It was 25 years ago today that Sir Tim Berners-Lee put forward his proposal for the World Wide Web. He could never have predicted how it would look and be used today. Sir Tim believes its success lies in the fact that it is open and free as that’s was the only way people would invest in it.
He also claimed that naming it took some time and they considered all kinds of naming conventions at the start including: the Mine of Information (MOI); or TIM (The Information Mine). Sir Tim and his team eventually settled on the word ‘world’ as it was global and ‘web’ as it gives the impression that you can connect anything to anything. Also, ‘www’ was an acronym that hadn’t been used before.
As a PR professional old enough to remember life before the Internet and email it made me think about how on earth we used to function in the world of B2B PR before it was invented.
PR executives would spend hours bent over a fax machine faxing press release to journalists or stuffing envelopes containing a neatly folded press release and a photo before posting them to arrive in time to meet a deadline. They would wait eagerly each morning to open that morning’s magazines and newspapers as they arrived to see if their client’s article or news piece had made it past the sub-editors cut.
Of course, a process that used to take the poor old PR executive hours has been sped up immeasurably thanks to the Internet Every industry, not just PR has been revolutionised by the Internet and many created because of it. It’ll be interesting to see what the next 25 years brings….