20th Birthday of the WWW20 years ago, when I was already older than I care to remember, Tim Berners-Lee, and later his chum Robert Cailliau, were busy writing a proposal for an idea called “WorldWideWeb”. You can read it at w3.org – a very nicely put together doc.

The idea was to be able to browse large quantities of information, using hypertext links between documents. The date of that first paper was March 13th, 1989. 20 years ago last week.

Can you imagine how different life would be today without the Internet? If Mr. Berners-Lee, or anyone else since, hadn’t thought up what we now all take so much for granted? How often do you check your email or log on to Facebook? Or check the tv guide or read the paper? 

I’ve often wondered if my lifetime will see the advances that my Grandparents’ and Great Grandparents’ did – things like the mini-disc and the CD don’t seem like such a jump after cassettes and A-tracks. And Blue-ray (if that’s how you spell it) doesn’t effect my life in the slightest (yet)! But then I’m reminded of the World Wide Web – which, due to my profession, but also due to life in 2009, has a profound impact on my daily routine. 

So yes – I think it’s safe to say that my lifetime has already witnessed a hugely important event – I wonder what else is to follow? And where the web will be in another 20 years time? Hopefully I’ll see you here in 2029 to discuss it some more!