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The World Wide Web Turns 30

Usually people complain about stupid questions. I certainly know I have, but I'm more curious about the questions not asked. For instance, despite the unprecedented level of dependence on the internet, nobody ever asks me, "Who invented the World Wide Web?".

No, it wasn't Al Gore! More proof that some people shouldn't be allowed to vote. The true answer is Sir Tim Berners-Lee, also known as TimBL. So, as the World Wide Web turns 30 this week, I thought I would give a brief history of how the internet came to be what it is today.

Giving birth to a 3 'W' baby

Berners-Lee worked as an independent contractor at CERN in 1980. While in Switzerland, he proposed a project based on the concept of hypertext, to facilitate sharing and updating information among researchers. And, to demonstrate it, he built a prototype named ENQUIRE.

In 1984, he returned to CERN as a fellow; and, by 1989 CERN had become the largest internet node in Europe. Tim saw an opportunity to join his hypertext with the internet; however, his proposal wasn't recognized by his manager until 1990. Although his manager described it as vague but interesting, Tim moved forward with his vision. He used similar ideas to those underlying the ENQUIRE system to create the World Wide Web, for which he also designed and built the first Web browser.

CERN has been a place of firsts for many groundbreaking discoveries and ideas. In fact, the first website was built at CERN. Tim Berners-Lee actually officed in France and it was there the website was put online on August 6, 1991 for the first time. was the address of the world's first-ever website and web server, which ran on a computer at CERN. Tim also created the first webpage with the address, and the page focused on the WWW project. Visitors could learn more about hypertext and technical details for creating their own webpage.

DID YOU KNOW? In a Times article in October 2009, Berners-Lee admitted that the initial pair of slashes ("//") in a web address were "unnecessary". He went on to tell the newspaper he easily could have made web addresses without the slashes.

There is no question that the World Wide Web has literally changed the globe. In a list of 80 cultural moments that shaped the world, chosen by a panel of 25 eminent scientists, academics, writers, and world leaders, the invention of the World Wide Web was ranked number one. Along with the ranking the group wrote, "The fastest growing communications medium of all time, the internet has changed the shape of modern life forever. We can connect with each other instantly, all over the world".

Brett Salisbury, Xposure CMD

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Brett has served small businesses, driving growth and profits for his clients, for nearly 20 years.


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