Today marks a very special birthday – 25 years ago, Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented a way for computers to communicate and exchange information over a shared network on a global scale. This affectionately became known as the World Wide Web. What was initially proposed as a method for improving communications specifically within the network of CERN scientists in Switzerland has changed the way generations have explored, discovered and shared information, all with the push of their fingertips.
Long gone are the days of furiously scrambling through worn and dusty books at the library to find something out. Waiting impatiently for days by your letter box for the letter from your Aunt Sal about how little Johnny did in his football match is now a distant memory. Sharing videos of Fluffy hilariously chasing a ball of string no longer requires gathering all of your nearest and dearest into a cramped room and forcing them to crowd around an old, grainy bit of film.
Online articles, databases, social networking sites and media sharing platforms are, among many others, all products of the World Wide Web that have become a regular part of our everyday life.
It’s easy to forget about the capabilities of the web while we are getting our routine fix of international headlines on a news site, or instinctively opening YouTube link that’s been sent around the office. Sometimes we overlook what extraordinary developments have occurred thanks to the invention of the World Wide Web, which has spawned more than 600 million websites worldwide since its inception 25 years ago. We forget even while we are emphatically punching in the “www” on our keyboard with the innate knowledge that from there – from the very moment that we finish typing in the three lettered abbreviation – we can be connected to information over a global network. Incredible.
Happy birthday, World Wide Web!