On 6th August 1991, when Tim Berners-Lee hosted first World Wide Web page on a machine in his cubicle, little did he know that this moment will mark beginning of one of the most remarkable revolution in human history.
We are still in middle of this revolution, and as World Wide Web turns 20, its time to acknowledge the difference it made in our lives!
[The NeXT computer that Tim Berners-Lee used as server for the World Wide Web at CERN]
Started with an aim of providing a mechanism for sharing the data between engineers, it has now become an indispensable aspect of most of our lives. It has crossed the boundaries of nations and has connected billions of people together with information available on click of a button. Let us have a look, what major aspects of our lives it has impacted upon:
Information, and more information!
Everybody loves Wikipedia isn’t it? Wikipedia is just a drop in ocean. Information about everything that matters i.e. history of countries, latest experiments in controlled fusion reactions, billiards tutorials, food recipes, Shakira’s favourite shopping locations….and the list is endless!
Importantly, not just access, but creation of content is also not difficult for a normal user, thanks to static websites and more popularly, Blogs.
Online retailer Amazon is on track to generate 100 billion dollars in revenues by 2015. Lot more people are now relying on Web for purchase of goods, movie-tickets, deal coupons and services of humans (ex: Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, freelancing portals).
Financial industry has got a huge boost with increase in money exchange volumes, because money can now be transferred over a secured network.
Companies have got an outlet through which they can market themselves (websites, online ads) to a much larger audience beyond geographical barriers. This has facilitated the emergence of truly global companies.
Entertainment is where Web has made major inroads, but still its lesser player compared to other sources like: TV, Cinema, Printed Books and Gaming consoles. But online movies, videos, web games are steadily becoming part of everyone’s lives.
This is latest outcome of World Wide Web. Social networks have given users a platform to connect like never before. Sharing photos, interests, and day to day happenings with friends has become increasingly easy, fast and frequent.
Geographical barriers aren’t essential anymore if like minded people want to connect with each other.
Started with one page of information in 1991, Web has now some interesting numbers to tell about its growth:
- From 2005 to 2010, number of web users has doubled with how having more than 2 billion users
- As of May 2009, 109.5 million websites operated
- Recently, among web users, average time spent on Web has surpassed the average time spent on TV. Study: More Net Equals Less TV
- More than 8 Billion links are shared by users on Social Networks everyday
‘Do Not Power It Down’
Although Web has already made a lot of impact in such a short span, great thing is, it is still evolving fast with rapidly emerging technologies and services.
Given its significance, there is something spectacular about the small note on Tim Berners-Lee NeXT computer (First Image) that said: “Do Not Power It Down”.
Wish a very happy 20th birthday, and Long Live the World Wide Web.