Happy 30th Birthday, World Wide Web! Where Does the Digital Messiah Go From Here?
Today, on March 12th, the world celebrates the launch of the World Wide Web, which is still alive and well after 30 years. Tim Berners-Lee submitted a proposal that outlined an information system, which his boss saw as
“vague, but exciting.”
The technology was born, it began to thrive.
The concept of bringing any new product or service to fruition is often treacherous, specifically for efforts that seem so wild and different from anything that has been done before. However, convincing the rest of the world to believe in it and actually adopt it is an entirely different concept. Even though the media has been riddled with doom predictions over what technology could do to the world, there is no solution to helping any technology fit the needs and demands of everyone. Spreading these ideas starts from the grassroots.
When the concept of the World Wide Web was proposed, there was no network that allowed for browsing in this way, and no way for any two computers to communicate with each other. The goal was to allow this communication through a common protocol, and it became almost effortless to make a computer into a web server. There have been two major changes that have spurred the productivity of the Web along the way, and it seems to be time for yet another change.
Web 1.0 could be loosely condensed from the 1990s to early 2000s. During this time, anyone could make a computer into a web server, and the entry of information was almost limitless. It allowed businesses and entrepreneurs to thrive, and it peaked around the turn of the center. Then, Web 2.0 hit.
Web 2.0 ranges from the mid-2000s to the present. The first version was a lot like a bulletin board, where consumers could put absolutely anything online. However, there was no feedback or response, which is what 2.0 introduced – collaboration. At that point, the Internet became about platforms that could be used to communicate, collaborate, and create together.
Instead of having a limitless number of varied websites, becoming a part of a platform allowed for simple groupings of information. The platforms established at this time are some of the most popular websites today, but they are still isolated from each other. In an article with U.Today, the news media website brings up Web 3.0.
Realistically, there is a lot of opportunity and opinions that come with this iteration of the interview. True collaboration will be the key, but this concept is “vague but exciting,” in the same way that the World Wide Web was when it first was introduced. The writer of the U. Today article suggests that there be two “defining characteristics” to usher in this version.
- Isolated economy networks should no longer be isolated.
- Platforms must become networks with members that bring value.
The 1980s were filled with isolated networks, and the current state of the internet is like having the World Wide Web is that same setting. Platforms cannot be combined together in this current state, and the writer suggests that the granularity offered to be at the level of the user. The user would optimally work independently of a platform, and there must be the value that belongs to the user when they participate in a network, rather than the network taking possession.
Multiple blockchain projects are working to bring forth true network ownership and collaboration, including DAOstack. The World Wide Web has been improving over the last 30 years, but it is time to move on to see what this digital space can truly do.