The world wide web is 30 years old today. Happy birthday to one of the most revolutionary information access tools ever created! The invention of WWW, and the associated HTML language web pages are based on, changed the world and sparked a global wave of creativity, collaboration and innovation never seen before.
You have to wonder if the inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berns-Lee, could conceive the magnitude of the impact that his invention was going to have. And to think – he gave this invention away for any one to use for free.
Today, people cannot imagine their daily lives without logging into websites to look at social media or check email, breaking news, weather reports, read their favourite blog or buy goods or even order food all because of the WWW technology.
It has spawned countless markets, companies and created an enormous amount of employment and opportunity.
But we have had it good for a very long time. As with all things, change is inevitable, and we must be careful as to who affects this change to ensure it is for the overall good.
Sir Tim warns us that the future of the web is starting wane in the face of a “nasty storm”. With propaganda, misinformation and so called “clickbait” exploding coupled with big tech companies collecting and sharing personal information or influencing political change, the very tools we have grown to rely on are posed to be used for the benefit of a select few rather than for the greater good of humanity.
Even worse, we are at risk of succumbing to a “that’s just the way it is” mentality.
Having said all of that, Sir Tim remains optimistic. He says that we cannot take the internet and the world wide web for granted and making informed, considered decisions should always be at the front of our minds which is not easy considering that technology changes every day and at a faster rate now than ever before.
So here is to Sir Tim and the world wide web. We have been given so much by one man’s vision and talent. Lets fight to keep it and the internet free and open to all humanity as it was originally intended.