Happy birthday, World Wide Web

As I first saw on Twitter, the WWW is 20 years old today.

It’s hard to believe that something so ubiquitous and useful and … essential is only 20 years old. I mean, I wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for the web, and that’s probably true of millions of people today.

Around the web:


Back in 1989, Berners-Lee was a software consultant working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research outside of Geneva, Switzerland. On March 13 of that year, he submitted a plan to management on how to better monitor the flow of research at the labs. People were coming and going at such a clip that an increasingly frustrated Berners-Lee complained that CERN was losing track of valuable project information because of the rapid turnover of personnel. It did not help matters that the place was chockablock with incompatible computers people brought with them to the office.

Read Write Web:

Berners-Lee has some great ideas about where the web should go next. His vision is of a major advance that could serve as the foundation for innovations that we can’t even imagine today.

One year ago Berners-Lee said that all the pieces needed to build a new Semantic Web are now in place. Last month he gave an impassioned talk at the high-profile TED conference about a related concept called Linked Data, a set of ideas he outlined in 2006. The gist of the idea is that we need every institution that can do so putting raw data in standardized format up on the web.

The original “napkin” sketch …


Plugged In:

The term ‘Web’ was invented by English scientist Sir Time Berners Lee on March 13th, 1989 and now the wild web has reached 216+ million websites (as per February 2009 data from Netcraft).

TED blog:

Watch Tim Berners-Lee’s talk from TED2009 on TED.com …


I’m about to board an airplane to go to the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, and have been brooding about the fact that I’ll be deprived of the Web for just a few hours while we’re in flight. It’s startling to remember that something as essential as the Web is so new–and that the guy who came up with it is not only still with us but very much involved in shaping its future.


The Web is becoming a massive interlinked computer, and computers need data. As more and more data becomes linked across the Web, the more that it can be accessed, analyzed, and computed. As Berners-Lee says, “Data is relationships.”

Thanks, Tim!

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