Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Thirtieth Anniversary of The Web and Facebook is Broken

Today is the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web and one of the largest social media networks seems to be offline. 😲 (An emoji seems appropriate. Would we even have them if we didn't have the web?) Efforts to post this morning went nowhere. It sounds like a lot of other people are having the same problem. I hope they're able to fix it. (Try logging out of your Facebook account and logging back in again.)

There are a lot of interesting articles out there about the man who introduced the world to the World Wide Web and how he sees things today, and where he would like to see the web go in the future. Here's one from TechCrunch

I remember those earliest days, getting online. Things were a lot different then. Interfaces were more simplistic. The web wasn't suffering ad bloat and misinformation flu, and scammers hadn't yet realized its potential. All that has changed. For some, those three things are a good reason to abandon its use. However, it has been beneficial in connecting a very large world population in a way Ma Bell couldn't. Sure, it started out using phone lines, but look where we are today. 

As a writer, I am grateful because it opened up the ability to publish articles (and blog posts) without the need for shopping for an agent and publisher. In fact, without the World Wide Web, would we eve have self-publishing? Well, yeah, it's been around since -- forever. But, having the web and the ability to upload manuscripts and simply hit 'publish' has made the process faster, simpler, and more cost-efficient. Who could have envisioned e-books - having access to literally millions of books right from the comfort of your home or office, without having to build or dust a single bookshelf. 

So, I want to say, Happy birthday, Web. And, thank you Sir Tim Berners-Lee. I am looking forward to reading your open letter on this important anniversary. And being able to read it online is pretty nice. Posting it to the web saved you millions in postage costs and I might not have gotten a copy otherwise.