Updated: Aug 5, 2021
We celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the World Wide Web (#Web30) in today's blog post.
Today is the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web!
The World Wide Web was born in Geneva, at the CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, which is one of the world's largest and most respected centres for scientific research. Because the centre works internationally and with researchers all over the globe, they needed to be able to contact each other easily and exchange documents as quickly and efficiently as possible.
This is where Tim Berners-Lee came into play: the English scientist imagined a system that would manage information scattered all over the globe through the use of hyperlinks (text displayed on a computer display that links to other text the reader can immediately access). When Berners-Lee wrote to his boss about this idea, he received a piece of feedback that is now famous: the boss replied “vague but exciting.”
A Spider’s Web
As an expatriate and experienced traveller, I find the World Wide Web fascinating in its ability to connect people in spite of geographical distance. Interestingly, many languages have actually kept this image of a web connecting disparate elements, i.e. a spider’s web, to describe this international network: in French, we speak of “la toile”. Spanish uses the literal translation “red”, which is a “net”. Thanks to the web, we can now access online archives and libraries, virtually visit museums, and even remotely attend events, such as the 30th Anniversary of the World Wide Web in Geneva!
Internet vs Web
Do you know the difference between the Internet and World Wide Web? I have to admit I used to conflate both terms, but they do refer to two different concepts. The Internet was born first, in the 1960s, and is defined as “a global network comprised of computers” (source), whereas the “World Wide Web is an extremely common application used online and it uses the hypertext transfer protocol, or http, to navigate across different websites”.
The way I picture it is that the Internet would be like a book, and the Web would be the font in which the text is typed in, and which enables communication, but couldn’t exist on its own (but I’m sure Computer Science tutors can come up with a more accurate comparison!). Or, to put it differently: “The internet is a huge network of computers all connected together, but it was the world wide web that made the technology into something that linked information together and made it accessible to everyone. In essence, the world wide web is a collection of webpages found on this network of computers – your browser uses the internet to access the world wide web” (Google Arts & Culture).
A Blessing or a Curse?
We’ve now become so used to exploring the Internet and the Web on a daily basis that we don’t often get a chance to stop and take stock of the developments. The Web does open up an incredible number of possibilities and opportunities: without the Web, the TT website wouldn’t exist, we wouldn’t be able to arrange online tuition, and we would have to travel to libraries and send letters to communicate. However, some of us find that being constantly connected might have a negative impact on our mental health and people mention “digital detox” more and more. What are your thoughts on this? Could you live without the Web?
Blog Post Crafted by Adeline
Adeline manages the staff on our Admin Team, liaising with tutors, clients and applicants. She is responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors, as well as taking tuition enquiries, matching tutors to clients, and supporting tutors and clients throughout the process of tuition.