25 years ago, the Web was just a concept on a technical paper that Tim-Berners Lee had presented to his boss at CERN on March 12, 1989. The proposal was centred around the concept of being able to easily share information globally within the organisation that, at the time, was a problem Tim-Berners Lee wanted to address.
By having computers communicate with each other using a standardised protocol, freely-available information could easily be shared between researchers at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), even across different operating systems. Part of the proposal was a principle concept of hyperlinks – being able to access documents in a non-hierarchical manner from a computer system.
In 1993, CERN decided to allow anyone to use the technology; a decision that has lead to the Internet now being an integral part of many people’s every day lives, with over 2.7 billion users worldwide.
Because of the naturally decentralised and open nature of the World Wide Web, the Internet provides a level playing field for everyone, and anyone with an Internet connection can join. It seems hard to believe it’s been just 25 years since the World Wide Web was first conceived, and now 40% of the world is connected to it.
From research, to entertainment and social communication to eCommerce, the Internet has fundamentally changed the game; and with entire industries and over a trillion dollars of economic value having been created, the Internet is perhaps one of the most important inventions of recent times.
Happy 25th birthday, Web!