Press Release: The World Celebrates 25 Years of the Web
The World Celebrates 25 Years of the Web
Web users across the globe share #web25 birthday messages to mark the day Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web
12 March, 2014. Today, around the world, people are joining Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee in wishing the World Wide Web a happy 25th birthday. To mark the occasion, everyone is encouraged to share birthday greetings on social media using #web25. Select greetings will also be posted on a virtual birthday card on the official anniversary site webat25.org.
Berners-Lee and two organisations close to him - the World Wide Web Foundation and the World Wide Web Consortium, will also be asking people to take action to protect and enhance the open Web in 2014.
Recalling the theme of his famous tweet during the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, “This is for Everyone”, Berners-Lee said:
“The Web’s billions of users are what have made it great. I hope that many of them will join me today in celebrating this important milestone. I also hope this anniversary will spark a global conversation about our need to defend principles that have made the Web successful, and to unlock the Web’s untapped potential. I believe we can build a Web that truly is for everyone: one that is accessible to all, from any device, and one that empowers all of us to achieve our dignity, rights and potential as humans. Tell us about your dream for the Web with #web25.”
First proposed in March 1989, the Web has transformed the way the world communicates, creates and collaborates. Over two in five of the world’s population are now connected, often bridging geographical and social divides. Each minute, they send each other hundreds of millions of messages, share 20 million photos, and exchange at least $15m worth of goods and services. The success of the Web can be traced to its original design as a decentralised system and an open architecture anyone could help to build.
However, the open Web’s true potential as a tool for empowering everyone has yet to be realised, and could dwindle if key challenges are not solved. Throughout 2014 and beyond, Berners-Lee is seeking to engage Web users, business and policy-makers in debating critical issues such as:
- How do we connect the almost three in five people around the world who are not yet connected to the Web?
- Regulation of the Internet is hotly contested terrain globally and nationally. What fresh, inclusive solutions can avoid the damage of a fragmented Web?
- Our ability to use the Web to have a say and organise collectively is under threat from censorship and surveillance, whilst anyone online is threatened by cybercrime. How can we meet society’s growing needs for online freedom and privacy as well as security?
- Globally, fewer than 10% of key government datasets have been opened up for free re-use online, drastically limiting Web-powered innovation in areas such as improving public transport and fighting corruption. What steps can be taken to unlock the true power of open data?
- The Open Web Platform must be capable of expanding to meet industry demand for interoperability, mobility, and performance across connected devices of all shapes and sizes. How do we tackle the challenges raised by such diversity?
- How do we promote a rich ecosystem of diversity and innovation for the long-term, rather than less fertile walled gardens?
“If we want a Web that is truly for everyone, then everyone must play a role in shaping its next 25 years,” Berners-Lee concluded.
To get started, we invite you to:
- Send your birthday greetings via social media using hashtag #web25 and visit webat25.org
- Join Tim Berners-Lee’s for a Reddit Ask Me Anything on 12 March 2014 at 19.00 GMT
- Sign up to join the Web We Want Campaign, co-organized by the Web Foundation, to find out how to participate in events and actions in your country or community to defend users’ rights on and to the Web.
- Attend or watch the live stream of W3C’s 20th Anniversary Symposium, when we will imagine the future of the Web through discussion and gala dinner, to take place 29 October in Santa Clara, California.
Many organizations will engage in birthday activities all year long. To learn more, visit webat25.org. For press requests, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web 25 Sponsors
W3C and the World Wide Web Foundation would like to thank all of the sponsors who are helping to make these activities possible:
Translations of this Release
- Arabic: العالم يحتفل بمرور 25 عاما من الشبكة العنكبوتية
- Chinese: 全球共庆万维网诞生25周年
- French: Le monde entier fête les 25 ans du Web
- Dutch: De Wereld Viert 25 Jaar Web
- German: Die Welt feiert den 25. Geburtstag des World Wide Web
- Hungarian: IA világ a Web 25 éves születésbnapját ünnepli
- Italian: Il Mondo celebra i 25 anni del Web
- Japanese 世界で祝すWeb25周年
- Korean: 웹 탄생 25주년을 기념하며…
- Portuguese: O mundo comemora os 25 anos da Web
- Spanish: El mundo celebra los 25 años de la Web
- Swedish: Hela världen firar webbens 25-årsjubileum
A Brief History of the Early Web
- March 1989: “Information Management: A Proposal” written by Tim Berners-Lee (TBL) and circulated for comments at CERN. October 1990: TBL starts work on a hypertext GUI browser+editor using the NeXTStep development environment. He makes up “WorldWideWeb” as a name for the program and project.
- August 1991: Web software made available on the Internet via FTP.
- May 1992: Pei Wei’s “Viola” GUI browser for X test version
- February 1993: National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) release first alpha version of Marc Andreessen’s “Mosaic for X”
- April 1993: CERN’s declares that WWW technology would be freely usable by anyone, with no fees being payable to CERN.
- May 1994: First International WWW Conference, CERN, Geneva.
- October 1994: World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) founded
About Tim Berners-Lee
A graduate of Oxford University, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, an internet-based hypermedia initiative for global information sharing while at CERN, the European Particle Physics Laboratory, in 1989. He wrote the first web client and server in 1990. His specifications of URIs, HTTP and HTML were refined as Web technology spread. He is Director of W3C and a Director of the World Wide Web Foundation. In addition, He is the 3Com Founders Professor of Engineering in the School of Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Laboratory for Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence ( CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he also heads the Decentralized Information Group (DIG). He is also a Professor in the Electronics and Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK.
About the World Wide Web Consortium
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. The Open Web Platform is a current major focus. Over 375 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France, Keio University in Japan, and Beihang University in China, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/
About the World Wide Web Foundation
Established by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web Foundation (webfoundation.org) seeks to establish the open Web as a global public good and a basic right, creating a world where everyone, everywhere can use the Web to communicate, collaborate and innovate freely.
The Web Foundation’s team of 20 works with more than 90 partner organisations across 60 countries. Our current initiatives include co-leading the burgeoning Web We Want movement (webwewant.org), creating the world’s first ever Open Data Contracting Standard, and spearheading the Alliance for Affordable Internet (a4ai.org), the broadest technology sector coalition.
The World Wide Web Foundation also produces the Web Index (thewebindex.org), the world’s first multi-dimensional measure of the Web’s growth, utility and impact on people and nations. Launched in 2012 to critical acclaim, the 2013 version included data on 20 more countries, as well as enhanced indicators on key topics such as affordability, censorship and surveillance, gender and open data.
- ITU: http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/publications/mis2013.aspx
- Open Data Barometer: http://www.opendataresearch.org/project/2013/odb
- Intel: http://scoop.intel.com/what-happens-in-an-internet-minute/
- Mckinsey: http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/high_tech_telecoms_internet/internet_matters