We’re all rounding the last turn onto the homestretch of the A-Z Blogging Challenge with the letter “W” today, and I’ve chosen to write on three Ws: the World Wide Web, and the Internet in general.
First, thanks are due: to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, credited with creating the World Wide Web at the beginning of the 1990s, and to Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, who are known as “The fathers of the Internet” for their pioneering work that led to its creation.
Of course, I wouldn’t be blogging without either of these existing, and despite having lived a large part of my life before the creation and phenomenal growth of the Internet and the Web, it’s difficult to remember the time when it wasn’t there.
What’s more interesting to me than the technology which enables the Internet and the Web (although I still marvel that it works as well as it does, or perhaps that it even works at all given the many potential points of failure in routing all those bits and bytes across the globe) or the explosion in online commerce that it’s brought (a two-edged sword, but that’s a discussion for another day) is the way it has enabled personal connections and the growth of communities.
I can honestly say that the bulk of the friends I now have were connections that have been made, one way or another, through the Web. Not much more to say than that, really – other than to observe that perhaps the greatest contribution to society that technology makes is to intermediate those personal connections. To paraphrase a well known ad campaign – Internet connection: $50 a month; Having a conversation with people across the globe: Priceless.