Today’s post celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web, first proposed on March 11th, 1989, by Tim Berners-Lee, a 33 year-old software engineer from my old stamping ground, Richmond upon Thames, the beautiful English border town where outer London meets suburban Surrey .
No one, least of all TBL, had no idea in those very early days that what we were witnessing was the birth of a service that would come to create and dominate so much of the communication in our everyday lives.
A quiet revolution in no uncertain terms, the web enabled anyone to publish, create or consume content and commerce (assuming they could get access online), through the gigantic open network of networks that is the globally-connected Internet. It was a perfect example of the “permissionless innovation” where no one has to ask permission before creating new content and services.
Whole new industries were born, while others faded away. New words entered our vocabulary: who used the word “browser” before the www? And cookies were something you had with your morning coffee. New opportunities emerged for so many people around the world. Lives were changed. Education changed. Economies changed. For good and for bad, the very fabric of our society changed. The Web is undoubtedly the most impactful innovation of our time.
Two decades in the making but only two years in existence, 25 months ago I created my own “catablog” website, stevepafford.com. And the stats freak in me is pleased as punch to announce that the site has now passed 100,000 viewers, with a regular readership in over 100 countries.
Thank you to everyone for visiting. It’s been a truly empowering experience being able to self-publish once more, and not having to worry about deadlines, word counts, over-officious PR officers and censorship.
I’m writing this from Cuba.
I know, right.
Steve Pafford, Havana