Where were you when the web began?

onewebdayToday is OneWebDay – a day which, according to its Wikipedia entry, is “a day when users of the World Wide Web are encouraged to show how the Internet affects their lives. The purpose of the event is to globally celebrate online life.”

Today is the first OneWebDay and is being marked by events and activities in many places around the world.

Bloggers are encouraged to post about it, as I am, and to add their thoughts on what the web has meant to them:

[…] Because the web runs on machines, people forget that it’s fundamentally a social, human place. OneWebDay is about remembering that, and not taking the web for granted. The web is a wonderful resource that we need to respect, defend, and celebrate. And we’re here to have fun and be inspired, and take a look at what other people around the world are doing to celebrate OneWebDay.

I’ve been online since 1989. But that’s to do with the internet not the web. When I think of the web, I think back to around 1993 when I first heard of and saw Mosaic and, early 1994, when I wrote my first web page (in a text editor, so manual code-typing) and got it online on my first website.

To me, the embryonic web meant freedom of expression and the means to reach out and connect with people, wherever they are and whoever they are.

Today, the web is a foundational platform that provides the infrastructure for so many things that people can do in how they communicate and build and foster new relationships in new ways.

Where were you when the web began?

[Technorati: OneWebDay]

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Sallie Goetsch (rhymes with "sketch")

    I was in graduate school when I first discovered the World Wide Web, through Mosaic, on a grayscale monitor, in 1994. By late 1995 I’d moved my electronic journal Didaskalia from a gopher/ftp ASCII format into HTML, which I naturally wrote by hand, as there weren’t any WYSWIG text editors yet.

    We’ve come a long way, baby.

  2. Adam Keeshan

    I remember when everything was still in MS DOS and shortly aftewards was when AOL came out. I think it was 1993 when I first started using it. I had no clue it what turn in to what it is today. Especially with all the new podcasting, facebook, MySpace where people can basically advertise their products for free. I remember trying to use the internet as a phone about 10 years ago, but now it is as simple as other windows programs. The biggest thing that has affected the way I use the internet is e-mail to stay in contact and the ability to pay your bills and online banking. I know it will continue to expand and I am really interested in seeing where it goes.

  3. Wade Cothran

    Really? There’s a wwholiday for the www? Neat!
    I remember quite specifically where I was when I first discovered the web, but not when it began. My uncle had a computer at his business office and one at his home. I remember staying the weekend with he and my aunt and staying up all night chatting on Nickelodeon AOL. I think I was about 12 at the time and it was a really neat experience for me to be connected up with kids my age from across the country.

    It’s funny to think back on it now considering I had no clue what social networking, e-mail, or podcasting was. The wonderment of youth.

  4. Tony Quinlan

    I was working in a Scottish outpost of IBM at their Greenock manufacturing site. And working off an old workstation terminal – a huge shock to the system, having just moved from a London management consultancy where I’d been Mac’ed up.

    I remember using telnets and ftps to access internet info and, for a while, a text-based system to browse the WWW. Hearing all these wonderful things about graphics and ease of use, while I plodded through a black screen with green luminous letters…

    It was 1996 before I got an official, wired-up PC on the desk, running OS2 Warp and Netscape…

  5. Christie Goodman, APR

    My first steps were with the Internet when I was in Washington, D.C., at my first job with a small non-profit and starting a PR consulting business on the side. I had a tiny Mac in a tiny apartment. I was using Prodigy. Oh my gosh it was slow. I remember thinking there was great potential, but of course never imagined any thing like this. Then, in 1994 or 1995 with a new job in San Antonio, I started pushing for us to create a web site – before I’d actually seen one. It’s nice to finally have fast connections. But I gotta say, I miss the sound of that modem. Dialing, ringing, and then – just when you think it’s not going to work – connecting. Ahhh.

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