Archive for the ‘Web History’ Category

Jeff Jarvis on Publicness

August 23, 2011 Comments off

Publicness is a reasonably OK term for what I call hypersourcing. There was just a fairly long thread on Google+ about the video embedded below. I don’t know how to link the whole thread here, but here’s what I contributed.

When people all live in glass houses will they finally learn not to throw stones?

The shift we’re about to go through is likely to be even more significant then the one sparked by Gutenberg. As the modern practice of privacy collapses, humans will be forced to confront the extent to which our common security ultimately depends on fostering a culture of compassion and mercy.

Our species has confronted that challenge before. See Karen Armstrong’s “The Great Transformation.” The real question is whether we can master that lesson in an enduring way this time around.

Web History on the Way

August 22, 2011 Comments off

With luck, the preamble to Purpose Driven Web will be online in a week or so. It’s not particularly long, but most of my free time has been going into upgrading and polishing the suite of ranked choice voting tools that I’ve been developing.

In the meantime, here are a couple of more links commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Web. This one, from the Economist, strikes me as far better than most that have been published, but some of the reader comments reflected disappointment. And another, from Business Standard, also does a fair job presenting the basic facts and raising the implications. Interestingly enough, Tim Berners-Lee got some well-deserved celebrity treatment, when an online magazine pitched at the “over 50” crowd named him as an inspirational figure.

Categories: Web History

Web History Improved

August 9, 2011 Comments off

I found a couple of other reports about the 20th anniversary of the Web that seem to do a better job than the ones mentioned in my previous post. This one, from the BBC, is a bit cheery, but certainly fine for your mum. And this one, from a site called, is more detailed, in order to set up a promo video about the semantic web.

Categories: Web History

Rewriting World Wide Web History

August 8, 2011 Comments off

The 20th anniversary of the public announcement of the Web passed this weekend. I’ve seen two mentions of it in the press so far, both of which got some basic facts very very wrong. And both were from authors at technically-oriented sites where writers and editors alike would presumably know better.

The first, at TechCrunch, announced the 20th anniversary of the Internet. The title was changed after readers complained. But the URL for the article still has it wrong.

The second, at Wired, claims that the first webpage was published on August 6, 1991, and misleadingly cites CERN about the location of the page. Of course, that page was in operation for some months before the project was announced on USENET. That announcement, in my view, should be upheld as the key threshoid event for the Web. Berners-Lee, on the other hand, prefers to commemorate late December 1990, when his code began to run.

It’s lamentable that so few people even bothered to recall this significant date. August 6th 2011 was also the 46th anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb, and that got some deserved attention. But most media observers (and Google’s Doodle) were consumed by recalling the 100th anniversary of Lucille Ball’s birth. She was undeniably a great talent and performer, but which of these events will ultimately prove to have a greater impact on our lives over the coming days, years, and centuries?

Categories: Web History