The World Wide Web turned 30 last week, but have you ever imagined what a world would look like without it? Well, for starters you wouldn’t be reading DCNN, nor would you be shopping online or listening to music on iTunes, Spotify or YouTube – in fact, without it the world would look somewhat different.
Over the past three decades the existence of the World Wide Web has changed our view of both ourselves and the world – you could even go as far as saying that it has changed the face of humanity. The brainchild of Tim Berners-Lee, which was initially titled “Information Management: A proposal” is now such a fundamental resource in our lives that it is impossible to imagine life without it.
From education, culture to the economy, the World Wide Web has changed the landscape in which we now access information; it has given people a voice, a platform and ultimately made our daily lives a whole lot easier. Unfortunately, however, the web is not all sunshine and rainbows…
Despite it creating ample amounts of opportunity to all who have access to it, it has also paved the way for scammers, given voice to those who spread hatred, and made all kinds of crime easier to commit.
On March 12, 2019, marking 30 years of the World Wide Web, the inventor delivered a compelling speech at CERN in Meyrin calling for ‘big changes’ to make it better.
Berners-Lee told reporters that, “Against the backdrop of news stories about how the web is misused, it’s understandable that many people feel afraid and unsure if the web is really a force for good.”
In order to combat the distrust some now feel for the web, Berners-Lee created a group called the World Wide Web Foundation – his actual plan called ‘the Contract for the Web’. It seeks help from governments, companies and citizens to become more involved in shaping the web to do better for humanity.
The path to make the web better, however, is the responsibility of everyone who uses it, therefore making any big changes will not be easy.
“If we give up on building a better web now, then the web will not have failed us. We would have failed the web,” Berners-Lee notes.
The difference between the WWW and the internet
Although the web enables us to access a myriad of information – all within just a few clicks – the World Wide Web and the internet still get confused, so what is the difference?
Simply, the internet is a massive network of networks, a networking infrastructure. It connects millions of computers together globally. Forming a network in which any computer can communicate with another as long as they are both connected to the internet. Information itself travels over the internet.
On the other hand, the World Wide Web, or the web, is a way of accessing information over the medium of the internet. It is an information-sharing model that is built on top of the internet.
In the March issue, to celebrate the web turning 30, DCNN magazine will take you back in time with a comprehensive overview of its history, how it started, and its development into the World Wide Web we know today.