December 23, 2010
Imagine No Web Servers: This December 25th Marks the 20th Anniversary of the World Wide Web Going Live
Contrary to popular belief and Christian celebration, the birth of the baby Jesus did not occur on December 25 -- more likely September 11, 3 BCE by the Gregorian calendar we use now. But the birth of the World Wide Web did happen on December 25 and in 1990 CE, yes, by the solar calendar system we still use, albeit with the aid of atomic clocks now. We are approaching the 20th anniversay of the WWW because on that date (a milestone in geekiness by being at work on Christmas Day, intentional?) Sir Tim Berners-Lee deployed the first web browser and he and his CERN colleague Robert Cailliau were both communicating with the world's first web server at info.cern.ch.
No I am not implying like John Lennon has oftentimes been misquoted as saying that "the Beatles [Web] are bigger than Jesus." But using Lennon's words from a later interview while putting this is in a Web context: "the Beatles web server farms have more influence on young people than Jesus Christ. Kids are influenced more by us the WWW than Jesus, some ministers even stood up stand up today and agreed with it."
I doubt any iPad Christmas gifts will find their way to a bonfire like Beatles records did in reaction to Lennon's misquoted statement (and yes, I know, gizmos like the iPad are app-driven in a post-WWW world) but imagine the world without the web. I know commercial enterprises dominate the web space and Google et. al dominate search now, at least in countries that have some ties to European civilization, but even where commercialization drives all this, more useful and important information is readily available now than was ten years ago, let alone 20 years ago.
Time for the 1972 music video from Madison Square Garden which some of us who are so damn old remember. We also remember the world before info.cern.ch went live. It's quite amazing. While I have a good nose for some web communication developments being faddish, ones which will not be the Next Big Thing or will disappear after those afflicted with early adopter syndrome move on, I've usually been dead wrong when I've seen something that I think will have lasting impact. By lasting, I tend to think that widespread acceptance will be well established in 10 years. Not! Usually five years. [JH]
Very nice post, and I think you're spot on about the 3 year difference in the birth of Christ.
Posted by: Michael | Dec 23, 2010 2:54:03 PM