How the Web has advanced since its original design

by | Dec 4, 2009 | Berners-Lee, blogging, HTML5, web, www, XML

I just set up a basic Web site (WordPress blog) for a friend, Paris Tompkins. This took only a few minutes’ spare time, including the hosting, DNS, customization. She chose the theme herself; I just made the side look OK and added the vital “Add to Any” plugin.

I still barely know WordPress, but I have had almost no trouble with any aspect of it recently: I played around with various blogging software about 8 years ago, and it was nowhere near this easy. I have only had to do something with PHP within a WordPress site once, and probably because of the nature of the template.

I am an impatient person and I will never be content with the pace of publishing technology, but I have to say that when you look back to where the web was in 1996 and where it is today, it has generally gone the right direction. Well, that is after starting out with a fairly complete misinterpretation.

World Wide Web

The original concept was of course brilliant, and you should check out the proposal for the web if you haven’t already. Basically, the intent of the web was to facilitate two-way communication, but of course the mindset of a television-soaked population at first thought of it more like a single-direction, one-to-many, broadcast medium. We only understand things in relation to what we’ve seen before, at least at first.

So the Web started out with much knee-jerk reproduction of the Television model, and only with the gradual evolution of blogging and social networking (and concurrent evolution of tools for this) has it become really easy for a person like Paris, without a web design course background, to get out there and express herself. Now even the large corporations are hyping Facebook and Twitter, with their own Youtube channels and virtual real estate in SecondLife. It is great that the playing field is leveled: we are all two-way broadcasters now, and Tim Berners-Lee’s amazing vision is coming to pass.

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