The World Wide Web
It’s Christmas Day, 1990. Tim Berners-Lee is marvelling at the fact that the UK Christmas number one is by the 50 year old Cliff Richards who had his first hit 32 years ago when Tim was only three years old. He should really have the day off, but it’s all too close to completion. He and Robert Cailliau just want to get this thing done. He’d made a proposal for this information management system nearly two years ago and now they are about to implement the first successful communication between Hypertext Transfer Protocol and a server via the Internet.
It will be eight months until, in August 1991, the first website (which was an explanation of the World Wide Web) is put online. But within 10 short years the World Wide Web will be on the way to occupying a central role in our lives, industries will have built up around it and whole financial markets blown up and crashed in the scramble to dominate a new global economy.
The National Media Museum
On March 30th, the National Media Museum opens the world’s first permanent gallery to explore the social, technological and cultural impact of the internet. There’s loads of information about the gallery on the National Media Museum site.
As a society, it’s the World Wide Web that’s been at the centre of our experience of the Internet. But the story of the Internet goes back to Arpanet, a simple single network linking Stanford and UCLA universities, in the late 60s.
And the story of where the Internet goes from here will undoubtedly involve transcendence of our habit of logging on to the World Wide Web and develop into an unseen layer that connects many aspects of our lives. So we’re a unique generation in the development of this tool that has had such an big impact on the way we not only communicate, but shop, do our banking, get our entertainment, work, educate ourselves and even find our future spouses.
Your Life Online project
As the gallery has developed we’ve been working with the museum on aspects of social media and the impact of the World Wide Web, as well as getting involved in developing the gallery’s Your Life Online Project. This section of the gallery looks at the personal side of the internet and you can get involved by accepting ‘missions’ online.
Go to http://nmemlol.wordpress.com/ and get creative by remaking your favourite YouTube video, creating something that shows how our relationships have developed or just answer questions about the impact of the internet on you. Some of the responses gathered on this website will be used in this part of the exhibition, so you could become a little piece of history.
image source: http://www.nationalmediamuseum.org.uk/