When The Web Went World Wide

webFifteen years ago today, Tim Berners-Lee shared this on the alt.hypertext discussion group so others could download it and "try it". The World Wide Web went world wide and the rest is history.

We've come a long way in fifteen years, but you know this is just the tip of the iceberg. I can tell I like that expression when referring to the World Wide Web, because I used it here and here. I use it because I believe it to be true. Not long ago we were a little naive but through the years the web has changed our daily habits and dramatically enhanced communique.

If you need a phone number, do you check the white or yellow pages or do you hit the web? If you need driving directions, do you hunt down the Perly's or do you hit the web? If you need to communicate something to someone that isn't particularly time sensitive, do you write them a letter or send them an email? If you're looking for stats, schedules, standings or scores from the sport of your choice, do you check the paper or hit the web? When you need to know who was in what movie with whom, do you buy a movie guide or hit the web? What about those billion trivial questions you have throughout the day, and that frequent need to get the straight up facts about this, that and the other? Do you go to the library and read the encyclopedias or do you hit the web?

In fifteen years, everything about the way we communicate has changed. The way we share pictures, opinions and information will never be the same.

It's the tip of the iceberg. You can quote me on that.


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Anon

The web is also the reason why school childrean cannot read, write or do math at the same capacity as kids in the 70's & early 80's. Library's will become extinct in the next few years.
Pro's & con's for the web - but NOT to be used a a learning tool
anon

August 6, 2006 @ 3:54 PM

Mike Boon

Libraries will become a place to jump on the web when you don't otherwise have access!

As for the web destroying the art of writing, you might be right. It's one of my pet peeves and provoked this sweet rant back in 2003.

August 6, 2006 @ 4:54 PM

Jill

I consider IM speak to be another form a language. Like being able to speak Spanish or French if your first language is English. It's not as challenging as a completely new language, but what's so different? It has a foundation for translation that, to me, is not that far off from accepted foreign languages.
Also,you have those horrible small text buttons on phones and such, and who actually wants to spell out 'you' when you can spell it 'U'? Also, there is an anti-adult sense to it which must be appealing to the culture of the youth.
I believe being able to communicate is much more important than getting the grammar right as long as the grammar isn't so bad that it makes the communication harder.

August 6, 2006 @ 6:58 PM

Mike Boon

Yeah, but my issue with IM speak is when it's used outside the world of IM. I'm all about conserving key strokes during an instant convo, but we were talkin' music!

August 6, 2006 @ 7:41 PM


CC

Dude that was a sweet rant back in 2003. hahaha

August 7, 2006 @ 12:41 AM

elisabetta

There's another problem - although you may not consider it as such.

All of this instant access to information - which oftentimes is NOT instant, and can, in fact, be exceedingly frustrating - provides many people with unproductive diversions. Let's face it, unless you are writing articles about the movie industry (emphasis on the latter) it really does not matter whether we know who loaded the clapper for the third remake of Carrie; we don't care, or need to know, whether there were cost overruns on the publication of the second edition of THE REVISED NOTES OF CASANOVA, POLITICALLY CORRECTED - those are the bailiwick of the historian and the specialist. But by making everything accessible to everyone, the web tempts everyone to browse here, read a bit there, scan a few pages from co.uk and before you know it you have wasted an hour or more.

And what expands this problem exponentially is the altered perception of time when one is on the net. It is never the anticipated problems that gunk up a new technology's workings - it's the little things nobody thought of at the time that come from obscurity to blindside us.

August 7, 2006 @ 1:28 AM

Mike Boon

Crap, now I need to know who loaded the clapper for the third remake of Carrie.

Wait a minute, they made Carrie three times? And what the hell is a clapper?

Now I'll be Googling all afternoon. Thanks a lot, Elisabetta.

August 7, 2006 @ 1:00 PM

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