The web turned 25 today.
My first experience on the Internet was in the early 1990s. The only people using it at that point were university professors, a handful of people sending email/ftp/gopher, and hackers, mostly exploring and transferring files.
As a BBS SysOp, one of my claims to fame was owning the first BBSs to provide Internet email. This was long before AOL and other online services offered it. My BBS only connected to the hub to offload sent email once or twice each week, so an email took a good week or 2 weeks to reach it’s destination. Those were the good old days, when you’d send an email and get a reply a month later.
The Internet has grown so much in the last 25 years. At first I disliked seeing the old BBS world die. But the I grasped the Internet and loved it. It is a free, open place. I feel the Internet has come a long ways but it is very obvious to me that it is still in infant stages. This is very important time for the Internet and it needs to grow without being suppressed. But, these days, the Internet is under attack. Governments are abusing it to spy on people and certain corporations are attempting to harm it as well.
Tim Berners-Lee put out guest blog on Google’s Official Blog today titled “On the 25th anniversary of the web, let’s keep it free and open.” You can read it here. Also launched today is www.webat25.org. Tim Berners-Lee will also be doing a reddit AMA today here and also launched webwewant.org with the slogan “Freedom of speech and belief and freedom from want and fear.”
From Tim’s post on the Google Blog:
So today is a day to celebrate. But it’s also an occasion to think, discuss—and do. Key decisions on the governance and future of the Internet are looming, and it’s vital for all of us to speak up for the web’s future. How can we ensure that the other 60 percent around the world who are not connected get online fast? How can we make sure that the web supports all languages and cultures, not just the dominant ones? How do we build consensus around open standards to link the coming Internet of Things? Will we allow others to package and restrict our online experience, or will we protect the magic of the open web and the power it gives us to say, discover, and create anything? How can we build systems of checks and balances to hold the groups that can spy on the net accountable to the public? These are some of my questions—what are yours?
Here is a picture of the first web server (photo credit wikipedia). I love the post it note that reads “Do not power down!!”
Here’s a message from Sir Tim Berners-Lee:
Today’s hashtag is #web25.
Happy Birthday Web! And thank you Sir Tim Berners-Lee!