be made to work with any type of information, on any device, with any software, in any language. You can link to any piece of information. You don’t need to ask for permission. What you create is limited only by your imagination.
Tim Berners-Lee continues in the guest post.
So today is a day to celebrate. But it’s also an occasion to think, discuss—and do. Key decisions on the governance and future of the Internet are looming, and it’s vital for all of us to speak up for the web’s future. How can we ensure that the other 60 percent around the world who are not connected get online fast? How can we make sure that the web supports all languages and cultures, not just the dominant ones? How do we build consensus around open standards to link the coming Internet of Things? Will we allow others to package and restrict our online experience, or will we protect the magic of the open web and the power it gives us to say, discover, and create anything? How can we build systems of checks and balances to hold the groups that can spy on the net accountable to the public? These are some of my questions—what are yours?
Incredible to think that so many people around the globe still don't have internet access. Also we need to consider that a lot of those people don't speak English. I also think it's interesting he touches on the NSA spying and metadata collection. Some groups like Stop Watching Us have fought back with DC Rallies but it's clear he feels we need to mindful.
On the 25th birthday of the web, I ask you to join in—to help us imagine and build the future standards for the web, and to press for every country to develop a digital bill of rights to advance a free and open web for everyone. Learn more and speak up for the sort of web we really want with #web25.
Will you take up Sir Tim Berners-Lee challenge? Let me know your plans to change the internet and make it a better place for everyone.
25 years old is a good age to be for the internet. Here's to another 25 years. How will you celebrate the web's birthday? What do you think the internet will look like in 25 years?
Happy Birthday Internet!
[Image Source – Google Blog]