25 years later, a changed world: A big anniversary for the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, 43, director of the World Wide Web Consortium at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., poses in his office Monday, June 1, 1998. Berners-Lee, a native of London, is a recipient of the 1998 MacArthur Fellowship carrying a stipend of $270,000 for his work in pioneering the World Wide Web. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The World Wide Web has transformed virtually everything, from the way that we work, to the way that we shop, the way we entertain ourselves, and the way we interact with our friends and family. This article that you are reading, either through a website or an app, would not have been possible without it. It is interesting to note, then, that the web has only been publicly available for the last 25 years.

The World Wide Web was publicly launched on August 23, 1991. It was first developed two years earlier by Tim Berners-Lee, an English scientist who was working for CERN- the European Center for Nuclear Research.

It is important to note that the Web is different from the Internet; the system by which computer networks are able to communicate with one another. The Internet was originally developed by the U.S. government in the 1960s. The World Wide Web, rather, is the tool by which most people connect to the Internet- and is the system of websites and pages that we all know so well.

Through the 1990s the Web began to take off, first primarily as a way to exchange information and news- later developing into a major shopping destination by the end of the decade. With improved connection speeds, online gaming continued to take off into the 2000s, with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter transforming the way we connect with one another. As the 2010s approached, people around the world were increasingly turning to mobile devices and apps, rather than traditional web browsing on computers.

With a world of dynamic content available online, there is still a relic of the web’s simple beginnings available. The first website, which Berners-Lee set up to describe the project, is accessible by clicking here.

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